But then I couldn't say I am familiar with the place. I am really not. Because 1) we didn't go there often, the very last time we went was 3 years ago, and 2) CH develops fast and develops a lot! It's a very popular tourist destination now, especially for the locals, to escape the scorching heat!
(p/s: For those who plans to go to visit CH, please be reminded that the traffic could be very bad on weekends, and very, very, very bad on public holidays and school holidays! Main reason being it has only one-lane for each direction and the road is narrow. So when there are more cars than the usual day, it just couldn't take it!)
There was a new road going up to CH from Simpang Pulai (one of the North-South Highway exit leading to Ipoh). This new road was in operation since about 3-4 years back. It is so much better than the old road, which connects from Tapah. If you have been travelling on the old road before, you would sure agree with me on how winding and how nausea/vomit-inducing the road can be. And it's challenging for the drivers too. This new road is a lot more gentle, smooth uphill drive. Not many sharp turns and the road are wider, and in better condition. But you need to drive a further 30 minutes or so on the highway (i.e., from Tapah to Simpang Pulai) if you come from KL, and if you want to use the new road than the old road. To me, the extra 30 min is totally worth it, especially if you travel with kids (think cleaning up the kids and the car from all the puke, yikes!). And also you gonna miss the waterfall. Oh, another plus point for using the new road - detour to Ipoh, it's a food heaven! Some people even based in Ipoh, and go up to CH as a day trip.
Enough about tourist information, LOL!
We went to CH last week. To attend my cousin wedding! My dearest baby cousin's wedding!
I was very excited about the trip and the wedding. It's a wonderful time for family gathering. Everyone turned up, up to 3 generations (most of us started family late, haha, so not yet the 4th generation). And the nice thing is my cousin booked the Jim Thompson Cottage for all of us to stay together, and also as the wedding venue. It's a very new accommodation for rent in CH. And it's such a beautiful place!
The bungalow that we stayed in was dated back to the 1940', I think. It was name after Jim Thompson, who disappeared when he went for a pre-dinner stroll and never to be found. Rumour has it that he might have been attacked by wild tiger. There are two main bungalows, Moonlight and Sunlight. We and our relatives stayed at the Moonlight bungalow (it's huge, it has 9 rooms of different sizes and fits 30 or so people!). Relatives of the bride stayed at the Sunlight bungalow.
Moonlight at the top and Sunlight at the bottom. It was love at first sight for the kids. They shouted - chimney!
It's the first time for the kids to see real chimneys, first time seeing one that is not from the books. They ran around the house and the surrounding when we first arrived and asked excitedly "Can we stay here forever and ever?". Haha! We wish, kids, we wish.
It's very near to the Strawberry Park Hotel, and the Smoke House. It's up on a mountain. You need a car. This place only provide accommodation (standard hotel room stuff), and nothing else, meaning no hotel lobby, no restaurants, no nothing. So you need to be self supplied. It's a very short drive, 10 min or so without traffic, to the nearest town, Brinchang and Tanah Rata. It's not bad if you have a car. You can pretty much get every thing you need in the towns.
Sorry. Side tracked again.
Back to the wedding. It's a first time experience for most of our relatives, to stay in such place, and to stay under one roof, and to attend this kind of ang-moh style-ish wedding.The kids got to play together. And the adults caught up with lots of talking. Nope. No wi-fi provided. So if you have no data plan, it's great. Put your phone aside and spend more time with the actual persons.
Wedding was on Saturday. 01.03.14 (一生一世). With the nice decoration, nice backdrop, nice weather, and nice people. Everything is perfect! It's such a beautiful wedding!
Early morning of Saturday. Getting ready!
It started with the Chinese customary procedures. Bridegroom went from the Moonlight to fetch the bride from the Sunlight bungalow, so convenient, haha! Tea ceremony at both sides. And then it's the highlight of the day - romantic outdoor ring exchange ceremony!
The set up is really pretty, with the faraway mountains as backdrop. Already feeling romantic :-)
Another new experience for the kids - Xi Yu is the flower girl while Hao Re is the ring bearer! The flower boy is my nephew. See the different of size between Xi Yu and my little nephew, but they are only one month apart, haha! Xi Yu was the happiest because it's not very often she got to dress up nicely. And she even put on make up, and was gifted the very nice, very special flowery head-ring that my cousin made for her! I asked if she likes to be put on make up, she said YES! Well, too bad, this Mama has nothing for her. But fret not. My sister and my cousins are all very ready and happy to "beautify" her. She really is a angel :-) Hao Re is very steadily with his duty, and we have received many comments saying he is such a handsome little man. Yes, he is :-)
Flower girl/boy and ring bearer performs their job dutifully :-)
While for me, I was tasked to give a little speech for the newly wed. I so wanted to cry. It's very touching to see my baby cousin getting married! He is always the little cousin who liked me to carry him whenever he saw me, he literally climbed up onto me, LOL! Now he is all grown up and gotten married! Well, at the end, of course I hold my tear. I am very happy to be able to witness this and to bless them with my best wishes! Oh, I was also given the very special task to announce "it's time to exchange your ring", and made them kiss in front of all the guests :-)
The handsome groom and pretty bride! They make a great pair of husband and wife, I am very sure! They knew each other since A-level and been together since!
We got to visit a garden before the wedding and visit a tea plantation. So it's really a perfect trip for us!
Thank you very much, my dear baby cousin CT and SO, for arranging such a wonderful event. My sincerest wishes for you two. Remember - compromise is the key to keep your relationship healthy :-) 祝你们永浴爱河，白头偕老！