Cameron Highlands

Eileen and I stayed two nights in Terra Tree House and one night in the town of Tanah Rata. Both are in a region called Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, which is famous for its farms.

To get to Terra Tree House we, along with about 25 other guests, met at a meeting point where Mingyeow and two other drivers picked us up in 4X4 trucks. Mingyeow is Eileen’s friend and the spiritual teacher at the tree house. It took about 30 minutes of driving on a rigid, single-track road to get to the tree houses. After that, we had to hike up a path to get to the kitchen/activity building. There are a total of seven tree houses. Eileen and I stayed at tree house number 5, which is a less modern tree house compared to some of the others. I quickly learned that Terra Tree House is more like a retreat than a hotel. 

The food at the tree house was all organic and vegan and was very good. The water is from the mountain top so it’s really fresh. I didn’t even use soap when taking a shower.

After lunch, I went on a barefooted hike with the group guided by Mingyeow to a waterfall. I didn’t like hiking barefoot because my feet were hurting, but it’s supposed to be good for the body. I was more frustrated than anything else.

The hike seemed like forever. By the time we reached the waterfall I felt I had hiked for an hour on my bare feet. Mingyeow told us to put our heads in the waterfall and wish for anything that’s bad to go away. We could also choose to sit under the waterfall to wash out the bad thoughts. I didn’t feel the need to sit under the waterfall because it’s very cold.

When we got back to the activity building dinner was served. Soon after, I took a shower and went to bed. I didn’t sleep well and woke up several times thinking it was daylight. I think I needed to adjust to the new environment.

The next day, I was so tired that I didn’t do any of the activities that included a hike up the mountain to the water source and a meditation session. Instead I tried to catch up on my sleep.

After the sunset, Eileen, Mingyeow, and a couple around my age sat around the fire pit and chatted deep into the night. Mingyeow told me that I should look for a traditional Chinese medical doctor for my bipolar disorder because the medication that I’m taking made me lethargic. It’s been like this for me for over a decade. I tend to sleep for 10 to 12 hours per night and still feel tired sometimes during the day. When I get back to the US I want to do some self study on acupuncture and looking into a TCM doctor in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.

Mingyeow then brought out a large incense that he had kept and Eileen ran its heat against the back of my head and down the spine. It felt really nice to feel the warmth of the incense and the smell. Then everyone had a chance to do it, too.

That night, I didn’t sleep much because we had to wake up at 4:15 AM to meet for a sunrise hike. This time with shoes, thank God. The hike was up the mountain and in the forest, then across a farm. Once we reached the spot, we saw the sun was covered by fog. But the view was still nice since we were on the top of the mountain.

When we came back down from the mountain after seeing the sunrise, Eileen and I packed our bags since we were leaving soon. But before we left, Eileen was able to give me a rhythmic massage using the massage bed in one of the tree houses. It felt very good and I almost fell asleep.

We left Terra Tree House soon after via a 4X4 truck again. Eileen and I decided to stay in the town of Tanah Rata for a night so I can have a chance to book a bus ticket and a hotel for George Town. In the afternoon, we went to Boh Tea Center and had some tea while viewing the tea plantation then had vegetarian hotpot for dinner.

The next morning, after eating breakfast, Eileen dropped me off at the bus station and we bid farewell. I was very lucky to have met her and went to the tree house. It was the highlight of my Malaysian trip so far. I felt more spiritual after spending the weekend at the tree house. Mingyeow and Eileen both convinced me that I should be more spiritual. Eileen also said that every nine years people’s mindset changes in a big way. Maybe mine will change as well.

I took the 9 AM bus to George Town in Penang and arrived around 1:30 PM. I will be spending six nights there as my last stop in Malaysia before flying to Phuket, Thailand. 

Eileen and I posing in front of the main tree house in Terra Tree House.

Just chilling in the hammock 

The kitchen/activity building

Inside tree house number 5

Hiking barefooted to a waterfall

At the waterfall

Washing the bad thoughts away

All vegan and organic food at the tree house

View of the forest and the mountain from the tree house

Hen and her chicks

Great food and a great view!

Baking our feet around the fire pit

Sunrise after a hike

Sunrise over the fog

The fog in front of the mountain

Eileen and I

The farm, the forest, and the mountain

Workers picking cabbage early in the morning.

Goodbye tree house!

Tanah Rata

Boh Tea plantation

A cup of tea

Boh Tea Center

Don't know what this fruit is called, but it's a local specialty.

Vegetarian hotpot