Saturday, December 22, 2007
Cameron's Tea Time
I know I have been talking so much about my vacation, and would probably be stale by now after all, it has been two weeks since we came back... but I will talk about it still, until I get myself bored too.
Anyway, I have tons of pictures that I have taken on the trip to show... and with my poor memory I think I better keep it in writing before everything becomes mush in my head.
So, here goes...
After our interesting Strawberry Farm tour, Jaz brought us to the famous man-made landscape in the highlands... the Boh Tea Plantation and its factory.
That was after driving through endless winding roads and several hundred honks at every corner later, we reached the ever famous tea brand, this side of the world... Boh Tea.
Never thought I would actually set foot on its origin... all I did as a child was to buy a pack of Boh Tea when my Mom asked me to from our village shop... just because we were expecting guests.
Though I am not a tea person, more of... well a coffee addict actually, setting foot in that place was very interesting for me and I am sure for Wifey and our Son, just the same.
Our good luck to get Jaz as our tour guide for the day brought us right up to the factory entrance since Jaz is a familiar face there. We were allowed to drive into the factory vicinity to park instead of down the hill at the visitor's carpark like everyone else.
We really did not mind to walk a bit since the scenery was fantastic and the weather just right - cool and bright. Well, more time at the factory and cafe later.
We learned from Jaz that all the tea plants there were planted in 1929, brought in from India onto the thousands of hectares of hills and valleys... and are still being harvested today.
Also, most of the Indian workers there are descendants of the migrants the British brought in to work in the plantation. The place was like a self-sufficient Indian community in itself.
Having its own village quarters, Indian school, a clinic and an impressive looking temple too. The statues were hand-crafted in detail by temple-building experts from India paid to come and build them for 6 to 8 months at a stretch.
"It is just like one big green carpet..." quipped Wifey when we stopped at one of the panoramic views overlooking the undulating hills as far as the eye can see.
She was right, the place really looked like somebody was sunning carpets to dry... except that instead of stale air, it was fresh.
The factory tour had an interesting fact too.
The tea-leave grinding machines and several of the gunny-sack packing machines were from that same year too... and still are functioning to this day. Awesome engineering.
We got to sip tea at the cafe, after going through the standard souvenir shop at the path's end of the tour. Being the true tourist that I am, I bought a Boh Tea mug for my hall of fame at home.