What You (Probably) Don’t Know about Cameron Highlands
- Officially, Cameron Highlands was discovered in 1885 by Sir William Cameron, an English surveyor. The dense vegetation and beautiful mountain plateaus captivated him and his companion Kulop Riau.
- The BOH Plantation in Ringlet, established in 1929, is the first highland tea plantation in Malaysia. Today, the BOH factory is still in operation and continues to produce distinctive Cameron Highlands tea.
- The Mossy Forest in Cameron Highlands is one of the few cloud forests in the world. Cloud forest are different compared to rainforests as there is often a layer of mist or fog which makes it feel like you are in a cloud. The moisture level is also higher which contributes to growth of moss and a much cooler climate.
The Mossy Forest, Cameron Highlands
- The world’s largest single bloom flower, Rafflesia Arnoldi can be found in Cameron Highlands. Capable or growing up to 1 meter in length and weighing up to 10kg, the Rafflesia only blooms for 3 to 5 days which makes it one of the rarest flowers to catch in full bloom. Although increasingly harder to find, certain locations deep in Cameron Highlands are home to the Rafflesia.
The Rafflesia in full bloom
- One of the biggest mysterious of Cameron Highlands is the disappearance of Jim Thompson. Jim Thompson was an American millionaire and was known as the ‘Thai Silk King’ for reviving interest in Thai Silk. The story goes that on Easter Sunday, 1967, Thompson, who was on holiday in Cameron Highlands, took a walk from his cottage in Tanah Rata and never came back. An extensive 11-day search operation involving nearly 500 people yielded no results of his whereabouts. It is still one of South East Asia’s oldest unsolved mysterious which has spawned numerous theories about his disappearance.
A Photo of Jim Thompson
( Source – https://www.unreservedmedia.com/the-curious-case-of-jim-thompson/ )
- According to Australian historian Lynette Silver, James Bond creator and writer Sir Ian Fleming based the character of James Bond off his close friend, Denis Emerson-Elliot, who was a MI6 spy. Elliot and his family used to live in Cameron Highlands during the Malayan Emergency in 1948. In fact, his move to Cameron Highlands from Singapore is theorised as a strategic move to lure terrorists from the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) to Cameron Highlands. Both Fleming and Elliot were recruited by MI6 and remained close friends after Fleming left.
Denis Emerson-Elliot, 1943
Sketch of James Bond by Ian Fleming
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