Announcing the May 2010 Monthly Weekend Drive to Cameron Highlands! Date: 28-30 May 2010 (Fri-Sun) This is the Official Itinerary post updated as of 17 May 1200hrs Plan Summaryay 1: KL-Bentong-Raub-Sg Koyan-Gua Musang-Cameron Highlands (most likely Tanah Rata, final stop subject to hotel confirmation) - final stretch (Gua Musang-Blue Valley) is one of the most scenic and low traffic highways in Malaysia.Day 2: Free and easy or optional full day group tourDay 3: Return to KL via Simpang Pulai Detailed Itinerary:Note that times are tentative and subject to confirmation. 28 May (Day 1) Convoy to CameronRoute: KL-Bentong-Tras-Raub-Sg Koyan-Gua Musang-Blue Valley-Tanah Rata (note that we will bypass Kuala Lipis). Distance below shown as indicative of approximate distance from Gombak toll booth. 0730 - Meet for briefing at BHP Petrol station after Gombak toll at Karak highway (just after UIA; same location as meeting point for March Drive to Kuantan)0800 - Convoy Departure0930 - Tea Break in Raub - note: Petronas/Caltex Raub (108km) is the last petrol station for 80km1015 - Depart Raub1100 - Snacks at Sg Koyan (156km) - Snack break & refuel (for those who need it)*1130 - Depart Sg Koyan1300 - Kg Persit (251km)/Merapuh Rest Area (254km) - passing through (possible toilet break)1315 - Caltex petrol station (274km) near Gua Musang - passing through (possible fuel break)1330 - Lunch at Gua Musang with Kelantan BMW Club - at Kesedar Inn1430 - Depart Gua Musang 1445-1530 - possible brief stop for scenic view/photos along the way (between Gua Musang and Blue Valley)1545 - Tea Break at Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation (Kuala Terla)1645 - Depart tea plantation1715/1745 - Arrive at Century Pines Resort, Tanah Rata (399km) and check-in (please expect a traffic jam in Brinchang due to the pasar malam)1930 - Group Steamboat Dinner at Century Pines (RM25 nett per pax not including drinks).* According to Garmin GPS maps, there is a Shell station in Sg Koyan (short detour from our route) 29 May (Day 2) Free and Easy/Optional Group Tour- free and easy day for everyone- optional full-day group tour (RM80-90/pax estimated) Free and easy activity suggestions:Tea Plantations (Boh Sg Palas - hazardous road for our UDMs but the most scenic; Boh Habu - scenic, road ok for UDMs, arrive before 1030am due to very limited parking; Cameron Bharat on Tanah Rata-Ringlet road - 2 nearby spots, very scenic but also very popular and full of cars, limited parking)- if tea factory tour is available (Boh tours are FOC), it is quite educational.Strawberry Farms - many, usually around Brinchang to TringkapCactus Valley - big flower/vege farm in Brinchang; entrance fee requiredRose Valley - flower farm behind Tringkap vege/flower shopsButterfly farm, Bee farm, etc.English Tea with scones etc at Cameron Highlands Resort/Smokehouse if you wish to feel like you're in England without having to actually fly there.Jungle trekking Group dinner is optional if there is interest, if not we can all go ronda-ronda on our own. 30 May (Day 3) ReturnRoute: Tanah Rata-Brinchang-Simpang Pulai-KL- note: please refuel before departure as the Shell Station in Brinchang has very limited space so if we go even in a small group, there will be a massive congestion and traffic jam If there is interest we can put in a stop to buy vegies and fruits at Kea Farms (tough to find parking but more shops) or Tringkap (more parking but usually very few shops open in the morning). 1030 - Check-out/Convoy briefing1100 - Convoy departs Tanah Rata1215 - Simpang Pulai (warning: the bottom stretch of the road near Simpang Pulai is known as a popular speed trap area as the speed limit there is 50km/h)1245 - Lunch at Tapah Rest Area1345 - Convoy departs1515 - reach KL General Convoy/Drive Information: Due to the windy nature of the roads and the possibility of being stuck behind slow-moving lorries/buses (especially from the Route 8 stretch from near Kuala Lipis to Gua Musang), we are breaking up into groups of 5 cars, to ensure we have convoy cohesion. Snail Group will flag off first, followed by Tortoise, Hare and Cheetah. More groups will be added if necessary. Road conditions expected to be quite good (for most part better than KL roads, and generally better than the trunk road stretch during our Malacca drive) with 2 major uphill stretches (Genting Sempah & Lojing), with one stretch having some cows and cow dung (Tersang to Sg Koyan; ironically this stretch has very nice straight and newly surfaced smooth road). Total distance from KL (Gombak toll booth) to Tanah Rata on our planned route is approximately 400km. Please ensure you start off with a full fuel tank, and if you need to refuel on the way, please keep your convoy informed as well as plan in advance where you plan to refuel, since there are certain long stretches without any petrol stations (see detailed itinerary above for location of key petrol stations along the way). Most petrol stations along the route are Petronas or Caltex. There is supposed to be a Shell station in Sg Koyan (according to Garmin GPS) but it is off our planned route, so I cannot verify that it is there. The Shell Station in Brinchang has RON95, RON97 and Diesel but does not have V-Power. Please bring your walkies (and chargers), check your cars (tyres, water, etc.) prior to departure, and bring anything you may need along the way (drinking water, flashlights, etc.). The Optional Full Day Tour on Day 2Expected cost: RM80-90/pax; the more people we have would allow us to get a cheaper priceTour Guides from Kang Tours & Travel Tentative Itinerary:- Travel via 4x4 off-road vehicle- Gunung Brinchang (6,666 ft)- Jungle Trekking (1-2 hours)- Rafflesia flower (to be confirmed, subject to the flowering time)- Waterfall visit- Tea Plantation & Factory visit (Boh Sg Palas) - I do not recommend going to Boh Sg Palas in our UDMs due to very narrow roads and bumpy road conditions- Orang Asli village (blowpipe demo)- Butterfly Farm Exact tour itinerary will be confirmed later but as long as we have a large enough group, we will be able to have our own private group/itinerary. Accomodations 17 May Update:Rooms in Century Pines Resorts are at RM354.20 nett for Day 1 (28 May) and RM270.25 nett for Day 2 (29 May) for a total of RM624.25 nett. If we can get 10 confirmed rooms, we will qualify for group rates which are much cheaper. Please call Century Pines (Shri) to confirm your booking at 05-491-5115. Previous info, now out of date URGENT - due to peak period, we need your hotel confirmations NOW in order to secure rooms. Latest by 5 May (those who can do it by 3 May, can get cheaper rates). We have made pre-bookings for the following hotel and apartments via 2 different travel agents: 30 rooms (King/Twin beds) for double occupancy at Century Pines Resort, Tanah Rata.Cost is RM298nett for the first night, RM238nett for the 2nd night. Total cost: RM536- have stayed there before, and the rooms are quite roomy. It maybe possible to add an extra bed if you have children staying with you.- booked via Speedy Travel (in Penang) 5 apartments (2-bedrooms, 4 pax) at Star Regency, Brinchang.Cost is RM420 for the first night, RM390 for the 2nd night. Total cost: RM810- I have been advised that the rooms are quite basic, so don't expect any luxuries. Due to the 28-30 May weekend being a peak period because it is a 3-day weekend, the pre-booking is only valid until 5 May. You will need to confirm and make pre-payment (direct to the travel agent). Please list your choice of accomodation below and PM me your name and contact number (the travel agent will contact you to confirm booking and take your payment): If you do not confirm and make pre-payment by 5 May, the pre-bookings will be cancelled by the hotels. As that weekend is a peak period, hotel rooms are filling up very fast in Cameron.