Thaipusam is the most spectacular celebration of the Hindu festival in Malaysia. More than 1.7 million local and foreign visitors are expected to celebrate the annual festival at Batu Caves Temple on Sunday, Jan 27th, 2013.


1.7 million peeps? Are you serious? A sea of people will be flooding the place! I am a person who is terrified of crowd - an agoraphobia. I would ask myself repeatedly whether I can survive in these chaotic situations. It does worry me a bit, but I finally managed to discard all the negativity of fear and thoughts. I wanted to see for myself the grandiose affair of Thaipusam 2013 in Batu Caves, Malaysia.

I woke up at 4:45 a.m., boarded the earliest possible KTM Commuter train to Batu Caves limestone temple. Call me a kiasu (驚輸 AKA fear of losing)...but I was really excited and looking forward to the festival. In conjunction with Thaipusam 2013 celebrations, KTM Commuter services for all lines will operate 24 hours service from 25 January 2013 to Monday 28 January 2013. Check out the commuter train schedule HERE.

Thaipusam or Thaipoosam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம்) is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). It is observed in India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar. An annual celebration in honor of the Hindu God Lord Murugan. 

In order to win favor with the God and ensure their good fortune, devotees take elaborate sacrificial measures, ranging from offerings pots of milk, to impaling themselves with long metal skewers and carrying giant metal constructions (AKA Kavadi Attam, Tamil:காவடி ஆட்டம் ) up the 272 stairs into Batu Caves.

It was one of the BEST experiences in my life - the deafening drum beating, the kavadi bearers that are lulled into a trance-like state by the beats, the colours, and of course the amazing food. 7 hours in Batu Caves today....the longest time I've spent for street photography.

Here are some shots fresh from my camera. Click 'LIKE' if you enjoy reading my photo blog article :)


Title: Say cheese!
About: Head shaving are among the important Thaipusam festival rituals in Malaysia. Clean-shaven heads is a symbol of humility and atonement. Later the kiddo's shaven head will be smeared with sandalwood paste.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200 s ISO: 3200 F-STOP: f/5.6 FOCAL LENGTH: 85mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: A sea of people
About: Believe it or not...The Batu Caves Temple Committee is expecting a sea of people, a WHOOPING 1.7 million peeps!  Despite the massive crowd, everything seems to be nicely organized - from security, crowd control and of course free flow refreshments throughout the day.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500 s ISO: 3200 F-STOP: f/5.6 FOCAL LENGTH: 85mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Persuasion
About: By midday, it was scorching hot here in Batu Caves. You need to climb the 272 steps that leads up to the temple. That kiddo in the picture was almost reluctant to complete the last few remaining steps - he preferred to crawl. But father grabbed his right arm and persuaded him to carry on.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/6.3 FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Togetherness
About: When I arrived at Batu Caves, I discovered that most devotees of Lord Murugan wore yellow or orange color. Orange is also a colour of renunciation, and is worn by those whose pilgrimage is a temporary path of asceticism. In this picture, a young kiddo was carried to the top of the temple.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/2000 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/7.1 FOCAL LENGTH: 58mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Ascending
About: Often Hindu devotees carry brass jug of milk on their heads as a show of devotion and love to the God Lord Murugan – this is called a Pal Kavadi.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/2000 s ISO: 320 F-STOP: f/7.1 FOCAL LENGTH: 92mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Concentration
About: Kavadi literally means burden. The burden however can take many forms. A kavadi can be something as simple as pot of milk carried on the head to be given as an offering to Lord Murugan - Hindu God of War and Victory.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1250 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/5 FOCAL LENGTH: 58mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: A spiritual journey
About: Hindu devotees show their gratitude to Lord Murugan for having fulfilled their wish by walking barefooted to Batu Caves, shaving their heads or carrying the milk pots and climbing up the 272 stairs to the Śrī Subramaniyar Swami temple.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/640 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/5.6 FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Trance
About: The kilometers of walk kavadi-bearers endure takes no less than five hours to complete, and by the time they reach Batu Caves temple, the mix of pain and exhaustion pushes most of them into a trance.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/6.3 FOCAL LENGTH: 48mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Deep
About: An up close and personal shot.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/6.3 FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Limes and hooks
About: A single green lime may not weigh much, but when the metal hooks are connected to more than 50 limes down a devotee’s back, the feat involved an amazing wealth of devotion and tolerance!

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/3200 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/5.6 FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Battle it out
About: Two kavadi bearers seem to be 'battling' one another in a trance-like moves. They are guided by the drum beats at the head of the procession, oblivious to everything except the next step. The musical troupe urumee melam (Tamil: உறுமி மேள) plays an important element in the Thaipusam festival as it gives the kavadi bearers the energy derived from the musical beats. The kavadi bearers are lulled into a trance-like state by the beats.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/2800 s ISO: 500 F-STOP: f/5 FOCAL LENGTH: 52mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: The journey continues
About: Crowd climbing steps to shrines in Batu Caves for the Thaipusam festival.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600 s ISO: 400 F-STOP: f/6.3 FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Updates: For full version, check out my photojournalism writeup in PhotoMalaysia

Last updated Jan 28th, 2013 (7:20 p.m.)

It's been a couple of years since I've traveled to Central Market (Malay: Pasar Seni; Chinese: 中央艺术坊; Tamil: மத்திய சந்தை) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Taking photos inside of Central Market is generally prohibited. Any attempt to take photos will be met with looks of disapproval ಠ_ಠ These artists and sales associates will keep harping "TAK NAK", "JANGAN!" and "NO-NO!" That kind of attitude...it really turned me off, BIG TIME! >.<" Well, that was years ago...

What makes me so attracted to Central Market? The talented portrait artists! These professionals espoused a style of naturalistic portraiture in oil and pastel, celebrating Malaysian identity, culture and values. I’m always fascinated with the artistic’s process, how he achieves his unique drawing, and to be let into the painter’s world, as it was happening, was truly rewarding. Seeing him in motion sketching, splattering and painting was magic to see. And that's the reason WHY I returned to Central Market :)

Here are some amazing facts and figures about Central Market, Kuala Lumpur:

  1. Central Market is located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and the pedestrian only section of Jalan Hang Kasturi, a few minutes away from Petaling Street (KL Chinatown). It was founded in 1888 and originally used as a wet market. It has since been classified as a Heritage Site by the Malaysian Heritage Society and it is now a landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage.
  2. The building was built in 1888 by the British who were ruling Malaya at that time and it was used as wet market for Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners. Further expansions were made in 1889, 1895, 1920 and 1921. By 1933, the expansions to the warehouse made the market now in its present size and cost around $167,000.
  3. Towards the end of the 1970s, the Malaysian Heritage Society decided to preserve the building under its heritage programme and through an allocation of RM9 million granted by the Federal Government, the building underwent another facelift to renovate the building from a wet market to a Centre for Malaysian Culture, Arts and Handicrafts.
  4. The English speaking locals call it the “Cultural Bazaar” while the Malays termed the market as “Pasar Seni” (This is the Malay phrase for Handicraft market or Cultural market).
  5. Central Market is a one stop shopping centre for Malaysian products such as handicrafts, art, kebaya, songket, batik and the wide variety of Malaysian cuisine. 
  6. The Annexe in Central Market, is an alternative free space for the arts, hidden on the top of the market's small auxiliary building. On the ground floor, portraitists and street artists can be found — giving a dose of old-time character along the long-obscured riverfront.
  7. On 17 November 2012, Central Market Kuala Lumpur, has been awarded the prestigious FIABCI Malaysia Property Award (Heritage Category). This award recognises Central Market's transformation into an award-winning tourist attraction and shopping destination, without compromising its enduring significance as a centre for the nation's culture, heritage, arts and craft.

NOTE: Facts and figures were obtained from Wikipedia, The NST and Central Market.

I'll let my pictures do the talking. If you LIKE my photo blog article, feel free to click the 'LIKE' button :)


Title: Cluttered
About: Is it possible for an artist to keep his or her studio clutter free? Yes...but I bet a cluttered space does evoke a sense of C.R.E.A.T.I.V.I.T.Y in an artist :) The elderly man pictured above greeted me warmly when I entered and was asked right away if I wanted to take pictures.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 25mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Let my inspiration flow
About: What a stylish and interesting way to wear a pair of shades :) 

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.2, FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Work in progress
About: He was so busy that he didn't even notice me standing right next to him! I thought he was painting Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom ◕‿◕

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/40 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.2, FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Suria portrait
About: A typical corner for street artist in Central Market. They are now relocated at the Annex Central Market at the back of the main building. Get your majestic image captured on canvas by these talented portrait artists.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/3.5, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Gentle strokes
About: You can commission an oil portrait for as little as RM 250 at the painters studios in the Central Market Annexe. Worth every single penny!

Psst....how many of these faces can you recognize?

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500 s, ISO: 2800, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 25mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Handmade sand art
About: That's 39-yr-old Ahmad Anshoiae. I was told that the sand art is a folk art and many Syrians can do it. He added "it’s an Arabic art I learned from my dad when I was nine. I've been making this sand art in a bottle for almost 30 years, and have been travelling around the world to promote our folk art".

Renting out a place at the Central Market for a year now, he produces art works showing camels with a desert scenery, dolphins frolicking in the sea and even words and geometric designs.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 200, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 38mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: The beginning
About: He scoops the fine sands into a funnel and works his way up layer by layer from the bottom of the bottle, filling it up to make a lovely art work for home decor or gift to family and friends.

Time-consuming but well worth it, beautiful job!

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 80mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: This is how I do it
About: An artist sketching a portrait from photo, changes his gaze many hundreds of times from looking at the subject matter to looking at the paper and back again. Clearly, this changing gaze is a fundamental aspect of portrait production, and a direct consequence of the subject-to-picture transformation taking place in the artist's brain.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Collection of artwork
About: A mosaic of artwork from Dhanik Studio. That's one creative way to advertise! \(^_^)/

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 28mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The artist's brew
About: Ahmad Anshoiae, the sand art master has 24 containers for keeping different colored sands which he mixes to create more vibrant colors.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 250, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The faces of rich and famous
About: I wonder how much an artist make for a living? 

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Tools of the trade
About: Pastel is a fascinating medium that traverses the boundaries of both drawing and painting. Simple yet elegant.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/30 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.8, FOCAL LENGTH: 48mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The siblings
About: The process of creating an amazing portrait can be nerve wracking, tedious and time consuming. Perhaps that's the reason for a high price tag.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500 s, ISO: 1000, F-STOP: f/4.5, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: A. Samad Said
About: The white-haired and bearded literary icon famous for his anthologies such as Suara Dari Dinding Dewan (2003) and Dirgahayu Dr. Mahathir & Rindu Ibu (2004). He reminds me of Gandalf the White :) An impressive work of art! 

Abdul Samad bin Muhammad Said, pen name A. Samad Said (born 9 April 1935) is a Malaysian poet and novelist who, in May 1976, was named by Malay literature communities and many of the country's linguists as the Pejuang Sastera (Literary Exponent])receiving, within the following decade, the 1979 Southeast Asia Write Award and, in 1986, in appreciation of his continuous writings and contributions to the nation's literary heritage, or Kesusasteraan Melayu, the title Sasterawan Negara.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 320, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Colorful kampung life
About: If I had the money, I'll buy it!

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Note: Last updated December 28th, 2012 (12:30 a.m.)

I LOVE Cameron Highlands. Breathtaking scenery, rolling hills, Tudor-styled cottages and exquisite tea estate atmosphere ~ truly a HEAVEN on EARTH. My last trip to Cameron Highlands was three years ago and I enjoyed every moment of my time spent at this place.

On my recent trip to Cameron Highlands, I had high expectations. But then the bad news started to appear. "Land clearing rampant in Cameron Highlands in the last four months", "Cameron Highlands in terrible shape due to land clearing and water pollution", "Illegal land clearing fouls water source for 13 farms in Cameron Highlands" and more! WOW! Are you kidding me? Daylight land clearing in Cameron Highlands?! This is insane! What's wrong with these people? Two words...HUMAN GREED! >.<

Despite all that, I boarded a local coach all the way from Pudu Sentral (formerly Puduraya Terminal, Malay: Hentian Puduraya is the main bus station terminus in Kuala Lumpur) to Cameron Highlands. A whooping 4.5 hours bus ride. The coach left Pudu Sentral 8:30 am and I arrived at Freesia Bus Terminal, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands at 1:00 p.m in the afternoon.

Tanah Rata is the most popular destination among backpackers, resulting in a large collection of budget hotels, inns and lodges. Talking about budget stay, I had sleepless nights in Kang's Traveler Hotel....stone hard pillows, malfunction water heater, and night bugs. ARGH! I'd rather not go into details, but this shall be my last stay in Kang's Hotel :(

On Day 2 of my Cameron Highlands trip, I spent almost four hours exploring BOH Tea Plantation (Estate) in Sungai Palas, Cameron Highlands. The weather here is SO UNPREDICTABLE! One moment it rains so heavily, then the next moment you have the sun come out. I managed to track down a small group of tea pickers on a secluded hill. The trail is a bit tricky and steep, but again for a seasoned trekker like me it is just a piece of cake.

Upon reaching them (the tea pickers), the supervisor looked at me with grave disapproval. He told me bluntly to my face that I need an official letter to take pictures. WTF? Are you kidding me? I tried to explain to him that I'm NO reporter, photos NOT for commercial use. I'm just an ordinary photog. After much explanation, he finally relented and gave his permission. JEEZ!

Before diving into more details, let us first take a look at some COOL FACTS about BOH Tea Plantation and Estate in Sungai Palas, Cameron Highlands:

  1. In 1885, the surveyor William Cameron, described the 1,500 m high Cameron Highlands as a fine plateau with gentle slopes, shut in by lofty mountains. His account was the first record of the ascent on the mountain range although the native Orang Asli had been visiting the mountains for centuries
  2. BOH Plantations Sdn. Bhd. has a total of 8000 acres planted with tea. The BOH Tea Plantation, which is located at Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia is also the largest tea plantation in Southeast Asia.
  3. The current slogan of BOH tea products is "BOH ada Ummph!" (BOH has Ummph!).
  4. BOH Plantations was founded in 1929 by J.A. Russell, a British businessman during the British colonial era in Malaya. He was optimistic of the tea plantation business due to huge demands despite of the world-wide Great Depression at that time. As a result of the potential, he applied for and was granted a concession of land for his first tea garden in Habu, Cameron Highlands.
  5. Today, BOH Plantations owns four tea gardens – Habu, Sungei Palas and Fairlie situated in Cameron Highlands; and Bukit Cheeding in Selangor. To ensure the freshness of its tea products, BOH Plantations also set up a packaging factory near its main garden. BOH tea products are distributed both in domestic and international markets.
  6. The Fairlie tea garden utilises some of the most modern machines in the world. 
  7. With a production capacity approaching 3000 kg per hectare, the company produces 4 million kg of tea annually which translates to about 5.5 million cups per day. This represents about 70% of all tea produced in Malaysia.
  8. Today BOH exports its brand of prime grade teas to various countries including the USA, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore and Brunei. 

NOTE: Facts and numbers are obtained from Wikipedia, Brunei Times and CameronHighlands.com.

Walking along the paths taken by tea workers can't be that bad, honestly. This is how you get to see their daily routines up close. I'll let my pictures do the the talking. If you enjoy reading my photo blog article, click LIKE and share it with your friends :)


Title: BOH Tea Center, Sungai Palas
About: That's the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Center. Located on a hilltop, amidst rows of tea bushes and close to Mount Brinchang, it offers spectacular views from a 20 foot overhanging platform. The Tea Centre is home to the Tea'ria, a souvenir and tea shop as well as an exhibition area with comprehensive information about the tea manufacturing process. 

Photo Technical Details
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/6.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 26mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Snip, snip and snip
About: Traditionally, tea cutters with modified garden shears trimmed the outer layers of the plants that line the steep mountainsides. Today, many green tea plants are trimmed mechanically but it's still possible to spot the occasional picker hand trimming the bushes.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1250 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Into the basket
About:  Only the bud and the first two leaves are plucked using a small modified hand shear. The worker then throws the picked leaves over his shoulder into the wicker basket carried on his back.

Green tea leaves are hand plucked every two weeks when the new growth or flush appears, a very labor intensive process but an experienced plucker can harvest up to 200 kilograms of leaf per day.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1250 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Supervising
About: I had a hard time trying to convince the supervisor (the man on top) that I'm NOT a journalist.  I'm just a typical hobbyist photographer. 

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/6.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Off the beaten path
About: The Sungai Palas Boh Tea Center perched on top a small hill, right next to a gigantic tree. I decided to walk off the beaten path, all the way to the back of the tea center. One of my favorite shots :)


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTER SPEED: 1/200 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/6.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Free housing
About: What is profound is the housing and social structure that is provided for the workers: basic wooden housing lines the road to the plantation, as do a primary school, a clinic and several houses of worship: a temple, a mosque and a Christian church.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/7.1, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Abstract
About: Halfway walking, I found an Indian temple with side wall painted red and white stripes. A broken wooden ladder was lying right next to the wall. LOVE the contrast :)


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/9, FOCAL LENGTH: 62mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Pigeon
About: Domestic pet pigeon in a wooden cage, hanging on one of the workers house.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 140, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 80mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Busy as bee
About: A tea plantation worker empties cut leaves into a wicker basket in the beautiful hilltop region of Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia. It takes up to five years for tea bushes to come to maturity after planting. The leaves are plucked in regular 14 day cycles, with experienced pickers able to harvest up to 200 kilograms of leaf a day. 


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/800 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Happy - a basket full of tea leaves
About: Despite the rain-or-shine, labor-intensive duties and low pay, the tea picking job provides income and, in BOH tea workers, on-site basic housing are provided free. The tea pickers are mostly hailed from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/800 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Concentration
About: The weather here at Cameron Highlands can be quite unpredictable at times. One moment it could be sunny and warm, the next few hours, it was raining cats and dogs. The tea pickers were spotted at one of the secluded hill. I decided to climbed up the hill and snapped some pictures. A tricky trail. Luckily, I stumbled upon a BOH truck driver who gave me the proper direction.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/640 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 62mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Working up
About: The tea pickers usually work in pairs, using a 3 feet long hand-held petrol-driven shearing machine, which cuts off the new shoots and blows them into a plastic bag attached to the machine. 

Occasionally the pickers work alone (supervised by a senior picker) using hand shears and a plastic bucket on the least-accessible slopes.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 58mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Moving on
About: Today most of the tea leaf pickers are immigrants on work visas from Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Each one comes for a minimum of 2 years to live on the plantations working six days a week.

They are paid by the kilo of tea leaves they collect. One kilo is valued at 20 cents.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 24mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: On the green slopes
About: A lone tea picker on a secluded slope in Sungai Palas BOH Plantation. A steep and slippery trail, but I managed to climbed up the slope to obtained some up close shots :)

Many high-quality tea plants are cultivated at elevations of up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level: at these heights, the plants grow more slowly and acquire a better flavor.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/8, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Bountiful harvest
About: Rain or shine, there's always bountiful harvest in BOH's tea plantation.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/9, FOCAL LENGTH: 38mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: To the factory
About: Only the most tender leaves are picked every morning at Sungai Palas BOH’s tea plantation. These are immediately transported using trucks to the tea factories to be processed for the flavor and aroma unique only to BOH.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/8, FOCAL LENGTH: 28mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: To the tea centre
About: The BOH Plantation at Sungai Palas, Cameron Highlands has a unique cafe where tourists can enjoy a cup of tea with a panoramic view of the estate.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The decades old basket
About: A rope woven basket on display at the BOH tea center.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/15 s, ISO: 1600, F-STOP: f/4.8, FOCAL LENGTH: 42mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The tea roller
About: Carved on the gigantic tea roller, the inscription reads: 32" Economic tea Roller, Sole Makers, Walker Sons & Co. Ltd, Colombo Iron Works, Colombo.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100 s, ISO: 140, F-STOP: f/5, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The tea leaves
About: These green tea leaves on Sungai Palas BOH Plantation (Estate) are SUPERSIZE! I was holding some leaves of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. The smaller the leaf, the more expensive the tea.


Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/7.1, FOCAL LENGTH: 50mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

BOH Tea Plantation (Estate) Sungai Palas—Getting there, Maps and Directions:

By car:
Sungai Palas Tea Plantation (Estate) is accessible from a small road turn a few kilometers North of Brinchang town. To be exact, as you head North, Kea's Farm to your right should be a good landmark to indicate that a left-turn into this tea estate is eminent. Of course, signboards are put along the way to guide you.

By bus:
In Cameron Highlands, the Regal buses ply daily routes from Ringlet to Brinchang using the main road, consequently passing by most major tourist attractions along the way. However, the schedules are rather haphazard, though technically, they are supposed to run on an hourly basis. 

The Regal public bus service SUCKS BIG TIME! SPAD needs to check on these peeps :(

By taxi:
Taxi services from Tanah Rata include Ringlet (per car RM15), Brinchang (RM6), Sungai Palas Estate (RM20) and Boh Tea Estate (RM25). For touring around, a taxi costs about RM25 per hour, or you can go up to Gunung Brinchang and back for RM70.

Tanah Rata Taxi Hub Contact Number: +6054912355



7 Days Weather Outlook for Cameron Highland from Malaysia Meteorological Department

Opening hours and contact details:

The Sungei Palas Tea Centre is open daily – except Monday – from 9 am to 4:30 pm. 
Admission to the factory visit is free and information tours are conducted approximately every 30 minutes.

Sungei Palas Tea Centre,
Jalan Gunung Brinchang, 
Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.
Phone: +605-4962096

Email: info@boh.com.my

Google Maps:


View Larger Map

BOH Tea Plantation (Estate) Sungai Palas—Things to Do and See:

  1. Learn about the tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, the benefits of tea and the fascinating history of BOH Plantations who was a pioneer in the tea industry since 1929. That's 83 years ago! 
  2. Visit the adjacent tea factory to observe how natural and simple the tea making process really is. 
  3. Take a picture near the six foot diameter solid brass tea rolling table at the main entrance. 
  4. Savour the various teas uniquely manufactured by BOH in Malaysia. 
  5. Admire the superb views of the estate from a 20 foot overhanging wooden platform. 
  6. Try the yummy snacks and light meals available at the Tea’ria. Taste scones, chicken pie, Boh Ice Lemon Tea, Cameronian Pot of Tea and more!
Last updated December 22nd, 2012 (12:33 p.m.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Loading...
My Photo
shloke
Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
View my complete profile