Unschooling: Road Trip to Gopeng (Part 3)
After the nostalgia trip to the museum, we headed off to the Gaharu Tea Valley. (Note: if you missed the part 2 of our trip. Click here.) The moment we got off the car, the cool air started blowing our way. We felt like we were in Genting Highlands. The weather was pretty nice to us as it stopped drizzling once we started our tour at the valley.
You will know when you reached the place when you see The Great Wall of Gopeng at Gaharu Tea Valley. This well-protected fortress resembling The Great Wall of China was built to keep the plantation safe from any possible intrusion, especially from wild animals. It also allows visitors to take nice pictures and enjoy great views from the wall.
We boarded the minibus right outside the Hoga outlet and deli. The guide explained that they would drop us at 3 main stations where we get to explore each station at our own sweet time. Once we were done, we would have to wait for the next minibus to pick us up. We found that pretty cool as we did not need to be restricted by time in order to enjoy each station.
1st station: Viewing Stage
This is the highest point of the Gaharu Tea Valley and it enables us to enjoy the lush picturesque view of all the trees planted on the terraced hills. For your information, the valley was set up some 20 years ago, covering 300 acres of elevated grounds and at one time, there are approximately 200,000 Gaharu trees.
On top of the scenic view that we could enjoy on the stage, there were 2 3D paintings on the wall for visitors to take pictures and have fun too.
2nd station: Hugging Park
The moment we alighted at this station, smarties noticed the paintings on the trees and they ran towards it to observe, touch and feel, and then hugged it! Now we know why it is called the Hugging Park. The paintings on the trees were so adorable that the children couldn’t resist hugging it. Of course, you could also create your own poses as well.
There is a small pond with many tortoises in it. Smarties were enjoying the time petting them. We bought some tea drinks at the mini drink stall and it was refreshing.
We explored a little further into the park and found rows of trees planted rather neatly. We couldn’t resist taking a nice picture of it too! The air here is really fresh and we were told that it is filled with negative ions released by the plants.
3rd station: Lover’s Park
This place is called a Lover’s Park because it has an intertwining pair of centuries-old trees that grows together and embraces each other like lovers. Hence, the locals named them as “Lover Trees”. It was believed that couples who pledge their love for each other beneath the tree will be blessed with everlasting romance and will never part.
Check out the colorful entrance.
There is a big fishing pond for visitors to feed the fishes too. Smarties were not very interested in the trees instead, they couldn’t wait to feed the fishes. The moment the fishes noticed someone standing at the side, they were all swarming towards that direction waiting for food. Guess they were really hungry…
The trip to the Gaharu Tea Valley was interesting and enriching. We got to learn about how they organically cultivated trees of various ages to help to conserve the aquilaria species to exploring their retail shop that sells their own products such as their special made tea, cookies, fragrance, etc for visitors to purchase. Smarties had a great time spent there learning about nature, trees and tea.
Immediately after completed our tour, it started drizzling again. Pretty lucky for us huh? We quickly walked over to our car and headed off to the next destination: Ling Sen Tong temple, a beautiful Taoist cave temple located at the foot of a limestone hill.
It was pretty crowded when we reached, nonetheless, we managed to take some nice shots with the statues. The main area of the temple is adorned with many statues of various designs such as animals, deities, and other characters from the Chinese folklore. The garden in front of the temple is decorated with colourful statues of characters from Chinese mythology such as the Monkey King from the classic tale Journey to the West.
It was a good timing as we saw the caretaker brought some food to feed the monkeys. It was an eye-opener for them (we don’t get to see this in Singapore as we are not allowed to feed the monkeys that are in the wild) when they saw monkeys rushing forward to the food from all over the temple. We even managed to figure out who was the leader of the group. This was the one because when it was eating, no one else dared to go near it until it had its fill and moved off…
then we saw the rest of the monkeys rushing towards the leftovers.
Check out the video and I bet you could tell who’s the leader of the group too 😉
Stay tuned for part 3 of our road trip as there will be loads of food, art, and entertainment!