Monday, May 30, 2005

The Valley of Eternal Spring: Part 2

On Tuesday we managed to squeeze in a visit to the BOH tea plantation before our 10:30am bus back to KL. As luck would have it, our taxi driver actually grew up on the plantation with his mother working as picker and father in the factory. He pointed out where his old school used to be, the spot where the kids played football, and even his old house (see below). According to him, life as a tea plantation worker is quite good, as the company provides free housing and garden plots, free healthcare and schooling for children. On the flip side, pickers work six days a week and earn about US$1.20 per day.

At the factory, we got the first tour of the day and were taken through the different stages of production: withering, rolling, drying and sorting. Then, as all good tours end, we were led right into the gift shop. Being discrimating tea drinkers, Karen and I decided to sample our tea before choosing what to take home. In case you were interested, we decided on the Palas Supreme, a Flowery Pekoe.