The main towns and roadsides are filled with tacky touristy shops, restaurants, and billboards, all chasing every last tourist dollar.
Get off the main roads and hike out into the hills and valleys, and you're in another world. Deep green, undulating fields of tea as far as the eye can see. The drone of insects and the rustle of the wind in the bamboo that grows along the roadside verge. Finally, I understand why so many people come here.
One of the highlights of this trip was the Roberson Rose Garden. It's not set up as a tourist attraction - rather it's someone's home. The Robertsons are rightly proud of their lovely garden, so they welcome visitors to have a look around. We chatted with the Malay Indian woman who helps looks after the property and family (she and her husband have worked their almost their whole lives), and fed raspberries to a pair of adorable puppies.
It was one of the nicest afternoons I've spent in a very long time.