Cameron Highlands Travel Guide

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Overview of Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a popular holiday destination located in the state of Pahang and is mainly known for its tea plantations. What grew into Malaysia's largest hill station area, was originally a highland getaway for British colonialists in the 1920s. Due to its elevation ranging from 1,300 metres to 1,829 metres above sea level, and with temperatures rarely exceeding 30 degrees Celcius, Cameron Highlands serves as the perfect environment to grow some of Malaysia’s best tea leaves. 

Though it is in Pahang, Cameron Highlands can also be accessed from the state of Perak. This is also because the highlands encompass several towns which stretches from the north to the south along the Perak-Pahang border. The highlands are named after Sir William Cameron, an explorer who mapped the area in the year 1885. Since the highlands were developed during the British colonial period, remnants from that period can still be seen, from Tudor-style mansions to beautiful English gardens.

What to Do

Hiking

Hiking is a popular pastime for visitors to Cameron Highlands. There are several jungle trails around the area. They are well-maintained, with each track classified from 1 to 10 according to the level of difficulty.  

Trek to Thompson Falls, known as the jewel in the crown of Cameron Highlands. It’s a short trek to the waterfall, where you can swim at the falls’ base so bring along swimwear if you’re planning to take a dip! Also, do take note that it can be extremely cold up there. 

You can also hike up Mount Brinchang but if you don’t want to work a sweat, you can opt to drive up to the summit. 

Wildlife Spotting & Bird Watching

Cameron Highlands is also known as a great place to spot wildlife. Go birdwatching and you’ll be able to see several species of birds such as the Mountain Peacock Pheasant, Yellow Breasted Warblers, and the Silver Eared Mesias. Check with your guesthouse or hotel to see if they have any birdwatching tours on offer. 

Where to Go

Boh Tea Plantation

Take a tour of the Boh Tea Plantation, one of Malaysia’s most famous tea brands, and learn how to brew their signature teas yourself! You can even stock up on a few tea bags during your trip. If you’re more of a botany enthusiast, Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden is sure to be up your alley! You will find several species of roses here, such as the Pink Queen Victoria and Maid of Hearts. 

Other places of attractions you can visit are the Lavender Gardens, Cactus Valley, Ee Feng Gu Honey Bee Farm, Butterfly Farm, and Rajuu’s Hill Strawberry Farm. 

Mah Meri People's Orang Asli Villages

Learn about the less-known Mah Meri people, an indigenous group of people hailing from the Carey Islands of Malaysia. They are known to produce some interesting artwork that are sure to catch the eye of any art lover. Aside from statues and masks, they are known to produce sculptures that are both unique and somewhat eerie. 

You can also tour the Orang Asli villages with a guide. Upon request, they can take you to trek to the villages in more remote areas. 

Time Tunnel

Cameron Highlands has no shortage of historical significance. Visit the Time Tunnel, a museum that will – of course – take you back in time for a look into Malaysia’s past. You will find several items of the past in this museum, from vintage signs and postcards to photographs and even a vintage barber’s chair! 

Other than that, admire the beautiful temples that call the highlands home such as Sam Poh Temple and Sri Thandayuthapani Swamy Temple. 

Mossy Forest

One of the highest points in Cameron Highlands, the Mossy Forest is a place you don’t want to miss if you’re a plant enthusiast. Thanks to the low-lying mist, several species of plants also thrive in the forest. 

Rafflesia flowers can also be found in the area around the highlands, notably in the Blue Valley, which is an hour away from the main town in Cameron Highlands. Though it is quite a trip out, it’s worth it to see the flowers in full bloom as they wilt only a few days after blooming.

When is the Best Time to Visit

All year is the best time to visit the Cameron Highlands as it is quite cool year-round. Rain is also a common occurrence but not as much during January and February. Though highlands can get quite chilly, do expect warmth and lots of humidity!

How to Get to Cameron Highlands

By Car 

The nearest international airport is KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), where visitors can take the airport shuttle. 

By Train 

Another way to get to the highlands is by KLIA Train Express to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre. From there, you will need to transfer onto another bus at TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) bound for Cameron Highlands. 

How to Get Around

By Car 

Because Cameron Highlands is quite a big area, getting around with a car is recommended. But if you do not have your own car, you can go around with a chartered van or a taxi. Check with your respective accommodation on whether they offer transfers and transportation.

What to Eat

Steamboat 

Steamboat is a popular dinner of choice for many visitors, which consists of a large bowl of bubbling savoury broth in which you can add raw ingredients. Ingredients you can choose from include meat, vegetables, noodles, fish balls, and tofu. Due to the chilly weather up in the highlands, it’s the perfect dinner after a tiring trek on the jungle trails. 

Street Food

Located in Brinchang, you will find lots of street food to choose from. The barbequed meats are a popular choice and it is a local delicacy as well. 

Pasar Pagi is also a good place to eat a local breakfast, located at KEA Farm Town.

What to Buy

Some of the best places to shop in the highlands is around Tanah Rata and Brinchang town, where you can find clothes, handicrafts, flowers, and several plants for sale. Unique souvenirs are also up for grabs that reflect the natural heritage of Cameron Highlands. These include but are not limited to preserved insects, wooden handicrafts, and rattan baskets. 

There are two shopping malls you can visit: Cameron Square at Kea Farm and Cameron Fair at Tanah Rata. The Brinchang Night Market is also a famous shopping attraction for visitors during Fridays and weekends. 

Where to Stay

You’ll never run out of places to stay in Cameron Highlands as they have accommodation ranging from budget, mid-range to high-end. Some notable places to stay at are Nova Highlands Resort and Residence, The Arundina, and the Smokehouse Hotel, to name a few. 

What to Bring

The temperature at Cameron Highlands ranges from 14 degrees Celcius to 28 degrees Celcius so bring a warm jacket. Though the skies may be overcast on some days, sunscreen and a cap or hat is also recommended.

What to Wear

f not getting around by car. However, take note to not wear anything provocative as Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. 

If you’re planning to do some hiking, appropriate hiking attire and footwear should be worn.

Summary