A Full Guide to Travel Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
I actually don’t know how to start this guide. Perhaps a straightforward opening could be easier. So this post is a guide to travel to Cameron Highlands, a destination in my 5-day trip to 3 countries that I just did at the beginning of the year 2019.
About Cameron Highlands
As far as what I know, Cameron Highlands is a district in Pahang, Malaysia. Along with other subdistricts such as Ringlet, Brinchang, and Tanah Rata, all the areas formed one of the best places to visit in the country.
As well as my love for Dalat, all the cold-weather-destinations are always attractive to me. With a featured weather of a highland, Cameron Highlands focuses primarily on agriculture. Going to the area, it’s not hard to find the broad and green tea plantations, the glasshouses with many kinds of flowers, and the special environment of a highland, quiet and peaceful!
When is The Best Time to Go to Cameron Highlands?
From Apr to Sep, Cameron Highlands has the best weather with the average temperature at around 16 degrees Celsius at night and around 25 degrees Celsius in the morning. At this period, the weather is really good for any outdoor activities at day or night.
From Oct to Mar, the weather is colder with a lot of rain. I went to Cameron Highlands on the day of Jan, and I had to come back hotel early at night to avoid the cold weather. It was just approximately 8 p.m. and the sky was raining slightly.CAMERON HIGHLANDS WEATHER
How to Go to Cameron Highlands?
Anywhere in the world, the simplest way is taking a flight from your destination to IPOH (IPH), or Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, then getting a taxi to directly go to Cameron Highlands. The taxi may cost around $35-$45 USD for nearly 90km.
By another way, you can fly to Penang Airport, then take the bus 102 to Terminal Sungai Nibong, and finally get a bus to Tanah Rata Bus Terminal. For any travelers who love to spend more time discovering around Malaysia, this route will be great! For the two buses on this route, it could cost about $15 USD. Furthermore, you can definitely see a lot of things in the country while on your way.
On my 5-day trip to 3 countries, I went to Cameron Highlands only by bus taken in Singapore. As Singapore was my starting spot, I used a carrier search engine to find a bus from the city to directly go to the highland. If you also love to discover Singapore, this may be a good choice.
Moving Around the Destinations
I actually intended to move to the attraction part. However, I just realized that this part should be written first.
In the highlands, transportation for tourists could be an issue. As there is no public transport in the area. There are only three ways to go around the spots. As far as I know, travelers who come to Cameron Highlands can wander around using taxis, motorbikes, and walking.
When I was in Brinchang, I found a taxi station in the center of the town. The other way to call a taxi is to ask the receptionist at your hotel. At the place, all the taxis have a common deal for tourists. They charge 75RM for 3 hours of service, and for 3 spots that you want to visit. It means that, even if you go to 3 places in less than 3 hours, like just 2 hours for example, their service will end, and they will take you back to your place. Therefore, taking a taxi is not an ideal choice, in my opinion. Unless you have a lot of money, and you want a safe choice for your trip.
At the hotel where I stayed, the Wan Alyasa Hotel, the receptionist told me that I could get a motorbike to travel around if I had a driver’s license. Unfortunately, it was Cameron Highlands’ election date, there were a lot of police in the towns. Hence, I only had the taxi option left. Nevertheless, I would prefer this option the most. It was not because I come from a country with a lot of motorbikes, but I could visit all the spots in the area without the limit of 3 hours or 3 places. At Cameron Highlands, you can rent a motorbike with 35RM for a half-day, 60RM for a full day (up to 10 hours), and an extra charge of 20RM until midnight.
The last option is walking. However, this one is only suitable for those who stay around the center of the towns. Furthermore, there are, of course, not so many spots to visit at the center except the restaurants, and old markets.
Cameron Highlands Attractions
I actually think of describing all the destinations brilliantly. Then my laziness forces me to list them all below, in more organized info. And I think that could be a better way for you to follow.
So at the highlands, you can:
- Be surprised by the enormous BOH Tea Plantation – not only with the verdant hills covered by the lush leaves of tea trees, but the whole process to produce one of the greatest tea in the town, or even in the country. I really don’t know how to describe my feelings at that moment. But in a really short time, I was really knocked out by the beautiful vista of nature from the finest tea shop I have ever seen. Moreover, I was pretty interested in the progress of making tea. Honestly, I’m planning to open a nice coffee and tea shop in Ho Chi Minh City. This tea manufacturing was kinda attractive to me. Perhaps, this BOH manufacturer has made the name of Cameron Highlands tea.
- Go back to the past at the Time Tunnel Museum – and immerse yourself in the past life of the locals. Indeed, this museum lets you experience the locals’ life by interacting with items and equipment. You can even have a cup of tea, or play some vintage games. In my point of view, if you carefully prepare your clothes and the stuff you carry with you, you can even turn this museum into a studio for your nice photos of the past. A black & white one could be a great idea.
- Enjoy the beauty of flowers at Lavender Gardens – any time you feel a little bit bored with the whole highlands covered by green blocks, you definitely must go to this place. Lavender Gardens has a carpet of different colors of flowers which will impress you right after you get in the entrance. I’m not an expert in flowers. However, I can see a mixing picture of purple, yellow, red, white, and green flowers has taken my eyes up to another level of enjoyment. Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget to try the lavender ice cream. Honestly, I haven’t tried the same thing before, and this one really to my food experience.
- Enchanted yourself by the colorful butterflies – at the Butterfly Farm, there are a lot of butterflies that will delight any visitors, and ready to become a fancy background for any photographer. Additionally, the farm is also home to many spiders, insects, reptiles, and even a few ducks and fishes.
- Taste the sweetness of the strawberries – at many strawberry farms of the highland. Nevertheless, I especially love the Big Red Strawberry Farm. It’s not solely because of their sweet and good strawberries, they also have a cafe shop where you can spend a few minutes relaxing while enjoying their special Chocolate Fondue. Furthermore, they have a shop with many strawberry-made products that you can buy as souvenirs for your family or friends.
- Study agriculture at Mardi’s Agro Technology Park – honestly, I didn’t visit this destination on my last trip to the highland. Nevertheless, I especially recommend this place to anyone who loves to learn about agriculture. I just feel it interesting to know more about this field nowadays. At Mardi, you can see gardens of tea, roses, and herbs growing. Also, you can buy seeds, or plants alongside a big bag of agriculture knowledge from its information center to bring home.
- Experience the spikes of the cactus.. – of course, I’m just kidding!? But you can have a look at varied cacti of different sizes, shapes, and colors which come from many places around the world at Cactus Valley or Cactus Point.
- Explore the local markets – there are many local products that you may interested in. I stayed at Brinchang, and I spent a few hours walking around the town to see things. As it was on the election date, there were not so many things for me to see except the restaurants and the street foods. Until I found the local market, where I had spent nearly my morning to discover. They had many things from local foods and stuff that I could buy as souvenirs.
- Be impressed with the all-related bee things – at the three bee farms around the area, as far as I know, including Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm, Highlands Apiary Farm, and Cameron Tringkap Bee Farm. All the farms will give visitors a detailed look at the honey production, as well as the life cycle of the most hard-working creature. As usual, the farms have honey-made products such as jars, honey-flavored stuff, or even honey soaps, and hair products to sell to visitors.
- Trekking through the Mossy Forest – at the highest peaks of the highlands. I actually didn’t go to this destination. Then later on I regretted my decision after doing a search about the destination. From what I have seen on the internet, this place would be ideal to do trekking while experiencing its beautiful nature of diverse fauna and flora. The tall trees which provide plenty of shade will support a lot of its visitors. When I was at Brinchang, the taxi driver didn’t include this place in the package. The destination is also far and wide to discover. Therefore, you should plan carefully before traveling to Mossy Forest.
Besides those, you can visit the Tour Sam Poh Temple, the main pagoda of the land. There are also several waterfalls for those who love to swim in cold weather. For example, the Thompson Falls, Parit Waterfall, or the Robinson Falls. In addition, if you are a golf enthusiast, there is an 18-hole Cameron Highlands Golf Club with a nature scenic of mountains and plantations which will satisfy all the golf lovers.
How is Cameron Highlands Food?
When I stayed in Brinchang, all I knew was the only KFC store surrounded by a lot of Chinese restaurants in the center of the town. Anyway, I pretty much enjoyed the Chinese cuisine. They had many kinds of food from noodles, rice, etc. with some traditional drinks that travelers can try.
When night came, those restaurants all had a common signature of the town, the Charcoal Steamboat hotpot. Honestly, I didn’t know if it really a special food of Cameron Highlands, but almost all the restaurants had that one. The hotpot has a special look with a tall aluminum tube heated by the burned charcoal put under the pot. When the tube is hot enough, it boils the soup then the eater can dip meats and vegetables in to use.
While exploring the land, I stopped by Tanah Rata, which seemed like a more suitable place for foreign visitors. Tanah Rata has dozens of restaurants that sell burgers, spaghetti, fast food, etc. It also has a Starbucks store and some bars. If you feel bored with Chinese cuisine, perhaps Tanah Rata could be a better place to stay.
What is the Best Accommodation at the Highlands?
I started with Airbnb to find a cozy homestay for my 1-night stay. If you have read my post about leveraging the Airbnb bonus credit, you would know that I especially prefer the platform to find travel accommodation. Nevertheless, as I didn’t plan ahead I couldn’t find a suitable one for me and my friend. I then booked a hotel room, at the Wan Alyasa Hotel, which was near the center of Brinchang, about min 5 walk away.
Honestly, I initially thought that the old town could be more fun. There I would learn more about the culture and tradition of Cameron Highlands. Moreover, the place could reach different destinations more easily. Nevertheless, I figured out that Tanah Rata was possibly a better choice with many restaurants of different kinds, alongside the bars, and Starbucks. And to move to Cameron Highlands attractions are almost required a taxi or motorbike. Anyway, we all need a nice place to stay in the highlands. If you haven’t had any idea yet, I believe the tool below may support your decision.
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