Cameron Highlands Travel Guide
Info at a glance
It is situated in the middle of Pahang, Malaysia and has a series of towns, Brinchang and Tanah Rata (the two main ones) and is 1500 to 1800m above sea level hence the lovely climate of 10-16deg Celsius all year round (approx)
It is the centre of Malaysia’s tea industry and is famous for its strawberry farms where you can pick fresh strawberries. Considered the perfect getaway from the heat in the other states of Malaysia, it is also a popular destination among Singaporeans for a short getaway.
Read more about Cameron Highlands here
How to get to Cameron Highlands
Recently, I decided to make a short trip up to Cameron Highlands in Pahang, Malaysia. Getting there is relatively easy; you book a two way coach transfer (I booked from Konsortium) which costs roughly SGD$125. The coach seats are not bad, wide enough to get some shut eye plus there is an inbuilt monitor in each seat that offers quite up to date movies if you can’t sleep.
It takes around 8 hours to get there including pit stops for food and toilet breaks along the way. The last two hours up can be quite bendy as the drive up the roads get steeper and narrower.
From elsewhere by air
For those in other countries, there are various ways to do so but I think the easiest would be to fly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (It’s the nearest airport) and transfer to Cameron Highlands in a coach or private car via the North-South Expressway.
What to do in Cameron Highlands (visit here for a more detailed guide on Cameron Highland Activities)
There are quite a number of activities that one can do in such a relaxing place. Although some people just stay there over the weekend, my friends and I preferred to take things slow and stayed there for around four nights.
Some of the usual activities to do are:
- Tour to various farms – As Cameron Highlands is well known for their different farms and plantations (especially their strawberry farm and boh tea plantation); a visit to these places is a must.
We went on a half day tour to various farms like the multi-crop, hydroponics, chrysanthemum farm, strawberry farm, watercress farm and ended the day with a lovely steamboat dinner that consisted of fresh vegetables from the farms themselves. MYR65 for half day tour 2.30-around 8.30om
Read about our review of the Agro Delight tour (link) by Titiwangsa tours
- Tea plantations – you can either take a tour or catch a cab – We took a cab up as we didn’t want to do the rest of the activities in the tour and besides, we get to decide how long we spend at the BOH tea plantation.
- Nature trails and treks – There are plenty of nature treks for you to do in Cameron Highlands, varying in distance and difficulty; there is even a Moonlight Rendezvous walk in the forest which starts at 7.30pm.
We choose to do the Mount Brinchang as it is the highest mountain in Cameron Highlands and I just love mountain climbing and hiking a lot. MYR110 for the trek, 9.30am-2.30pm approximate, depending on how fast you climb up.
- Other activities – You can go to the night market which opens only on Fridays and Saturdays, visit different cafes to try strawberry desserts like scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam , bee farms, butterfly farms , play a round of golf or just simply chill in your hotel with a great book to read.
For more on what to do in Cameron, you can visit here: http://cameronhighlands.com/Destination-Guide/Attractions/
Where to stay in Cameron Highlands
There are many places to that will fit a variety of budgets. We chose to stay at the only five star hotel in Cameron Highlands which is the Cameron Highland Resort, part of the YTL resorts group and cost us around SGD$90+ a night without taxes and without breakfast. Note that rates differ during peak and non peak periods. Absolutely no regrets staying there though, service was great, the spa was excellent and the ambience amazing!
I passed by other hotels that also looked very nice and lovely.
Bed and Breakfast:
What to eat in Cameron Highlands
You can eat at Tanah Rata or Brinchang where there are many restaurants to choose from. A popular dinner time choice would be a steamboat dinner.
My friends and I had our lunches at Sri Brinchang which is located at Tanah Rata, (wonder why they didn’t call it Sri Tanah Rata instead). We tried the roti prata, chicken tikka with naan, mee goreng, mutton fried rice and chicken murtabak which were all very tasty indeed.
The most surprising thing is that there is a Starbucks in Cameron Highlands! Definitely not something you would expect but it was a welcome sight. My café latte with soy milk tasted really good.
Alternatively, you can try other cafes around town although we mainly ate at the above restaurant, the golf club opposite our hotel, in our hotel and ordered room service. The other meals were had during our tours and the boh tea plantation café (normal standards, nothing to rave about).
Other additional info and useful tips about Cameron Highlands
- You can book the tours from Titiwangsa Travel Agency which is located in Brinchang Hotel. I found that their service was good and the guide for my trek to Mount Brinchang was really informative and reliable, plus it is cheaper to book from them rather than the hotel itself. For the same tour, it can cost about 40 ringgit more.
- Make sure you agree the price of the taxi fare with the driver before getting in. We had a slight misunderstanding with the driver (the hotel told us one thing, the driver another) but it all sorted out well in the end. Their taxi network is small, around 65 cabs I am told, so everybody knows everybody and man, you do not want to be blacklisted by them.
- The night market is (in my opinion) good just to take a walk, but if you are into eating street food like corn, ramly burgers, yam and sweet potatoes balls, go for it.
- The weather in Cameron Highlands is really great! Temperatures are between 10-15deg Celsius. For me, I love the cold so a thin track pants, tee shirt and a jacket was just nice. Although, if I wear to wear shorts, it would have been fine as well.
- I loved the strawberries and ate like a whole box every day.
- If you are thinking of going up Gunung Bringchang , it’s best for to wear hiking shoes and sports shoes a close second, sneakers and flats are NOT advisable as during the second half of the journey, it gets really muddy. Oh, bring a towel too.
Have you been to Cameron Highlands? Do share your stories or any info you have!