Malaysia is popular for many things, this includes skyscrapers and sophisticated shopping malls. Often, people traveling to Malaysia forget that this country is in the middle of Southeast Asia, a region ripe for forestry and wild animals. Not far from Kuala Lumpur is a hiking destination rich in flora, fauna, and other wildlife creature – Cameron Highlands. It is also home to tea plantations in Malaysia and farms, some of these estates are open for visitors to explore – it’s one of the best things to do in Cameron Highlands. Read on for more!
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Where to Stay in Cameron Highlands
There are a host of places to stay in Cameron Highlands – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Cameron Highlands, mid-range places to stay in Cameron Highlands, and budget accommodation in Cameron Highlands. The buses to and from Cameron Highlands start and end in Tanah Rata, so unless you’re planning on driving or taking a taxi to your accommodation you’ll want to opt for some close by.
Smokehouse Hotel, Cameron Highlands: The Smokehouse Hotel in Cameron Highlands is only a few minutes away from Tanah Rata and the central Cameron Highlands. Each room at the Cameron Highland’s luxury Smokehouse Hotel is individually designed with furniture and antiques collected from all around the world. These rooms at Cameron Highland’s top-rated hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV, a seating area, a four-poster bed, private bathrooms with tubs, hairdryers, complimentary toiletries, and private lounges and terraces in selected rooms. You’ll be able to enjoy quiet time on the garden terraces, some drinks at the traditional bar with a fireplace lit every evening and a dining area that serves traditional British breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Smokehouse Hotel is the ideal luxury hotel for those visiting Cameron Highlands. You can check more reviews and Smokehouse Hotel’s room rates here.
Zenith Cameron, Cameron Highlands: The Zenith Cameron is located just two minutes away from central Cameron Highlands. This mid-range hotel in the Cameron Highlands, the Zenith Cameron’s rooms include a flat-screen TV, a seating area, magnificent views of the city, black-out curtains, a desk, a private bathroom with a hairdryer, a bathtub, a shower, an iron/iron board, and a coffee/tea maker. The all-day lifestyle restaurant, the Dining Room, serves local and international dishes. They also have the Oregano Lounge, an Italian restaurant, and the Zen Bar, a semi-alfresco lounge that offers drinks and light bites. As a guest, you’ll get access to the fully-equipped gym, a sauna, and an outdoor swimming pool. You can check Zenith Cameron’s room availability and rates here and plan for your trip to Cameron Highlands.
Avillion Cameron Highlands, Cameron Highlands: Just 450m away from central Cameron Highlands, the Avillion Cameron Highlands fuses contemporary luxuries with top local attractions. The Avillion Cameron Highlands features rooms with a large work desk, a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, a seating area, a private bathroom with bathrobes and a hairdryer, a clothes dryer, and a coffee/tea machine. This great value Cameron Highland’s hotel also has a restaurant for breakfast, an exercise area, and a garden. The Avillon Cameron Highlands is an ideal place to stay when visiting Cameron Highlands. See room rates and dates available here.hat most other travelers do here, we book a tour.
The Cameron Highlands were named after William Cameron. He was a British explorer and geologist and was commissioned in 1885 to map out the region of Pahang of which Cameron Highlands is part. After the survey, Sir Hugh Low recommended developing the area into a resort town. However, nothing was done. A few years later, Cameron Highlands was given another look and it was suggested that the area could be developed as a hill station.
It wasn’t until 1925 that the Agricultural Experiment Station was allowed to start planting tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables, and cinchona (which was used for medicine) in the region as part of the research and study of the Pahang and Perak States. A year later, the government concluded that the region of Cameron Highlands would be focused on growing tea.
The Best Things to do in Cameron Highlands
When you go visit and explore Cameron Highlands, expect to do a lot of hiking, visit plantations, and learn about the villages that are living on the foothills of the region. You can also sign up for some fun strawberry picking, visit farms, check out temples, and taste some speciality local dishes too. So we’ll start with the number one thing to do in Cameron Highlands and it’s related to a good cuppa!
We are in Tanah Rata, the main township of the Cameron Highlands that we were warned recently to avoid because it’s just “a series of polytunnels and a veggie growing area” by a random connection on the ferry from Ko Tao to Surat Thani ten days ago. But we decided to come anyways – and yes we’re glad we did. It is cool enough, though to zip the legs back onto my shorts and consider taking the fleece out of my backpack.
Our first course of action is to walk the town, twice in 20 minutes, lunch on tasty Chinese food and then take scones with strawberry jam and a cup of local tea at the Lord’s Cafe (more on that later), and then we head out to explore. There is no public transport around and between the attractions of Cameron Highlands, and if you’re not driving, then the easiest way to see the highlights of the Cameron Highlands is to book a tour (which we did), before exploring further.
How to Visit the Cameron Highlands
You can spend 2 nights in Cameron Highlands and you should be able to cover the top locations to visit, however, 3 nights would be better. If you are short on time, there are package tours that you can book that highlight many important places in the region.
On the other hand, if you’re seriously short on time there are also day trips you can sign up for that leave from Kuala Lumpur. These tours include transportation, a guide, and even a meal.
These are the best tours to Cameron Highlands
- Best Day trip to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur
- Best tour of the Cameron Highlands highlights
- Best nature-focused tour of Cameron Highlands.
Even if you arrive in Cameron Highlands independently, then, taking a tour of the main sites is the best way to see the Cameron Highlands, else you’ll need to take taxis or have a rental car to get around (and you’ll need to rent a car before you get here).
Tour the Boh Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands
The Boh Tea Plantation is nearly 100 years old and is also the most popular tea brand across Malaysia. A visit to the Plantation of Boh Tea is both interesting and educational. You can learn about tea farming, watch the workers harvest them, and see the amount of tea they can harvest a day. You can also get some really stunning photos of its lush green rolling hills. The drive alone from the main entrance to the farm is stunning on its own.
When you’ve toured the plantation you can finish your trip by visiting their tea shop and also enjoy some tea-tasting, before ordering the specific tea that you like the best. Have a hot tea partnered with a freshly baked slice of cake or other pastries. Before you leave, visit the gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs and teas to take home.
We weren’t lucky with the weather while we were in Cameron Highlands, it did rain a lot and was overcast as well as being quite cool, but the rain did abate enough for us to take a wander through the hills of the Sungai Palas BOH tea plantation, where we’re intrigued by the differences that we see between here and Sri Lanka. This landscape is pretty, but it doesn’t touch the glory that we found in the Hill Country there.
There is just a small export business here, though, most of the production of tea in Malaysia is for the domestic market and we’re intrigued by the differences. Here the tea bushes follow the contour of the land, rather than growing on terraced like lines. There are no legions of brightly attired women hand plucking the most tender of shoots. Here the pickers are harvesters. Mainly men, from Bangladesh and North Indian origin – they harvest either with shears in the steeper more difficult areas to reach or with motorized cutters, manhandled by two harvesters and winched back to the top.
These two methods can harvest 120 Kg and 300 Kg of leaves daily, compared to the ladies of Sri Lanka who net 18 kilos a day. Down in the lowlands here in Malaysia, tea is harvested with huge tractors and cutters and can yield 9,000 kilos of leaves each day. It certainly takes out the romantic notions of tea picking!
We ended our visit with tea at the BOH plantation visitor center. It’s not, as I remark to Nigel, anywhere near as nice as the first pot of tea we had in Nuwara Eliya and the whole setup feels much more commercialized than the plantations we visited in Sri Lanka.
BOH is the largest black tea producer in Malaysia. Established in 1929 by JA Russell, a businessman who owned substantial tin and rubber investments in Malaya. The company is still headed by his family.
A swift walk around the processing plant – BOH has one at each of the plantations, to minimize the time between bush and processed tea. Unlike Sri Lanka, it’s possible to take photos in the area of the factory that we can get (glassed off) access to. It’s reassuring to see that the machines look exactly the same – barring the colors – perhaps a century old, still working as they’re meant to.
- Address of Boh Tea Plantation: 39000, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Boh Tea Plantation: 8:30 AM to 4:50 PM, except on Mondays and public holidays
- Entry Fees for Boh Tea Plantation: Free
Cameron Bharat Tea Estate, Cameron Highlands
If you want to learn even more about tea plantations or found Boh Tea a little too small then you can also go to the Bharat Tea Estate, about 10 km (6.21 miles) from Boh Tea, back on Highway 59. The Bharat Tea Estate is considerably bigger than the Boh Tea Plantation, and this is also where you can find the popular local brand “Cameron Valley Tea”.
There are two main tea houses, 1 and 2 here. Tea House 1 is smaller and the pathway from it leads to a nice little waterfall. The Tea House 2 is much more spacious and has a nice viewing platform, it’s located right next to the main entrance.
It’s possible to explore the actual estate for an extra fee, or you can simply sit in the tea house, order some hot tea, and enjoy the scenery. The Bharat Tea Estate also sells tea and other gift items.
- Address of Bharat Tea Estate: 34.5 Mile Cameron Highlands, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Bharat Tea Estate: 8:30 AM to 6 PM (until 7 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
- Entry Fees for Bharat Tea Estate: RM3 ($.68) to explore on foot, RM12 %2.71) for a buggy service
Go to Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden in Cameron Highlands
Apart from the tea plantations, Cameron Highlands is also an incredible region to grow flowers, specifically roses. Go to Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden where you will find amazing flowerbeds cultivated with roses. Many locals come here to take photos but you can also buy stemmed roses or potted roses to plant.
- Address of Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden: Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden: 9:30 AM to 6 PM every day,
- Entry Fees for Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden: RM5 ($1.13)
Visit the Lavender Gardens of Cameron Highlands
The Lavender Garden, also called Cameron Lavender is located on Highway 59, near the Brinchang area. Lavender specifically blooms in colder climate regions, having such a location in Malaysia makes a visit here high on the list of things to do in Cameron Highlands.
Once you’ve paid your entry fee you are free to wander around the greenhouses that are filled with lavender and other flowers. Many people come by and get disappointed when the lavender is not in full bloom, which only happens for a short time between spring and summer. You can still come here and enjoy the scenery, then wrap it up by trying out the unique lavender ice cream.
- Address of Lavender Gardens: 59, Brinchang, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Lavender Gardens: 9 AM to 6 PM (7 PM on Friday to Sunday)
- Entry Fees for Lavender Gardens: RM15 ($3.39) for adults and RM10 ($2.26) for children
Visit the Strawberry Farms at Cameron Highlands
Again taking advantage of the altitude and the fertile growing areas here, you’ll find dozens of strawberry farms within Cameron Highlands. Many of them will welcome you to come to tour the farm and pick your own strawberries, and most of them are along highway 59.
The Big Red Strawberry Farm is the biggest and most popular. They produce hydroponically grown strawberries. You can learn about their farm and this method of growing strawberries. There is also a spacious cafe where you can enjoy your picked fruit or order some light snacks like ice cream, waffles, and scones. If you have a vehicle, there is a big parking space for visitors. If you’d like to read more about growing fruits hydroponically, then there’s a guide here.
Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm is only a 9-minute drive north of Big Red Strawberry Farm if that is too crowded. Get on a tour when you arrive and explore the berry field and the processing area. You can then start picking your own strawberries, then sit in the cafe that also serves strawberry-flavored desserts and sells jams.
There is (now) a minimum of 500-gram requirement if you want to pick strawberries. The cost in both locations for picking your own ranges from RM30 and up depending on how much you want.
We visited the Big Red Strawberry Farm, where we were greeted by the workers, again from Bangladesh, as the guy who attaches himself to us tells us, he has two children and he bemoans our lack of them and our mere 15 years of marriage. He soon appropriates my phone and is taking photos of us, telling us of the kindness of the couple from Singapore yesterday, who gave him 50 RM for taking photos yesterday, and the couple from somewhere else who gave him 30.
He gets 5 from us and no doubt makes a mint from the 185g of strawberries that we pick and eat on the spot for 7.40 RM.
- Address of Big Red Strawberry Farm: Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, MalaysiaBrinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Big Red Strawberry Farm: 8:20 AM to 6 PM
- Entry Fees for Big Red Strawberry Farm: Free
- Address of Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm: 129 59, Jalan Tapah, Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm: 8:30 AM to 6 PM
- Entry Fees for Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm: Free
Go to the Cameron Highlands Honey Bee Farm
There are also plenty of bee farms around Cameron Highlands. Should you choose to visit, you’ll get to know everything about honey production and learn more about bees. There are two popular honey bee farms; Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm and Cameron Tringkap Bee Farm.
Ee Feng Gu Farm presents bee boxes and explains how bees behave and produce honey. The staff then shows you how they can safely interact with bees without antagonizing them. There is also a little garden to walk around, a maze for children, a cafe to enjoy some sweet snacks, and a gift shop to buy some souvenirs and honey.
- Address of Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm: Green Cow, No 75, Batu 43, 39100, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm: 8 AM to 7 PM
- Entry Fees for Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm: Free
Visit the Butterfly Farm at Cameron Highlands
The Butterfly Farm houses various species of butterflies but also has reptiles, amphibians, and lots of flowers. When it’s blooming season, the flowers are so stunning and colorful, and it’s also quite magical to see butterflies in amazing shades and patterns flying around. There is also a mini zoo of farm animals, a really nice location to visit if you are traveling with young children in Cameron Highlands. We explored and found the butterflies to be beautiful, but the reptiles to be fascinating.
It’s an intriguing close-up view of butterflies, insects, flora, and fauna – there are even guinea pigs and rabbits here.
We’re all fascinated by the stick insects, King grasshoppers, and especially the scorpions, although no one takes up the offer to touch the scorpions.
That’s not the case when we get to the whip snake, which is duly taken out of the tank it shares with a legion of other whip snakes and coiled around the necks and arms of those who dare. I don’t, but do manage to stroke the cool scaly skin for just a moment.
- Address of Butterfly Farm: MDCH 3, Batu 43, Green Cow, 39100, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Butterfly Farm: 8 AM to 6 PM
- Entry Fees for Butterfly Farm: RM10 ($2.26) for adults and RM5 ($1.13) for children
Go to Cacti Valley in Cameron Highlands
Cacti Valley is a botanical garden that showcases various kinds of cacti, fuschia plants, strawberries, and passion fruits. They also sell these items at a cheaper price versus in shops or downtown markets. If you want to learn more about cacti, a visit to Cacti Valley is well worth a visit, you’ll even learn how other cacti don’t even look like a typical cactus. This is surely one of the unique and unexpected but cool things to do in Cameron Highlands.
- Address of Cacti Valley: Cactus Valley, Pekan Lama, 39100 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Cacti Valley: 8 AM to 6 PM
- Entry Fees for Cacti Valley: RM4 ($.90) for adults and RM2 ($.45) for children
Visit Mount Brinchang, Cameron Highlands
Mount Brinchang peak aka Gunung Brinchang in Malay offers an incredible view of the tea plantations and forestry of Cameron Highlands if the weather is clear. It also has an observation tower that overlooks the greater part both of the Pahang and Perak provinces. You can bring your car here, but the road is very narrow and requires cooperation from other drivers in terms of pulling over to let others through. It’s still worth coming here if the weather is not clear, as it’s a fascinating place to visit.
There are also many hiking trails that lead to the peak of Brinchang that range from easy, moderate, to tough hikes. One popular option for hiking Brinchang is to take a taxi to the peak and hike back to the township. Keep reading for more on the hiking trails later in the article.
The peak of Mount Brinchang is the highest in the area at 6,666 feet (1800 meters) and the rain might have stopped when got here but it’s still gloomy, so as we head to the peak of Gunung Brinchang you can’t even see the top of the communications towers let alone any of the surrounding sights.
- Address of Mount Brinchang: 39000, Perak, Malaysia
Visit the Time Tunnel Museum in Cameron Highlands
The Cameron Highland’s Time Tunnel Museum is situated along Highway 59. It houses items including handicrafts, children’s toys, and kitchen items from decades ago including World War II remnants. A visit to the Museum of Time Tunnel will give you an insight into what life was like before technology
- Address of Time Tunnel Museum: Cameron Highland, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Time Tunnel Museum: 9 AM to 6 PM daily
- Entry Fees for Time Tunnel Museum: RM8 ($1.81) for adults, RM6 ($1.36) for children
Discover the Mah Meri Art Gallery in Cameron Highlands
An art gallery and museum-like that showcases a private collection of handmade wood carvings. These pieces of art have been created by the indigenous people of Mah Meri who live on Carey Island, near Kuala Lumpur. Many of the designs feature cool animalistic and tribal hallmarks.
- Address of Mah Meri Art Gallery: 29 & 30 Main Road 1st Floor, Tanah Rata 39000 Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Mah Meri Art Gallery: 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM
- Entry Fees for Mah Meri Art Gallery: RM37 ($.36)
Go Bird Watching in Cameron Highlands
There are more than 177 bird species present in Cameron Highlands making it an awesome location for bird enthusiasts. The best location to head to for bird-watching activities in Cameron Highlands is in the tower in the middle of the Mossy Forest, and the best time to go bird-watching is around 7 AM to 10 AM or 4 PM to 6:30 PM during the weekday. You can hope to see Blyth’s Hawk-Eagles, the Buffy Fish-Owl, Tiger Shrikes, Grey Wagtails, and Crimson Sunbirds to name a few.
- Address of Mossy Forest: Mossy Forest, Gunung Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Mossy Forest: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
- Entry Fees for Mossy Forest: RM30 ($6.78) for adult foreign visitors, RM 15 ($3.39) for children, RM10 (2.26) for local adults, RM5 ($1.13) for children under 12 or senior citizens
If it’s your first time visiting this region, one of the best things to do in Cameron Highlands is to hike around the Mossy Forest. It is located 10 km (6.2 miles) north of Brinchang town center. Mossy Forest is a nature preserve home to ferns, moss, orchids, and other plants native to this region of Malaysia. This isn’t a strenuous hike, it’s primarily a boardwalk and a little bit of a scramble if the trail is muddy. There is a wooden boardwalk that leads to a tower for superb views of the Cameron Highlands. If your trip coincides, like ours did, with overcast and misty weather, then fear not, the atmosphere in the Mossy Forest in the mist is even better!
To make the most out of your visit, you can hire a tour guide who can tell you about the forest and its plants – you’ll discover a lot more this way. Most tour guides come complete with a 4WD since the road is not suitable for regular cars and the visibility can be very poor. You should also bring a jacket because the temperature drops up here, and yes it does get cold. For exploring the Mossy Forest we recommend this trip to fully experience it.
Our guide took us on a superb tour and he’s a great guide, interested and interesting he gives us history, local legend, and ecological detail throughout the 5-plus hours we spend with him.
The misty weather makes for a more atmospheric stumble through the mossy forest
The ground underfoot is soft and spongey. It’s layer upon layer of fallen leaves on top of interconnecting roots that have been covered in moss to form a platform. Above our heads we can see future platforms being created, down below it’s a vertical drop of around 50 feet.
Everywhere is covered in moss, with fine droplets of water covering that. Flowers spring in the most unusual of places.
The gloom of the grey overhead barely penetrates the greenery and when it does it seems to filter through in droplet form. It feels otherworldly. Not even prehistoric, more that there will be fairies and elves appearing between the branches of the tangle of trees.
- Address of Mossy Forest: Mossy Forest, Gunung Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Mossy Forest: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
- Entry Fees for Mossy Forest: RM30 ($6.78) for adult foreign visitors, RM 15 ($3.39) for children, RM10 (2.26) for local adults, RM5 ($1.13) for children under 12 or senior citizens
MARDI is a botanical garden and agricultural park just a bit outside downtown Tanah Rata. There are different garden areas that feature various types of flora and fauna. You can also find strawberry patches and even a butterfly farm here. This park is spacious, you can easily spend an hour or two during your visit.
- Address of MARDI: JKR266, Jalan Persiaran Endah, Tanah Rata, Pahang, 39000 Tanah Rata, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of MARDI: 8 AM to 12L45 PM, 2 PM to 5 PM on Wednesday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM from Saturday to Sunday, it’s closed every Tuesday
- Entry Fees for MARDI: RM 6.5 ($1.47) for adults and RM2 ($.45) for children
Rafflesia is a unique and exotic plant in Southeast Asia. It’s a parasitic flowering plant and the largest flower in the world, with a diameter that is nearly a meter. Rafflesia is beautiful, but also produces a pretty gruesome smell and can also be poisonous. While in Cameron Highlands, you can check if they are in bloom and to try and find Rafflesia in one of your hikes around the Lojing region or towards Gua Musang, but you can also find it around Mossy Forest.
Visit the Sri Thendayuthapani Swami Temple in Cameron Highlands
Sri Thendayuthapani Swami is a Hindu temple in the heart of Brinchang, right next to Kelab Golf Sultan Ahmad Shah. It’s a beautiful temple that many locals visit to pay respect and offer prayers to their ancestors. The Sri Thendayuthapani Swami Temple also has a well-maintained fish pond. Remember to remove your shoes and dress moderately if you plan to go inside.
- Address of Sri Thendayuthapani Swamy Temple: Sri Thendayuthapani Swami Temple, Brinchang, Pahang, 39100, Malaysia
Visit the Sam Poh Temple in Cameron Highlands
The Sam Poh Temple was built in a limestone cave in 1953. Apart from being a praying place for the locals who practice Buddhism, it also houses religious artwork and is known for its well-sized turtle pond. You’ll also see many turtles roaming around the temple. You can feed them fresh vegetables and fruits, which are sold at the entrance of the temple, all sales go to keeping the Sam Poh Temple maintained and running.
- Address of Sam Poh Temple: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Sam Poh Temple: 7 AM to 2:30 PM
- Entry Fees for Sam Poh Temple: Free, but a donation is encouraged
Go to the Morning Market – Pasar Pagi Kea Farm
Pasar Pagi Kea Farm is a wet market 3.4 km (2.1 miles) north of Brinchang downtown. Going here in the morning is interesting, as this is when the majority of the produce is sold. Fresh vegetables, flowers, and fruits come in the morning, hence you’ll get to see a lot of local life and bargaining. Even if you’re not in the market for fresh produce, this location is still a decent place to try fried mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
- Address of Pasar Pagi Kea Farm: 59, Brinchang, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
Opening Hours of Pasar Pagi Kea Farm: 7 AM to 7 PM
Visit Robinson Falls in Cameron Highlands
You take a short hike to Robinson Falls, a little waterfall in the heart of Cameron Highlands. Getting here can be tricky if you follow the map. Instead, go toward Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital, before you reach the hospital, take a turn in the direction of Animal Feeding Rainbow Garden, the trail to Robinson Falls is behind the garden.
- Address of Robinson Falls: Tanah Rata, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
Visit the Lata Iskandar Waterfall, Cameron Highlands
Next in your waterfall hopping journey is Lata Iskandar Waterfall. It is located along Highway 59 and the best way to get here is by driving. However, there’s very limited parking space. The waterfall is not too far from the main road but still requires a short hike, there are food stalls around to get drinks and snacks if you didn’t bring your own. Lata Iskandar Waterfall is a great location for a swim especially when it’s very hot in Cameron Highlands.
- Address of Lata Iskandar Waterfall: Exit 59, 35000 Tapah, Perak, Malaysia
Visit the Orang Asli Native Villages of Cameron Highlands
The Orang Asli are the native inhabitants of Cameron Highlands and the oldest inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia. Only about 0.6% of the Malaysian population are Orang Asi, and they have a special status that is protected by the law.
Before Cameron Highlands was established as a hill station, the Orang Asli were forest hunters and relied a lot on the jungle. Today, they are farmers, hunters, and fishermen. There are villages around Tanah Rata, Brinchang, and all the way up to Kuala Terla that are open to visitors who want to learn about Orang Asli culture and traditions.
Cameron Highlands Hikes
Due to its amazing weather, temperate climate, and lush greenery, Cameron Highlands is one of the best areas offering great hiking trails in Malaysia. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an experienced hiker, there are 14 marked trails to choose from and they offer different intensities, we will show you the top 7 popular hiking trails in Cameron Highlands, and if a guide is required or not.
The trail from Brinchang Town to Gunung Brinchang is 10 km long (6.2 miles), and is moderately difficult. About a quarter of the hike is on Highway 59 which is a concrete road, but once you take Jln Gunung Brinchang Road, the trail gets more challenging. Brinchang Town to Gunung Brinchang is a 3-4 hour hike one way.
The hardest part is the path from the Mossy Forest up to the peak. It’s recommended to have a guide to do this trail, but you can also make this hike a bit easier. You can start from the town up to Mossy Forest and then take a taxi to the peak or make it a one-way hike trip, by taking a taxi from the town all the way to the peak and then hiking down.
The Sam Poh Buddhist Temple to Trail #3 is a 6 km (4 miles) trail. It’s a shorter trail but requires more endurance due to its rugged terrain. It is also an unmarked trail. The hike from Sam Poh Buddhist Temple to Trail #3 takes about 1.5 hours one way. Regardless of missing signage, Sam Poh Temple to Trail #3 is popular enough, you don’t need a guide.
Due to the location of the trail, you can’t take a taxi. If you decide to do this hike, spend time planning to ensure that you will be able to get back to town before it gets dark.
The hiking trail from Arcadia to Gunung Berembum is 12.8 km (8 miles) long with moderate to tough terrain. It will only take about 30-minute to hike the Arcadia to Gunung Berembum trail. You won’t need a guide since there are plenty of signs along the way. The trail from Arcadia to Gunung Berembum takes about 2.5 hours long each way.
If you want to make this a one-way hike, you can take it a different way. Get in a taxi and ask the driver to drop you off at Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital. Behind the hospital, there is a trail that leads to Gurung Berembun peak. You can hike down and get on a taxi back to town.
The Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall is only 1.8 km (2 miles) in distance and very easy to hike. You will probably meet other people hiking Trails #3 and #7 because those trails pass along this trail. Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall takes about 30-minute one-way. You don’t need a guide to do the Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall nor a taxi service.
MARDI to Trail #3 is only a 6.4 km (4 miles) easy 1-hour hike, a guide won’t be necessary. It will take about an hour to hike MARDI to Trail #3. If the hike is too quick or easy, you can continue by taking either Trail #3 or Trail #2 at the end of this trail for a bit more of a challenge.
Cameron Valley to Gunung Jasar is a 12 km (8 miles) hike and is moderate to tough in difficulty level. Although you don’t need a guide, as the trail is unmarked and overgrown with weeds, it’s best to have a local guide arranged. Cameron Valley to Gunung Jasar will take you 2.5 hours each way.
To make this hike a bit easier, you can take a taxi to Gunung Jasar Trailhead near Carnation Park, then hike from there to the peak and back.
MARDI to Gunung Beremben is 7 km (11 miles) hike. It is a tough trail because of the direct approach to the peak. MARDI to Gunung Berembem hike takes about 2 hours each way. This path merges with Trail #3, which means that you can take Trail #3 when you hike down which gives a nicer view and path versus the way you came in. You can’t take a taxi here, but once you are back in Arcadia (if you go via Trail #3 on the way back), you can get a taxi back to your hotel.
Food and Drink in Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is one of the main sources of fresh vegetables for Malaysia and the region has some specific local dishes and drinks that you can only find in this region. Here’s what to eat in Cameron Highlands.
Eat Steamboat in the Cameron Highlands
The Cameron Highland’s Steamboat is THE signature dish of Cameron Highlands. Steamboat is a fondue-like style of cooking and eating that originated in China. On your table, there will be a boiling broth in a pot where you will cook raw fish, meat, and vegetables. Once cooked, you scoop out a serving on your bowl or plate partnered with cooked rice or noodles. If you have been to South Korea or Vietnam, a steamboat is similar to a hot pot.
The best spot to have this dish is at Highland Steamboat Cheese & Grill or Restoran Taman Apple Cameron Steamboat & Grill, both located in Tanah Rata.
A steamboat basically a pot of soup that boils away on your table on a portable gas stove, into which you drop all the fixings that you’ve been given – noodles, eggs, tofu, meats, fish, seafood.
Our soup is split into two – chicken on one side, and Tom Yam on the other. As it boils on the portable gas stove placed on our table we drop in fish balls, tofu, crab sticks, beef, chicken, fish, jellyfish, prawns, scallops, soya strips, cuttlefish, mushrooms, two types of noodles, and 9 varieties of local greens. It’s a “2 minutes each” cooking – apart from the noodles, which need two seconds” extravaganza.
It’s all good, the jellyfish a little chewy, the prawns excellent, and the mushrooms wonderful. We wrap it up with dropped into the boiling Tom Yam soup – a wonderfully Moorish slightly spicy soft boiled egg that wraps itself around all the remaining noodles to bind it together and finish things off.
Eat Roti Canai and Veg Curry for Breakfast in the Cameron Highlands
Roti Canai is a flatbread similar to naan but a bit thicker, tastier, and fluffier. And if you get the right one it’s amazing. It was originally brought to Malaysia by Muslim-Indian hawkers and is sold at food stalls. The texture of roti canai is soft and buttery – a perfect side dish to eat with vegetable curry for breakfast. You should be able to have this combo dish in any curry houses in Cameron Highlands. We had some of the best roti canai for breakfast while here.
Have afternoon tea in the Cameron Highlands
The idea of afternoon tea was brought to Malaysia by Britain. It’s having a nice freshly brewed tea and enjoying some finger food such as biscuits, scones, or even cake at around 4 in the afternoon.
Since you are in Cameron Highlands, enjoying an afternoon tea with locally sourced tea is a perfect way to finish your day of exploring. Combine that with locally grown strawberries made into jam and it’s perfect. There are several places in Cameron Highlanda where you can enjoy high tea, and we’ve detailed several of them below:
Jim Thompson Teahouse
- Address of Jim Thompson Tea Room: Cameron Highland, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Jim Thompson Tea Room: 12 PM to 6 PM
The Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant
- Address of The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant: By the Golf Course, Tanah Rata, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant:
- Address of Lords Café: Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata, 39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Lords Café: 10 AM to 6 PM, Monda to Saturday, closed on Sunday
Cameron Valley Teahouse
- Address of Cameron Valley Teahouse: 34, Mile Cameron Highlands, Tanah Rata, 39000 Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours of Cameron Valley Teahouse: 9 AM to 6 PM on Monday to Thursday, 8 MA to 7 PM on Friday to Saturday
Eat at the night market in Cameron Highlands
Visiting night markets all over Malaysia is one of the best ways to try local dishes without spending too much. The most popular night market in Cameron Highlands is Brinchang Weekend Night Market also known as Pasar Malam Cameron Highlands, open from Friday to Sunday between 5 PM to 11 PM. The dishes you should try are strawberries, satay, cooked vegetables, and some local deep-fried sweet snacks.
Go to the Lakehouse for Breakfast in Cameron Highlands
The Lakehouse Hotel is found along Highway 59 near a lake between Ringlet and Tanah Rata. Although it’s a hotel, the Lake House is open for non-staying guest to enjoy their extremely popular breakfast. You can choose between a set menu or a buffet. This is a glorious location to have breakfast, and enjoy the stunning views before you start your day full of adventure or before leaving Cameron Highlands. The Lake House Hotel is one of our recommended places to stay in Cameron Highlands if you want to splurge a little – and there’s more about it here.
Have beer and cocktails in the Travellers Bar in Cameron Highlands
For cocktails and beers, go to Travellers Bar. They are popular for old-school music and the inviting atmosphere. There are plenty of options for draught beers and international beers, while there are also beer buckets if you’re here in a big group.
How to Get Around Cameron Highlands
The towns around Cameron Highlands are small enough that walking around is pretty easy. However, getting to the top Cameron Highlands attractions is a different story since they are scattered around and quite a distance from the main accommodation centers.
From Tanah Rata, there are shuttle buses that will take you to major attractions. Apart from that, you can also use the ride-hailing app, Grab or use traditional taxis. But remember, taxis are hard to come by if you are outside downtown.
The fastest way to move around is through a rented car or a motorbike. You can rent a motorbike once you are in Cameron Highlands, but for a car, you will need to rent one before you get to Cameron Highlands.
Where is Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is in the northwest of Malaysia, directly 300 km (186 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, and 90 km (56 miles) east of Ipoh City. It is part of Pahang State.
There are three main towns in Cameron Highlands; Tanah Rata, Ringlet, and Brinchang. If you have a vehicle, it doesn’t matter where your accommodation is. However, if you don’t have your own transportation, it’s best to stay in Tanah Rata where you can use public transportation. This is where the bus station for Cameron Highlands is.
When is the best time to travel to Cameron Highlands
The best time to come to Cameron Highlands is from December to February, just after the monsoon season. During these months, there is little chance of rain while the forests are still in full bloom and very lush. You want to avoid the months of June to October. The month of June is very dry while the month of October is very wet.
From Kuala Lumpur, you can take a bus or drive directly to Cameron Highlands. It should take about 3 and a half hours. From Ipoh City, it’s only a 2-hour drive to Cameron Highlands.
If you are coming from Langkawi, you have two options. First, take a ferry back to mainland Kuala Kedah, then ride a bus for 5 hours. The other choice is to take a 2-hour and 45-minute ferry to Penang, then get on a 3-hour and 40-minute bus ride from Penang to Cameron Highlands. You can check the options for Langkawi to Cameron Highlands here. And check Cameron Highlands to Penang here.
Our guide on how to go from Penang to Cameron Highlands is here.
Our guide on how to go between Cameron Highlands and Melaka is here.
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Final Words on The Best Things to do in Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is a very unique location in the entirety of Malaysia and the tropical region of Southeast Asia. If you have never been to Malaysia, you should include the area in your itinerary because there are many great things to do in Cameron Highlands, regardless if you plan to stay for only a few nights. From hiking, exploring local dishes, and discovering new species of wild animals, to getting to know more about forestry – Cameron Highlands offers something very different from the other places that you’ll visit in Malaysia.
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