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Asia > Southeast Asia > Malaysia > East Coast (Malaysia) > Pahang > Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

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A tea plantation at the Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands is situated in Pahang, West Malaysia. It is approximately 85 km from Ipoh or about 200 km from Kuala Lumpur. The retreat has a diverse population of more than 43,000 people.

Understand[edit]

The Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia's most extensive hill stations. It covers an area of 712 km², about the size of Singapore, At 5,000 ft (1,500 m) above sea level it is also the highest point in Malaysia accessible by road. The British surveyor, Sir William Cameron, was credited with "discovering" the highlands during a mapping expedition of the Pahang-Perak border area in 1885. The area developed starting in the 1920s when it was confirmed that many varieties of fruits and vegetables, including tea, can be grown. Tea was the main reason for the development of this area by the British. Additionally, many British settlers came to this area as a "retreat" from the hot, humid climate of the rest of Malaysia. After years of extensive work in difficult conditions, a road was built linkind Tapah and Tanah Rata, allowing the settlement of the highlands. Following this, tea planters and vegetable growers who found the climate suitable for their crops moved in the highlands. Today, there are four main roads into the area: two to the west, to Ipoh and to Tapah; and two to the east, to Gua Musang and Kuala Lipis.

Climate is extremely mild for Malaysian standards: the mean annual temperature is 18 °C. During the day, the temperature seldom rises above 25 °C; at night, it can drop to as low as 12 °C.

Overall, much of the retreat is still forested (estimated at 71 percent) and hosts a rich ecosystem. Please refer to #See for more information on the wildlife in the Cameron Highlands. There are eight mountains at the retreat. They are Mount (Malay: Gunung) Batu Brinchang (2,031 m), Mount Berembun (1,840 m), Mount Irau (2,091 m), Mount Jasar (1,696 m), Mount Mentigi (1,563 m), Mount Perdah (1,576 m) and Mount Siku (1,916 m). Jungle trails lead visitors to scenic spots, waterfalls and aboriginal villages.

Towns[edit]

Map of Cameron Highlands

The towns lie in a string of settlements approximately 25 km long. From north to south these are:

  • Kampung Raja - one of the larger towns; close to the roads to Ipoh and Gua Musang
  • Brinchang - Starting point to Gunung Brinchang (2032 m), Boh tea plantations and numerous farms (strawberries!)
  • Taman Tringkap
  • Kea Farm
  • Brinchang
  • Tanah Rata - the main town of the Camerons, favorite of backpackers. Starting point to Gunung Beremban (1840 m), Bharat tea plantations, and the majority of the numbered hiking trails
  • Ringlet - one of the larger towns; close to the roads to Tapah and Kuala Lipis
  • Bertam Valey

Get in[edit]

The highlands can be accessed by road from both coasts, though most travellers enter from the west. Ipoh has a road up to the highlands via Simpang Pulai, the other route from the west is further south, via Tapah. The main road from the east passes through Gua Musang; there is also a more circuitous route from Kuala Lipis (both of which are on the Jungle Railway).

By bus[edit]

Approaching from the west[edit]

  • From Ipoh, take an air-conditioned PerakTransit bus service (Stall D2, RM20, 2-3hr, 8:30AM, 10AM 11:30AM, 12:30 PM 3PM, 5PM, 7PM) to Tanah Rata from Ipoh's Amanajaya bus terminal (10 km from the city center). You can get there from Medan Kidd bus terminal near the train station, by taking either the T30a, T30b or 116 bus (1.80 RM every 30min). The buses to the highlands travel via Simpang Pulai and stop at towns such as Kampong Raja and Brinchang. Be sure to let the driver know if you need one of these towns.
  • From Kuala Lumpur, buses to Tanah Rata leave from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (RM30-RM39, 4½ hr, 8:30AM–3:30PM though mainly in the morning). Some buses can be booked online.
  • From Penang, Unititi Express bus picks up passengers from Prangin Mall in Georgetown to Tanah Rata for RM35 (7:15AM and 1:30PM). However, the bus from Tanah Rata to Penang (RM32, 8AM and 2:30PM) will stop at Sungai Nibong and you might need to take a local bus or a taxi to Georgetown.
  • From Singapore, overnight VIP buses operated by Grassland and Fivestar leave from the Golden Mile tower/complex (SG$55-SG$65, 10 hr). Buses stop at Ringlet, Lakehouse, Brinchang Hotel, Equatorial Hotel, Heritage Hotel and Tanah Rata.

You can get tickets on https://www.easybook.com/en-my

Approaching from the east[edit]

From Taman Negara: It is actually possible to go to Cameron Highlands from Taman Negara using only local buses. The best option is to leave the National Park with the first bus going to Jerantut and ask the driver/ticket seller the way to Cameron Highland. But the journey is pretty much :

Kuala Tahn to Jerantut RM7; 10AM. Jerantut to Benta RM7; Benta to Raub RM5.25. Raub to Tanah Rata RM12 (Cameron Highlands). You will be in Cameron Highlands by the end of day.

This is, indeed a long journey with several connections but could suit some travellers as the total price of the journey is around RM30, compared to the RM90 asked by private mini-van companies.

By car[edit]

From North-South Expressway, exit the expressway at Tapah and then proceed via route 59 straight to the highlands. It takes about 1 hr 30 min to reach the first town of Ringlet.

Alternatively, you can exit the expressway at Simpang Pulai, Ipoh and proceed via route 145 to Cameron Highlands. It takes about 1 hr to reach the first town, Kampung Raja. Condition of this route is significantly better than Route 59 from Tapah.

By shuttle mini van[edit]

You can also use mini van transfer to get to Cameron Highlands:

  • From Kuala Lumpur-pick up at Swiss Inn, Jl. Sultan, Chinatown. Noon daily RM35, duration: 4½ hr
  • From Penang-pick up at Georgetown, 8AM daily RM50, duration: 4½ hr
  • From Taman Negara-pick up at Kuala Tembeling Jetty. RM85, duration: 5½ hr
  • For reservation:

By taxi[edit]

A taxi station is located at about 100 m east of the bus station along Jalan Besar road. Taxi fares are subject to negotiation as most of the taxi drivers are notorious for not using the meters. Be prepared to negotiate hard.

Get around[edit]

The resort is made up of eight neighbourhoods. The three townships are Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang. The five settlements are the Bertam Valley, Kea Farm, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja. All are separated from one another by a considerable distance. The most popular towns of the retreat are Tanah Rata and Brinchang. They are about 4 km apart.

Walking[edit]

One of the best ways to see the area is to walk. Each town is easily walkable, and many of the trailheads are easily reached by walking from Tanah Rata. It should be possible to walk from town to town too if you have a lot of time on your hands. Do bring along an umbrella or rain poncho, because it rains frequently here, and when it rains, it pours.

By bus[edit]

Tourist bus

The bus station is at Tanah Rata. Local buses in the highlands have stopped but have been replaced by company-owned tourist buses running every two hours between Tanah Rata and Kampung Raja. It stops in Brinchang, Kea Farm, Tringkap and Kuala Terla but you can ask the driver to drop you where you want along the main road. From Tanah Rata, departures are from 6:30AM to 6:30PM. Returns from Kampung Raja are scheduled from 7:30AM to 7:30PM. The fare is about RM2-5 depending on the distance.

By car[edit]

The resort has a good network of roads. If you are planning to get off the beaten track, renting a car may be a good option.

By motorcycle[edit]

Motorcycles can be rented at some of the guest houses and in Tanah Rata city centre. You must have a license to ride a motorcycle. Be extra careful while driving: e.g., when taking a blind corner don't assume some lunatic won't be in your lane overtaking someone.

By taxi[edit]

The taxi fare between Tanah Rata and Brinchang is RM6. You can hire a taxi for 2 hr for RM50. This rate is approved by the government.

By van charter[edit]

You can plan an itinerary of your own by hiring a 10-seater van. Make sure you confirm the charges before making any decisions.

See[edit]

Nature and wildlife[edit]

Main street in Tanah Rata

The Cameron Highlands are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is estimated that more than 700 species of plants grow here. During trekking to one of the local mount (or Gunung in Malay) you will observe the vegetation change with the elevation. The most famous plant in the highland is without doubt the Rafflesia which is native to the Cameron Highlands. The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is noted for producing the largest individual flower on earth. These attract a lot of tourists and remember to be very careful around these flowers as all of the known species of Rafflesia are threatened or endangered. In addition to the vegetation, the highlands is the habitat to a large number of animals, birds, insects and reptiles. If you are lucky you may even see some monkeys (White-thighed langurs can be spotted on trail 7).

  • 1 Gunung (Mount) Brinchang. At 6,666 ft (2,032 m) above sea level, this is the highest point in Malaysia which is accessible by car. At the top of the mountain is a radio and television station. Close to the installation is a 15 m high "Observation Tower". This is the best place to get a good view of the Cameron Highlands and the neighbouring state of Perak. Reached by trekking up Trail 1 or by road. The taxi fare to the summit and back can amount to as much as RM100. Before heading this way, it would be wise to negotiate with the taxi driver to see if the trip could include a visit to the nearby Mossy Forest and the Boh Tea plantation which is located at Sungei Palas. As of Oct 2018, and according to a guide, access to the summit is no longer allowed. Apparently a telecom company bought the land and closed it from public access.
Example of a mossy forest near the top of Gunung Berembun (Trail 3)
  • 2 Mossy Forest. There is a boardwalk at the top of Gunung (Mount) Brinchang which takes you through the Mossy Forest. This reserve is unlike any other in peninsular Malaysia: its base is covered with a thick carpet of moss. Most of the trees here have remained untouched for centuries. Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time exploring this place. As of June 2018 most of the ground moss is gone and it's unfortunately quite a disappointing experience. But the viewpoint tower can be worth a visit. From there, Trail 14 starts and takes you to Gunung Irau (Track 14 is closed since 7 Feb 2018 until further notice due to landslides)
  • 3 Parit Waterfall. There are two ways to get to the waterfall: you could either start from the Forestry Department or take Trail 4 which is at the side of the Century Pines Resort. If you opt for the former, you should reach the falls in less than an hour. For the latter, the journey is about 15 min.
  • 4 Robinson Waterfall. The falls are a short distance from Tanah Rata. It could be reach via Path 9. (See section. #Stay Safe for trail 9.)
  • Rafflesia Flower. The largest flower in the world (actually an external parasitic plant, lacking leaves, stem or roots). The only way to see this plant is to join guided tour which comes with 4WD transport as it is located in Blue Valley are which is around 1 hr drive from Cameron Highlands town. Also, since each plant only blooms for 4-5 days a year, you need the knowledge of if and where a plant has bloomed.

Tea plantations[edit]

  • 5 Boh Tea Centre and Sg Palas Plantation (follow the main road from Brinchang towards Kg Raja. After the Equatorial Hotel, look for signs and then turn left into the narrow hill road. The junction faces a row of stalls selling fruits and vegetables from the Kea Farm and can be easily missed.). 8AM-4:30PM. Operated by Malaysia's largest tea company. Tours available of tea factory. Interactive educational studio, a retail outlet, and a nice cafe. Stunning vistas of rolling hills amidst a carefully tendered tea plantation. The drive up the hill can be very narrow at stages, so caution should be shown when driving up. The view from the top of nearby hill at the plantation is well worth the effort of climbing up. Free tours.
  • 6 Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation (Tanah Rata, toward Ringlet). Second larger producer of tea in Malaysia. You can walk around the plantations and take photos. There is a cafe from where you can have a breathtaking view of the tea plantation. Free tours.

Museums and religious sites[edit]

  • 7 Sam Poh Temple (south of Binchang). If you are tired of hiking, Sam Poh is worth the visit. Built in 1972, it is the 4th largest Buddhist temple in the country.
  • 8 Time Tunnel – The Local Museum (located within the Kok Lim Strawberry Farm), +60 16 3288 438, +60 13 5247 120. 9AM-6PM. The Time Tunel is Malaysia's first memorabilia "museum". It is recognised as one of the main attractions of the Cameron Highlands. The galleria is filled with objets de art that showcase what life was like in Malaysia after the Japanese occupation. Apart from collectibles and memorabilia, there is also an assortment of old photographs on display here – most dating back to the post-war years. The "museum" is open daily from 9AM-6PM. There are no restrictions to photography at the gallery. The entrance fee is RM5 for adults and RM3 for children. There is ample parking available at the complex. RM5 (RM3 child).

Gardens and farms[edit]

  • 9 Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) (Agro-technology Park) (opposite to Tanah Rata Hospital). 8:45AM-5PM. Research and educational center. Mardi is home to 40 varieties of roses, 10 strawberries, 100 citrus fruits and exhibits a rich collection of hydroponic technique for agriculture. There are couple of cafes inside. Trail 5 starts here. Outside gardens are free but entrance is RM5.
  • Robinson Rose Garden, Rose Centre & Rose Valley. All three estates are worth a visit. Here you can see how roses are grown.
  • Butterfly Garden/Butterfly Farm, 43rd Milestone, Kea Farm, Brinchang (5 km northwards of Brinchang on the main road). 9AM-6PM. Located next to each other with similar exhibitions of many butterfly and insect species to see. Very interesting is insect garden, where a friendly staff takes the insect off and you can take photos with the leaf insect, stick insect and other creatures on your hand. There are no restrictions to photography. The entrance fee is RM5 for adults and RM3 for children. RM5.

Do[edit]

Several tour operators have offices on or near the main road in Tanah Rata. The packages (jungle trekking, farm adventure, go to Ipoh to see Kellie's Castle, etc.) and prices are all very similar, but ask about extra charges like admission to the museums and to see the Rafflesia. Morning and afternoon tours are very popular. Night tours are listed by most operators but are not popular so don't expect them to be available unless you're in a group of 4 people (or 3 at some).

Trekking[edit]

Signage during trekking on Trail 7

Trekking is one of the main activities in Cameron Highlands. Trail maps are available from the tourist information centers (free and non-free). None of the available maps are exactly correct, but the trails are well marked and a guide is by no means necessary. The most accurate map is the one on Open Street Maps (free offline map). You can download it and use a GPS device (your smartphone) to see where you are. Most of the trails have yellow signages with annotations from fellow trekkers (see photo) and the path is usually marked with plastic tape. Information on jungle trekking and each trail can be found here and there. See #Stay Safe for tips before trekking.

  • 1 Trail 1 (Finding the path can be a bit confusing as the sign is about 10 m from the main road. Ask for directions to the army base and follow the road to the end. From there you will find clear signs for the path. Alternative start: Look for a rickety wooden ladder around 50 m downhill from a red sign close to the army base, check OpenStreetMap via the app MAPS.ME or OsmAnd for exact location.). The peak at 2,032 m, which can be reached by walking 'Trail 1' from Brinchang. There are conflicting reports on whether the trailhead is open or closed, and one visitor in April 2019 mentioned that there is a mudslide that requires some crawling to detour around. The walk to the top normally takes 2-2½ hr. It is an easy path to follow if you know how to look for colored ribbons, and it is perfectly possible to do this trek without a guide. The trek is not very steep but you need to be in decent shape. Gunung Brinchang is a part of the most popular tours so expect to find lots of tourists at the top. After reaching the top, follow the road for another 6 km down to reach the main road, where you will find the 'boh' tea plantation. From there you can take the hourly bus back to Brinchang. As of July 2019, the government has closed the trail and is guiding visitors to the commercial mossy forest. Some hikers are continuing to find their way in. On the top it’s closed off with a gate, so you either have to walk up as the same route down, or climb the gate (with barbed wire).
  • 2 Trail 2 - Tough (start in Brinchang at Sam Poh Buddhist Temple.). The trail merges later with Trail 3. Quite steep and not well indicated.
  • 3 Trail 3 - To Gunung Berembun - Moderate to Tough (start at Arcadia Cottage near the golf course). The Gunung Berembun at 1,840 m is overgrown and offer little view over the valley. Still the trail is wide and clearly defined. Takes you through the jungle with a couple a stream crossings. The end near the summit is a bit steep. I would advice to reach Gunung Berembun via trail 7 and come down via trail 3 as trail 7 is much more difficult and step than trail 3. A round trip from trail 7 to trail 3 takes about 4 hr.
  • 4 Trail 4 - To Parit Waterfall - Easy (start near the Forestry Department). Easy and mostly paved trail to the Parit Waterfall, though as of May 2019 there were a few small fallen trees across the path. The river and the waterfall are nothing to write about except that they are filled with garbage. Can be a nicer way than the road to go back to Tanah Rata after Trail 3. A small part of the trail looping around the waterfall is closed due to a damaged footbridge at the Cameron Highlands Montane Park, but you can just take the other way (to the left of the closed bridge if you're coming through the park).
  • 5 Trail 5 - Easy to Moderate (start at MARDI (Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute)). Trail 5 merges with Trail 3 on the way up to Gunung Berembun or down to the golf course.
  • 6 Trail 6 - Moderate to Tough. There seem to be two different trails called Trail 6, both labeled as such on Open Street Map. The one on tourist maps runs between Bharat Tea Plantation and the summit of Gunung Jasar, but the maps themselves say it's not well marked. A trekker's note at the junction with Trail 10 points the way and says it takes about 2 hours to hike down to the tea plantation, but doesn't call the trail No. 6. Official trail signs, on the other hand, also use "Path No. 6" to refer to the trail linking the Forestry Department to Trail 3 east of Tanah Ratah. This trail seems to be better, though we only had time to try a part of it.
  • 7 Trail 7 - To Gunung Berembun - Moderate to Tough (start at MARDI (Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute)). The first 300 m are very overgrown (watch out for ticks). Later the path widen and become very pleasant and well marked. The end is steep until it merges with trail 3 to the summit.
  • 8 Trail 8 - To Gunung Berembun - very Tough (start from the Robinson Waterfall). Very difficult trail (climb?) until it merges with trail 3 and 7 to the summit of Gunung Berembun.
  • 9 Trail 9 and 9A- To the Bharat Plantations - Moderate (start near the Robinson Waterfall). This trail is not recommended as robberies have been reported in 2016 (stopped apparently in 2017?) See #Stay Safe for more information.
  • 10 Trail 10 - To Gunung Jasar - Moderate to Tough (starts next to Tan's Camellia Garden, behing H2O Apartments and Highland Villa Resort). Day hike. Takes you through an ancient mossy forest (~1½ hr to Jasar). As of May 2019, the trail to the summit is open, though you apparently need to walk across the cement at the base of the radio tower to pick the trail back up on the other side (to your right). After the summit, the trail continues northeast along a ridge (right along the boundary between Pahang and Perak states, in fact, as testified to by official markers along the path) and drops you at a power station, where you have to walk around the outside edge of the fence to get to the road. It's a bit of a walk to get back to town.

    The first half of the trail to the summit is wide and easy to follow, except for the confusing part near the radio tower, but has some quite steep sections (no ropes or climbing necessary, just scrambling up tree roots). The second half, from the summit to the power station, isn't steep but does have some narrower, semi-overgrown parts. There are also a few potentially-confusing forks in the path here, but pay attention to the markers other hikers have left and you should be fine. Near the end there is a side path leading steeply down to the right, marked with two yellow ribbons, which may or may not be a worthwhile shortcut down to the power station.
  • 11 Trail 11 - Closed. This trail was reportedly closed due to landslides as of 2017. It’s open and fully walkable. It can be walked from beginning until the end, even though maps.me says you can’t: this is incorrect. Not a very scenic hike though.
  • 12 Trail 12 - Closed. This trail apparently doesn't exist anymore. A handwritten sign on Trail 10 says Trail 12 is "no more", and on maps it appears to be blocked by a recent housing development.
  • 13 Trail 13 - To Gunung Mentigi - Moderate (behind Cameronian Holiday Inn). It is closed for construction developments.
  • 14 Trail 14 - To Gunung Irau - Moderate - Closed since 2 Feb 2018 (starts at the end of the Mossy Forest boardwalk). Gunung Irau is the highest peak of the Cameron Highlands. The trail takes you through the Mossy forest. Can be very challenging and muddy after rainfalls. The track has been closed since 7 Feb 2018 due to landslides.

Trekking tours[edit]

  • Overnight Camping at Gunung Irau, Kang Tours & Travel (Tanah Rata), +60 5 491 5828. Overnight. Camping overnight at Gunung Irau, one of the highest peaks next to Gunung Brinchang. All camping gear will be provided and the tour is guided. RM350.
  • Rainforest Adventure 2 (Rafflesia) Tour, Tanah Rata, +60 13 440 8422. For those who prefer to do jungle trekking with a guided tour and travel by 4WD Land Rover. See the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia is the flower of an endangered species of parasitic plant, often nicknamed the corpse flower due to its rather pungent odor. Itinerary includes visiting an aboriginal village to try out a blow-pipe. Please book in advance and check for Rafflesia availability as the flower is seasonal). RM98.
  • Country Side Tour, Tanah Rata. This is a regular and cheapest sight seeing tour in Cameron Highlands. 5 major tourist attractions. RM25.
  • Wild Junction, Blue Valley. Explore the mossy rainforest. Hiking activities start from Tanah Rata/Brinchang/Kg.Raja. Experience a 4WD ride to trail head and an overnight stay in the jungle.

Golf[edit]

  • 15 Cameron Highlands Golf Course (between Tanah Rata and Brinchang), +60 5 491 1126. This is a beautiful although quite challenging 18-hole course with tricky greens and terrain. Like most of Malaysia however, it could benefit from cleaning up some of the garbage in certain areas, such as the steams. If you require them, a pretty decent range of golf clubs are available to hire for RM70 at the club house.

Buy[edit]

Market[edit]

  • 1 Open Air Market - Kea Farm (2 km north from Brinchang). Well-known place to get fresh vegetables and fruits including strawberries and sweet corn.
  • 2 Night Market (Pasar Malam) (opposite the police station in Brinchang). Open on Friday and Saturday nights (open every day on holiday season and public holiday).

Honey[edit]

  • 3 Ee Feng Gu Honey Bee Farm, 75, Batu 43, Green Cow, Kea Farm, Brinchang (Between Kea Farm and Tringkap), +60 5 496 1951, +60 5 4962755, fax: +60 5 496 2951, . 8AM-7PM. This farm has been around for ages. It is one of the best places to buy fresh honey. Free admission.

Plants[edit]

  • 4 Cactus Point (about 500 m from Kea Farm), +60 5 491 4180. 7 days a week. Situated on a hill slope, this establishment sells practically every type of cactus imaginable.
  • 5 Cactus Valley, Pekan Lama, Brinchang (within walking distance from the township of Brinchang), +60 5 491 5640, +60 5 491 5641, fax: +60 5 491 5109, +60 5 498 1945. This nursery has one of the best collections of cactus in Malaysia. Some of the species here are more than 60 years old. There are no charges for photography at the nursery.
  • 6 Rose Centre (Located at Rose Valley Village, Kea Farm, Brinchang), +60 5 496 2988, fax: +60 5 496 2989. Daily from 8AM-6PM. More than a 100 varieties of roses are grown here. Aside from the abundance of the beautiful roses, is a lovely walk up the hillside on the property with excellent view of the surrounding area. RM5 for adults and RM3 for children.

Strawberries[edit]

  • 7 Big Red Strawberry Farm (Within walking distance from the township of Brinchang), +60 5 491 3327, fax: +60 5 491 1344, . 8:30AM-6PM. The Big Red Strawberry Farm is one of the largest Agro-Tourism Farms in Malaysia. It is a lot different from the other places of interest. Here you can pluck your own strawberries and tomatoes. The sheltered farm covers an area of approximately 5 hectares. There are no charges for photography at the farm. Free wifi access at the cafeteria. Ample parking space available at the complex.
  • 8 Kok Lim Self-Plucking Strawberry Farm, UT/MR/F-255, Jalan Sungai Burung, Brinchang (between Kea Farm and Brinchang), +60 5 491 4481, fax: +60 5 491 5481. The Kok Lim Strawberry Farm is one of the largest strawberry farms at the retreat. The strawberries here are grown on "A-frames". This is a good place to get the best price for the strawberries you pluck. There are no restrictions to photography at the farm. There is ample parking available at the complex. Free admission.

Tea[edit]

Available at the tea plantations, convenience stores and sundry shops. Tea is widely sold at the Cameron Highlands. It is wise to buy tea that is grown and sold at the tea estates.

Maps and souvenirs[edit]

  • Tourist Information Guide Book. Available at the Tourist Information Centre, most hotels, petrol stations, guest houses, convenience stores, eateries and sundry shops. It is good to have a map of the Cameron Highlands while you are on holiday at the retreat. Most guide books do come complete with maps and a brief description of the places of interest to visit.
  • 9 Yung Seng Souvenir Shop, 23, 29 & 30, Main Road, Tanah Rata, +60 5 491 2223, fax: +60 5 491 3163. Art and craft store. An upmarket shop with an interesting mix of handicrafts and souvenirs of the Orang Asli.
  • 10 Butterfly Garden and Butterfly Farm, 43rd Milestone, Kea Farm, Brinchang. 9AM-6PM. The Butterfly Garden and Butterfly Farm are next to each other. Both have a shop at their top floors where you can purchase traditional handicrafts and fashion clothing. You can purchase cacti and flowers at the Butterfly garden.

Eat[edit]

Food is not a problem at the Cameron Highlands. There are many Malay, Western, Indian and Chinese restaurants to pick and choose from. While you are here, do try the steamboat, a pot of boiling soup where you can cook your own meat and vegetables.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Gerai Opah, No.9, Gerai Makan Laluan Besar, Tanah Rata, +60 17-287 3912. If you're looking for a good filling breakfast, try the kampung nasi lemak. Only open for breakfast and until it runs out so hurry up
  • 2 Restoran Kumar, No.26 , Main Rd, Tanah Rata (next to Sri Brinchang), +60 5 4912624. Very popular place for authentic south Indian meals such as banana leaf rice RM7. Tandoori chicken RM7.
  • 3 Singh Chapati, No 1, Brij Court, Tanah Rata. 1PM - 9:30PM. Good Indian food
  • 4 Sri Brinchang, 25 Main Rd, Tanah Rata (Next to Kumar), +60 5 491 5982, +60 12 452 4392. Cheap and very good Indian food. Tandoori Chicken: RM7.50.
  • 5 Yong Teng Cafe, Tanah Rata. 7AM-5PM. Delicious and affordable food, best choice for breakfast (RM6-10) or lunch in town. Must try the pancakes and nasi lemak (RM7). Run by the nicest old couple. There are deaf so all communications are by signs. RM2-10.
  • 6 Restoran Zainab Sam, 10 main road, Tanah Rata, +60 5-491 1917. Local cuisine.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 7 Restoran Ferm Nyonya, Tanah Rata (same street as MayBank). 11:00AM - 10:30PM. Only Nyonya restaurant of the town.
  • 8 Jasmine's Cafe, Tanah Rata. Closes 9:30PM~late. Big on Dutch soccer clubs, there's only one color that characterises this place, Oranje. Superb ambience, good chicken chops and some vegetarian options. RM33-55 per pax.
  • 9 Restoran Mayflower, Tanah Rata, +60 5-4911793. 9AM - 3PM and 5PM - 10:30PM. Good place for steamboat and Chinese food.

Drink[edit]

Cafe[edit]

  • Bala's Holiday Chalet (9AM-6PM). Famous for its tea and scones.
  • 1 Lord's cafe (T Cafe) (at a corner you can't miss the menu on the wall, climb the stairs). 10AM-7PM. Popular place for local tea (RM2) and scones (RM2.8). Classic hideout for British people.
  • 2 Time Tunnel Cafe, UT/MR/F-255, Jl. Sungai Burung, Brinchang (within the Kok Lim Strawberry Farm), +60 16 3288 438, +60 13-5247 120. 9AM-6PM. Rustic setting. Wide food choice. Service with a smile. Nice place to take photographs.

Bar[edit]

  • 3 Jungle Bar (Daniel's Lodge Jungle Travellers Bar), No.9, Lorong Perdah. Tanah Rata (Located behind Daniel's/Kang Travellers Lodge), +60 5 491 5828. 7:30PM-2AM. A bar with a jungle theme and nightly bonfire. Live football match telecasts. Pool table is available, dart board and music. Beer is RM8 a bottle and the clientele are mainly international travellers. Plenty of places to sit and talk and the atmosphere is relaxed.
  • 4 Travellers Bistro & Pub. noon-1AM. The only pub in Tanah Rata. A decent place to meet other travellers. Beer RM10.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Brinchang Hotel, 36, Brinchang Main Rd, +60 5 4911755, fax: +60 5 4913452. Located in the centre of Brinchang. Cheap and good.
  • 2 Cameronian Inn, No.16 Jalan Mentigi, +60 12 559 5017. Cottage with a nice garden, afternoon tea and strawberry scones. Mix of dorms and private rooms. TV room with AstroTV. 4-bed dorm: RM15, private double room w/shared bathroom: RM50.
  • 3 Kang Traveller's Lodge (Daniel's Lodge), Tanah Rata, +60 5 491 5823, . Very basic but pleasant dorm accommodation. Free hot showers, free 24 hr wifi , pool table and nightly bonfires. Movie room with DVDs available. Spacious common area and garden terrace cafe. Can make tour and transport arrangements. Do not mistake with Kang Traveller's Hotel - same owner but slightly more pricey. Dorm: RM12-15, rooms: RM20-120 (RM45 for a double June 2017).
  • 4 Eighy Mentigi, 8A Jla Mentigi Tanah Rata, +60 5-4915988. single/double with own bathroom. free wifi RM50/70.
  • 5 Father's Guest House, Lot 25 Tanah Rata (5-min walk from Tanah Rata. A Garmin GPS will put you on the back road and in the bush. The house is up the hill, and you will need to go back to the main road and turn left and then take the first left of Jl. Gereja.), +60 549 12484, fax: +60 549 15484, . A popular holiday retreat surrounded by forest and gardens. In-house cafe serves local and western cuisines. Big wifi lounge area. Tour and transport bookings available at reception counter. Dorm: RM30, double from: RM74.20.
  • 6 [dead link] Kang Travellers Hotel, No.38, Jalan Besar. Tanah Rata (On the main road 200 m from the bus terminal), +60 5 491 5828. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: noon. An easy going budget hotel for travellers but don't expect too much. Free 24 hr wifi, spacious rooms some with attached and common bathroom. On the main street of Tanah Rata. Tours and transport arrangements are also available. RM40-120.
  • Number 8 Guest House, Tanah Rata (Fairly new guesthouse, just behind Twin Pines down a small road but only 3 minutes walk from town). 4 rooms of simple but clean accommodation with modern beds and furniture. Free wifi and an internet terminal which costs RM3. RM50-80 double with shower.
  • 7 Sg Pauh Campsite (near Taman Sedia, 5 min drive to Tanah Rata or Brinchang), +60 5 4911384. The campsite has got all the basic amenities like washrooms, BBQ and cold showers. There are electrical sockets spread around the site. RM3 per tent, If you want the electric power the price raises to RM10..
  • 8 Tudor Home Inn, 10A, Jalan Angsana 3, Bandar Baru Brinchang, Brinchang., +60 5 490 1353, . Kopitiam serving local favorite food. Car parking available. Local information counter. Sightseeing tour arrangement. Close to the night market and a mosque's loudspeaker. doubles RM80.
  • 9 Twin Pines (Located just behind the (inactive) construction area). Friendly Indian owners and clean rooms, hot shared showers. 24-hr TV room, internet for nominal charge, food for 3 meals, small garden, laundry service RM6 for the first 4 kg. Can arrange tours in the Cameron highlands. Single attic rooms with mattress on the floor: RM15, rooms: RM25-RM75.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 10 Westwood Highland, 4B Jalan Batu 51 (Between Kampung Raja and Kuala Terla), +60 135238077, . The owner of this hostel, Troji, is an experienced traveller who decided to found his own hostel in his hometown after living around Malaysia and in London. He's running the hostel with the help of his lovely family. The location is not that good but Troji offers free pick-ups from Kualka Terla or Kampung Raja in the main road, just call him in advance. Extra clean hostel with a western spirit (free Wifi, home cinema in the living room and a coffeeshop with one of the best expresso in the highlands) in the middle of a flower farm runned by Troji's family. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Westwood-Highland/152967308220749 Dorm: RM60, single private room w/ shared bathroom: RM90, double private room w/ shared bathroom: RM180, family rooms (3 or 4 persons) w/ private bathroom: RM290 (all with breakfast included).
  • Bala's Holiday Chalet, Batu 39, Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata, +60 549 11660, fax: +60 5 491 4500, . The hotel is one of the oldest colonial buildings in Cameron Highlands, converted from previous use as a school for the children of expatriate families. Within walking distance of Tanah Rata. English colonial decor and manicured gardens, TV room, reading room and library with a fireplace. Laundry, safe deposit facilities. Internet and a free shuttle service to/from Tanah Rata town. Cottage style rooms RM120, from RM380 for suites.
  • Hillview Inn, No.17, Jl. Mentigi, Tanah Rata (5 min walk from bus station), +60 5 4912915, . The rooms are clean, carpeted and spacious. Free pick up from the Tanah Rata bus station. Free wifi and Internet service. TV room on every floor. Arrange tour and transport bookings. A café serves hot snacks, tea and scones, drinks and beers. RM70-240.

Splurge[edit]

  • Cameron Highlands Resort, +60 32 783 1000. Tanah Rata. The Cameron Highlands Resort (formerly Merlin Inn) Boutique resort with 56 well-appointed rooms and suites. Fronts the Cameron Highlands' 18-hole golf course. It also houses the third wellness centre of the award-winning Spa Village, which offers exotic treatments focusing on the healing and restorative properties of tea. Room rates start from US$200 for the deluxe rooms.
  • Century Pines Resort, +603 6201 1055. Tanah Rata. A cosy hotel located at the north-end of Tanah Rata. It houses a spa which offers spa and massage packages. There are 111 rooms in various sizes; superior, deluxe, suite. Rates start from RM160 for the superior rooms.
  • Crown Imperial Court, Crown Imperial Court Brinchang (Behind Petronas Brinchang), +60 122266260. This apartment was built in 2009 and is at the top of Brinchang town in Cameron Highlands. All apartments here are with 3 bedrooms and a private parking space. RM250-450.
  • Equatorial Cameron Highlands, +60 5 496 1777, fax: +60 5 496 1333. Kea Farm, Brinchang. The highest resort in the Camerons and also its biggest. There are 240 self-contained low-rise apartments and 270 rooms and suites in the hotel tower. Rates are from RM380 for the rooms and RM680 for apartments.
  • Heritage Hotel, +60 5 491 3888, fax: +60 5 491 5666. Tanah Rata. 165-room hotel at 1,500 m above sea level. Surrounded by lush tropical forest with panoramic views of the town. Eye-catching tudor styled architecture and elegantly sculpture garden provide an ambience of an old English countryside. Rates start from RM350 for the superior rooms. Inclusive of steamboat dinner and breakfast. Watch out for promotion on their web page.
  • Hotel De' La Ferns, +60 5 491 4888, fax: +60 5 491 6198. Batu 39, Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata. It is the latest boutique hotel at the Cameron Highlands. The hotel is approximately 2 km from Tanah Rata. It is close to the golf course.
  • Strawberry Park Resort, +60 5 491 1166, fax: +60 5 491 1949. Tanah Rata. Neo Tudor-style resort contains 230 modern styled fully-furnished rooms and apartments that blend in with their natural surroundings. Rates start from RM350 for the smallest studio apartments to RM1,050 for a 3-bedroom penthouse.
  • The Lakehouse, +60 5 495 6152, fax: +60 5 495 6213. Ringlet. Tudor style hotel siting atop a hill and overlooking the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake near the town of Ringlet. Short drive from Tanah Rata. 11 deluxe rooms, 3 junior suites, 3 family suites and 1 honeymoon suite. Rates start from RM465.
  • The Smokehouse Hotel, +60 5 491 1215, fax: +60 5 491 1214, . Tanah Rata. English Tudor style hotel with a colonial ambience, built in 1939. Traditional English breakfasts, tea in the lush gardens with scones, cream and strawberry jam. Dine in probably the finest restaurant in the Highlands and take pleasure in a drink by the fireplace. Well-appointed suites. Room rates range from RM400 to RM600. RM480-600 + 10% service charge.

Connect[edit]

Internet facilities are readily available.

Stay safe[edit]

Travel Warning WARNING: Robberies on Trail No. 9: Travellers have been robbed several times while walking Trail number 9 in between Tanah Rata and the Robinson Power Station. A masked man armed with a long knife threatens single persons or small groups. Other reports speak of biting dogs on the way, also controlled by one man. There have not been any reports in 2017 but still proceed with caution when hiking trail 9.
(Information last updated Jan 2017)

Before starting trekking, remember to notify your hotel or guesthouse of which trail you attempt and when you plan to come back. Make sure you bring along:

  1. Water. Bring sufficient amount. Minimum 1L per person and more on hot days or challenging trails. Isotonic drinks are also a good idea.
  2. Food. Prefer sweet snacks to boost you sugar level if you start feeling low. Oreo biscuits are good for that.
  3. Mobile hand phone fully charged. Don't forget to bring hotel number and local emergency numbers. A smartphone can be used as GPS to follow the trails on Open Street maps.
  4. First Aid Kit. You never know and you can easily trip or worst get bitten!
  5. Torches or headlamp. Sunset is around 19:30 in Malaysia and after that it's dark!

Water refill stations are available in Tanah Rata - 1L for 10 cents (May 2017).

  • The only working station is in front of Netasha Holiday Inn. Use the coin slots on the right as the left is broken.
  • The station in front of Lord's cafe may be missing.
  • The station next to Vintage Bistro is broken.

Cope[edit]

  • All Souls' Church. It is located between Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Sunday services start at 10:30AM.

Go next[edit]

  • Ipoh is the capital of the State of Perak and known for its good local food and colonial architecture. 1 hr away by road. From Tanah Rata's bus station there are buses that go to Ipoh. The cost is RM20 for the bus in the early morning and RM21.30 for the other bus during the day.
This city travel guide to Cameron Highlands is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.