Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s lagest and best-known hill resort. Discovered by, and named after William Cameron, a goverment surveyor who, in 1885 explored the area by hacking a path up through dense jungle and came across, “A fine plateau shut in by mountains”. At 1524m above sea level the area enjoys a cool climate, with temperatures no higher than 20°C and rarely falling below 10°C, a welcome change to the generally oppressive heat and humisity at sea level.
Without doubt the most interesting aspect of a visit to the resort is its tea plantations, the first of which were established in 1929 by John Archibald Russell and belong to the most famous Malaysian tea producer, Boh Tea. The estates are wonderfully manicured and visitors are welcome to view the factory production process and enjoy a cuppa’ at the tea shop. Other interesting places to visit include the numerous vegetable farms dotted all around the area.
There are also strawberry farms, flower nurseries, butterfly farms, a challenging 18 hole golf course and for the more adventurious various jungle treks. The three main highlands towns are Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang with most visitors staying in and around the latter two. Accommodation varies from small inexpensive hotels and guest houses, to self-catering apartments and first class hotels. Any time of year is suitable for a visit, but try to avoid the main public and school holiday periods as the area can become very busy. It is also best to be prepared for the 2 hour journey from the entry point at Tapah to Tanah Rata, the drive is not steep and is extremely interesting, but the road is quite narrow and very winding, so drive carefully and try to stop occasionally to enjoy the various sights along the way. These include the impressive Lata Iskandar waterfall, amazing tropical vegetation and various Orang Asli (indigenous people) dwellings. Without doubt Cameron Highlands is the place to visit on Peninsular Malaysia.
How to get there:
Cameron Highlands is only accessible via Tapah, in the State of Perak, from the North South Highway – 4 to 5 hours from Kuala Lumpur.
From Tapah take route 59. At Batu 7, turn off right if you want to take a short break at the Kuala Who Forest Recreation Park where there are picnic areas and a hot spring.
There are 4 bus services from Pudu Raya Bus Terminal, Kuala Lumpur.From Tapah, the local bus leaves at hourly intervals for Tanah Rata.
From Pudu Raya in KL direct to Tanah Rata or from Tapah to Tanah Rata
The rail stop is at Tapah. From here, take the taxi or bus to Tanah Rata.