Lush-green hillscapes & emerald tea plantations, fresh air and a sense of old British-colonial nostalgia all around – this is the charm that awaits you in the Cameron Highlands. Situated in the northwestern tip of the Pahang state in Malaysia, this hill-station lies between 800 and 1800 meters and lures foreign and local tourists alike.
Named after Sir William Cameron, a British explorer and geologist who mapped this area back in 1885, the Cameron Highlands developed during the British colonial period. Today, visitors love to come here to enjoy drinking tea, eating freshly grown strawberries and hiking through ancient forests.
As already mentioned the Cameron Highlands are located in the state of Pahang but can actually best be accessed through the western state of Perak. The largest city here is Tanah Rata which is located amidst the highlands region. It also serves as the main access point for all arrivals from the surroundings areas as well as larger cities such as Kuala Lumpur. There are daily buses that drive here from Kuala Lumpur.
Where to stay in the Cameron Highlands?
There is a large variety of accommodation options in the Cameron Highlands and most are located in the town of Tanah Rata. If you are looking for a decent place to stay we can recommend the Bricks Hostel. It is a relatively new hostel right in the center of the town with small but comfy rooms and a good place to start your Cameron Highlands adventures from.
Visit the Tea Plantations
There are many Cameron Highlands one day tours and all of them include a visit to one of the various tea plantations. The Cameron Highlands is the largest tea-growing region in Malaysia and there are some plantations that are possible to visit as a tourist. The most common ones are Cameron Valley & the Boh Tea Plantations. In both places you can have incredible views of the lush tea fields and enjoy a cup of tea or two.
As part of a sunrise tour you can also experience the sunrise above the lush greens of the tea plantations. A very beautiful (yet cold!) experience. Make sure to bring some warmer clothes along as it does tend to get chilly here, especially at night and during the early morning.
Go Jungle Trekking
As part of a day tour you can join in on a jungle treck. Here you can explore the area’s unique flora and fauna including dense jungles, sweeping valley and scenic waterfalls. You can also book a tour to hike all the way to the top of Mount Brinchang. If you are lucky you get to see some interesting animals along the way, like this Trinket snake we saw in the grass.
Jungle hiking can be exhausting, so make sure to prepare yourself with some proper clothes, shoes and enough water!
Check out the Giant Rafflesia Flowers
One of the most unique things to see in the local forests and jungles in the Cameron Highlands is the world’s largest flower – the Rafflesia! We took a Raflessia tour and explored an area just outside of the highlands and went deep into the woods to find these rare flowers. The flower can get over 100 centimeter wide and weigh up to 10 Kilos. It only blooms for a few days and we were unfortunate to not see it in full bloom. After the bloom the flower slowly decays and looks more like this: Nevertheless, an interesting and amazing thing to see live!
Pick & Eat Strawberries
Due to its special climate the Cameron Highlands is the only place in Malaysia that grows strawberries all year round. Yet, the best time is the main season from May to August where you can enter the farms and pick them yourself. Alternatively, you can buy strawberries and many related products like jams, ice creams or milk shakes. Definitely an absolute highlight if you love to eat strawberries and something that you will not find in many places int he region.
Visit the Mossy Forest
The Mossy Forest is a natural environment that grows in the highest peaks of the Cameron Highlands. In these heights the forests are constantly covered in mist and moisture – creating a unique and ideal biotope for various kinds of ferns, orchids and other plants. Since tourism has increased massively here in the last years the actual Mossy Forest is not as naturally intact as it used to be. Our guide decided to show us another mossy forest in a neighboring area which was very impressive and beautiful to see.
We do highly recommend visiting the Cameron Highlands as its a very unique and interesting area to visit when traveling through Malaysia. Especially coming from the rather hot and humid city of Kuala Lumpur, the trip here enabled us to enjoy some breathtaking hikes and views.