The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia is part of a mountain range and is located in the Malaysian federal state Pahang. It is famous for its unique nature, such as the Mossy Forest. And therefore, the Cameron Highlands is even known as the Garden of Malaysia.
In this post, you can find everything that you need to know about the Cameron Highlands, including tours and accommodation.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Cameron Highlands, Malaysia Facts
- 2 Historical Background and how the Cameron Highlands got their name
- 3 Best Travel time to Cameron Highlands
- 4 Climate & Weather Cameron Highlands
- 5 How to get to Cameron Highlands
- 6 The best Accommodation in Cameron Highlands
- 7 A Tea Plantation & Mossy Forest Tour with Discover Camerons
- 8 The Cameron Highlands Tea plantations (Sungei Palas Boh)
- 9 The Tea production
- 10 The Mossy Forest
- 11 The Cameron Highlands Strawberry Farm
- 12 Are there other Cameron Highlands Tours?
- 13 What else to do in Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia Facts
- Located in the East of the town Ipoh
- 200 km distance to Kuala Lumpur
- The biggest subdistrict and administrative center is Tanah Rata
- 712 km² area
- The most popular subdistricts are Tanah Rata, Brinchang & Kea Farm
Historical Background and how the Cameron Highlands got their name
The history of the Cameron Highlands began 1885 when the British surveyor Sir William Cameron was sent by the Colonial Government to map the border to the next federal state Perak. Although the Cameron Highlands obviously got named after him, it was Sir George Maxwell that realized just 40 years later that this area would be suitable as a resort and hill-station.
Due to the cooler climate, this region was way more pleasant for the British than the heat that dominates most of the peninsula of Malaysia.
At the same time, they also started using the fertility of the grounds by growing tea, coffee and things along those lines. Today we know that the Highlands is home to different kinds of flora and fauna.
However, unfortunately, due to the construction of accommodation and roads, a big amount of the former nature got destroyed.
Best Travel time to Cameron Highlands
If you have the choice, try not (!) to visit the Cameron Highlands on weekends. Due to its mild temperatures, it is a popular destination for local tourists that want to do a short trip to Cameron Highlands. Therefore, on weekends, the roads and accommodations are often overcrowded. So, if you are coming to enjoy the quiet and peaceful nature you might wanna get here during the week.
Climate & Weather Cameron Highlands
Due to its altitude (around 1.500 meter/ 0,93 Miles above sea level) a cooler Climate (between 15-25 ºC/ 59-77 °F) dominates these Malaysia Highlands. Therefore, you might wanna leave your shorts in your suitcase and bring a sweater instead. Especially, because at night, the temperatures can drop to 10 °C/ 50 °F.
By the way, January and February are the driest months.
Temperatures Cameron Highlands
The average temperature in the Cameron Highlands changes during the year just in a margin of around 2°C (21°C/ 70°F in November, December, and January and 23°C/ 73°F in April, May, and June)
How to get to Cameron Highlands
Taking the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands
Duration: ca.5 hours
Price: ca. 30 RM (ca. 6 €/ $7,66)
There are direct buses of different companies from the Malaysian capital to the Tanah Rata Bus Terminal. In case your booked accommodation is on the way, you can ask your bus driver to let you get out near your accommodation. To be sure, ask when buying your ticket.
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Taking the Bus from Penang to Cameron Highlands
Duration: Ca. 4 ½ hours
Price: ca. 40 RM (ca. 8€/ $10,21)
From Penang, you can find direct buses to Tanah Rata Bus Terminal as well.
You can find the schedules and Buses from Penang to Cameron Highlands here.
Taking the bus from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands
Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
Price: 18, 50 RM (ca. 3,8 € /$4,72)
Unfortunately, there is just one company that operates daily between Ipoh and Cameron Highlands. The buses are running between 8.00 am and 07.00 pm. Check for Buses from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands here.
Renting a car to Cameron Highlands
If you don’t have any problem with driving on the left-hand side, you can as well just rent a car and drive yourself. There are different routes you can take. On TripAdvisor, you can find an overview of the routes.
With Mini Van to Cameron Highlands
Another option is to take a Mini Van. Many travel agencies offer this service. You can either charter a private Mini Van or choose a fixed route. The easiest way is to compare different travel agencies on-site and do some bargain.
We took a shared Mini Van from Kuala Besut for 60 RM (12,30€/ $15,31) per person that brought us directly to our accommodation.
Taking a taxi to Cameron Highlands
The last option is to take a taxi. The prices will probably be much higher than taking public transport. Check on-site and try to get help from your accommodation when it comes to fair prices.
The best Accommodation in Cameron Highlands
For us, definitely, the best accommodation is the Orchid Haven Hostel. (Check the latest prices and availabilities here) It’s located pretty centrally in the main district Tanah Rata.
Its comfortable common room which is full of plants invites you to sit down with free coffee or tea and meet new people.
The staff is friendly and super helpful and can give you great recommendations about Hiking trails, Tours in the region, and places to visit in Cameron Highlands.
The owner is offering a cooking class every evening and likes to invite guests to join the dinner.
Regarding the rooms, you can choose between private rooms (Family rooms) and dorms.
The ATS Cameron Hotel offers some more luxury. (Check the latest prices and availability here) It’s located centrally in Tanah Rata.
Every room is equipped with a private bathroom and some rooms are even offering their own seating area.
If you are traveling in a group or are just looking for some more space, you can as well rent an apartment. Here, up to 6 people can find a place to sleep in one of 3 bedrooms.
The Apartment Cameron Highlands (Jalan Tengkolok) is as well located in the center of Tanah Rata. (Check latest prices and availability here).
A Tea Plantation & Mossy Forest Tour with Discover Camerons
Since this tour was recommended by our hostel, we decided to join a half-day tour with Discover Cameron. The big benefit of this half-day tour in the Cameron Highlands is that the groups are kept quite small, so you don’t have to follow a loud big group of tourists. For us, it actually felt more like a trip with friends.
Costs for a Halfday Tour
A half day tour with Discover Camerons costs 50 RM (ca. 10€/ $12,76) per person. (Children 35 RM)
The guide of our tour is called Appu and was definitely one of the best guides of our whole Southeast Asia trip. He just has a talent for giving information and explaining things in a way that it is interesting and fun listening and learning new things.
But the thing that made the big difference for us is that you can tell that he is passionate about his job. Basically, educating the visitors about the unique nature of the Cameron Highlands felt more like a mission to him rather than him just doing his job. He knows something about probably every little plant we’ve seen during the tour and could tell us a funny story about every part of the forest.
How can you book a Tour with Discover Camerons?
We booked our tour with our Hostel Orchid Haven.
Anyway, you can also book a tour on their Discover Camerons-Website here.
Please note that I am not an affiliate of Discover Cameron.
The Cameron Highlands Tea plantations (Sungei Palas Boh)
The first destination on our Half-day Tour with Discover Camerons were the Cameron Highlands tea plantations. The big benefit of this tour is that it is starting before other tours, which allows you to arrive before all the other tourists. This way, you can enjoy the quiet and peaceful nature in the morning and snap some amazing photos. When we left the tea plantations more and more cars full of tourists started to arrive.
Our guide Appu explained to us the history of the tea fields and managed to have an answer to all of our questions.
Moreover, Appu knows the best instagrammable places around the Cameron Highlands. He helped us taking beautiful and also funny pictures. In the end, everyone that wanted to had a great memory of this magnificent place.
The Tea production
Autor’s note: On Mondays, the Tea Factory and Café are closed and therefore not part of the tour
After we were able to see where the tea is growing and Appu has told us the history of this place, we also wanted to know how this tea is produced. Even more, obviously, we wanted to try!
We decided that is was time to try the tea first. Therefore, we sat down in the Tea Café and ordered a tea that Appu has recommended us.
His recommendation was great because the tea was super delicious. We paid 9,5 RM (ca. 2€ /$2,42) for a little pot of tea and were able to enjoy the view on the tea fields at the same time.
In the Café, you can also order cake and pastry.
Afterwards, we took a little walk through the factory, in which the tea gets produced.
The Mossy Forest
If I had to name our highlights of Malaysia, Mossy Forest is probably one of them. It’s located around 2000 Meter (1,24 Miles) above sea level on the Gunung Brinchang. The Gunung Brinchang is the highest by road accessible mountain in Southeast Asia.
Due to the altitude of the Mossy Forest, Malaysia it is usually covered by clouds creating an endless mist in this area. This constant mist causes plants, such as moss, ferns, and orchids to grow here.
At first, we took a small walk around the forest while Appu told us about the different plants. He also offered us to put our finger into the carnivorous plant, which obviously no one did 😉 Another thing which was extremely important to him is explaining why we shouldn’t leave the paths Firstly, he didn’t want us to destroy these delicate plants that have been growing there for several hundred years by stepping on them. Secondly, many people that walk alone through the woods get lost and have to be looked for.
The Mossy Forest Boardwalk
Later, we had some time to walk along one short Mossy Forest Hiking Trail by ourselves. (ca. 20 Minutes Walk)
From here, we could enjoy this mesmerizing view that makes the Mossy Forest so special.
There is just so much to see and the forest has clearly something mystical.
Sadly, during the walk again and again, you can see tourists that leave the marked paths, climbing the trees and stepping on plants just to get a nice selfie. Seriously, guys, how would you feel if you’d spend hundreds of years growing just to be stepped on by some idiot that wants to take a selfie? Please, please, please don’t be that guy!
The Cameron Highlands Strawberry Farm
Since the traffic was fine and we were basically done with our tour pretty early, Appu offered to make another stop at the strawberry farm. Of course, we all agreed.
Even though technically, it was not strawberry season in the Cameron Highlands, the locals found a way to have fresh strawberries all around the year by planting strawberries from other countries as well.
We were able to try different kinds of strawberry marmalades that were super yummy. In the end, we finished our tour by ordering some fresh strawberry juices and milkshakes. Eduardo and I enjoyed a strawberry juice for which we paid 8 RM (ca. 1,60€ / $2,00).
Are there other Cameron Highlands Tours?
Discover Camerons offers different kind of tours. Make sure to check their Website here.
What else to do in Cameron Highlands
Several Hiking Trails
If you like to go hiking or trekking you found the right place to go to. Due to its colder temperatures, the Cameron Highlands are just perfect for trekking.
There are several and different kinds of Trails for Beginners and pros. You can take some of the routes alone but others are just accessible with a guide.
If you are interested in hiking be sure to check in your accommodation for the trails most suitable for you.
The night market
The night market takes place every Friday and Saturday in Tanah Rata.(In front of the Hotel Casa dela Rosa)
Here, you can buy a lot of cool stuff, like souvenirs, fresh fruits, and honey.
But don’t forget to bring a jacket as by night it can be quite chilly.
Entrance: free of charge
Three bee farms that you can visit are located in the Cameron Highlands. (e.g. the Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm in Brinchang) You can not only see the bees but also buy fresh honey and usually also strawberries.
A Tour to the Rafflesia
The Rafflesia is a big flower that can only be found on the Malaysian peninsula and Borneo.
During Rafflesia-Season, you can find many offers for tours to see this rare flower.
The Orang Asli Village
The Orang Asli are the aborigines of Malaysia. They are living in different villages all over the country. Here, you can visit them in their village and learn about their culture.
You can find even more things to do in the Cameron Highlands and places to see. Just check out this website of the Cameron Highlands to find a little overview of all the activities.