Travel guide for Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

 

Cameron Highland is a high estate located just about 200 km from Kuala Lumpur. Being one of the highest region in Malaysia, this place has cool weather and charming tea estates. The bungalows, gardens, and golf course are the reminiscence of the British colonisers who would come to the highland for relaxation. Check further post for things to do in Cameron Highlands which can be wrapped up in about 2-3 days if you are on a roll.

SEE

Gunung Brinchang: Ideal way to start morning at Cameron is with hike to Gunung Brinchang, which is mainly a road walk and is not very tiring due to the lovely weather. The panoramic view at the peak which is at 6666ft and is worth every step. I had the opportunity to be among the clouds and aah that feeling of mist on my cheeks. You may hike up on your own or opt for an guide which is more recommendable.

Mossy Forest: After the hike at Gunung Brinchang, Mossy forest was our next destination.  Every plant and branch is covered with moss. The forest gives us the feeling of jungles from King Kong movie – dense, mossy all over and creepers everywhere. But there were no reptiles or insects and I presume its mainly because of the therapeutic plants which grow in abundance here (the Cajeput tree from which famous Tiger balm is made, grows here).  One can also spot Pitcher plants in abundance here, but do not touch them as some variety of this plant are carnivorous. You will be lucky to spot Giant Rafflesia, an endangered flower which claims to be the largest flower in world, in this forest. Make sure to go only with a local guide or you may get lost in the forest.

Tea Plantation: Cameron highland has excellent weather for tea plantations here and ‘Boh‘ at Sungai Palas is an ideal estate to breathe in some tea vibes here (also it is the biggest). I find tea estates very romantic as there is vastness of the estate which is so green and the chill in the air makes my bare shoulder tinkle. At Boh tea plantation we took a tour of the tea factory and then got ourselves comfortable  to sip some lovely tea with sumptuous little cakes. Make sure to buy little tea boxes for yourself and friends and family.

Starwberry farm: Raju’s strawberry farm seems to be pretty famous as it was confirmed by a local person and various portals in my research – and since its strawberries it couldn’t go wrong for us in anyway. Go around and pick strawberries with your lovelies and then enjoy the joys of your pluck. Though I found this to be a bit expensive activity which costed 35RMs (for 1/2kg I guess). But I think the price is more for the experience than for the strawberries. You can find quite some local fresh fruits and vegetables shops very close to Raju’s strawberry farm.

Bee farm/ reptile farm: There are many farms that breed bees and other reptiles as well. Its a good place to look at gorgeous butterflies and vibrant snakes and hedgehogs at such farms. Its a fun activity for a reptile lover or to show the kids around.

Cactus Valley: Walk along the lovely terraces to see the varieties of flowers and vegetables and off course cactus. They are all in abundance and will stimulate all your sensory organs. I went little crazy at the site of cactus varieties.

Robinson Waterfalls: Jungle trail number 9 leads to Robinson Waterfalls – a serene place to relax and soak in the air. These are impressive falls especially in rain time (September to January) and its an off beat trail as well.

Kea Farm Market: Take a walk at this farmer’s market and buy yourself some fresh fruits. If you are in strawberry season, then you’ll find them everywhere while they will be cheaper at such farmer’s market.

Tip: For about 40RMs/ 8 hours there are motorcycles available to go around the city and relax at our own pace. Though I wouldn’t recommend taking them when going to any uphill areas. The engines might not be powerful enough to take you through high elevations.

EAT

Steamboat cuisine: Best way to enjoy this dish would be to go brunching with friends and family – because its like potluck. You wont regret trying this dish. This dish has variations in various Asian countries such as Hot Pot in China. You may try this at Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat Restaurant and Ok Tuck Restaurant.

Steamed corns and sweet potatoes: How awesome are these to just keep nibbling while roaming in streets of Cameron and that chilly weather. I was amazed to see the amount of sweet potatoes sold and consumed here.

Ye Olde Smokehouse: If you are craving for some smoked food, then this place is right for you as it serves some good meat.

Curry House: Malaysia is a home to many Indians (mainly Tamilians) hence Indian Masala Chai was need of the hour to let my taste buds feels closer to home. This is also a good place to try some kebabs and other nibblers.

Uncle Chow’s Kopitam: Cool hangout place to snack and sip coffee among the locals visiting this place.

Fruits: I love trying local fruits while I am visiting the country. It gives me good insight of the vegetation and natures’ delight in form of fruits. Must try fruits at Cameron highlands are strawberries, langsat, red and white guavas (jambu batu), rose apple (jambu merah), and love fruit which I shopped at the Kea farm market

SLEEP

There are tons of budget hotels and BnBs in Tanha Rata, Cameron Highlands. Just take a walk in the area and try your luck at multiple inexpensive stays. As most of these places either shut or change names so its difficult to keep track of them by their names. For stay options on a little expensive side (which isn’t really very expensive either) try Copthorne Hotel, Century Pines Resort, and Lakehouse Hotel. I really liked some Airbnb options such as this, this, and this.

We stayed in Farm View apartment which is hosted by Dennis Hong and I must say it was a delight staying at this Airbnb. The house is really amazing with lovely farm view. The house had all possible things available for tourist to live in comfortably. Dennis has a really interesting way of handing over the keys to its customer and I stop at that for you to experience it yourself, if you happen to stay here.

Tip: While selecting the stay options you either choose hotels in Tanha rata area which is like the main area to hang out and spend evenings or hotels in Brinchang area which is closer to tea estates and peaks and really quiet area. As the distance between the two is almost about 5kms, both areas give a little different feel.

Best season: Since Cameron Highlands is mountainous, its really cool for most of the season. To enjoy cool breezy weather January to April is a good time and to enjoy sunny weather May to July is a good time. Spetember onwards there are heavy rainfall making the temperature dip even below 10C during night – having said that flora and fauna is at its best during this time.

Here’s a little virtual tour of our trip along with the tourist map:

Hat, simple sandal and map is all I need

Elevated roads and green all around

Beautiful cacti

Akhil being silly at the cactus farm

A table for two

Lavender farm

View of Boh Tea Plantation – till your eyes can see

Vibrant butterfly

View from Gunung Brinchang peak at 6666ft – those are clouds

Waiting for clouds to touch my face

Mossy forest

Enjoying footpath golf outside a cafe

Street food at Kea farm market

Strawberry farm just took it all literally

Check out other posts on our Malaysia tour.

Travel Guide for Kuala Lumpur

The majestic Petranoas Towers

SEE

1. Sin Sze Si Ya Temple: This is an old Chinese temple built in 1864 located in a small very-easy-to-miss-out bylane of Petalling street. Many people pray here for good luck from Wenchang Dijun, God of knowledge. For good fortune, Chinese practice is to crawl under the table right in front of the statues of Sin Sze ye or even circling the temple’s main alter three times. Fortune-telling is also performed at this temple. The temple people are very warm and lovely. Sin Sze Si Ya Temple is just a 5 min walk from Pasar Seni station or Masjid Jemak station by LRT train.

2. Petronas Towers: The towers are the man-made marvel which were built at a breakneck speed of two & half years.They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. There’s a skybridge halfway through the towers where you get to stroll on and take some pictures before you move further up through multiple elevators. Final stop is at an observation deck on 84th floor from where you can see the other tower (2nd of the twin towers). Only putoff for me was the observation deck was quite enclosed making it bit difficult for me to completely capture the gigantism of the tower. Entry fee cost – RM 65 person

Note: They have timing to visit the tower and tickets have to be purchased in advance.

3. KL Tower: Another brilliant tower to marvel at the man-made beauty. Brilliant observation deck to experience. Go and see it. You get a better view of the city from this tower as compared to Petronas.

Note: They have timing to visit the tower and tickets have to be purchased in advance. Ideal time is to catch the sunset. Its just beautiful.

4. Batu Caves: Its a limestone hill adoring the Hindu temple with a tall statue of lord Murugan at the entrance. It is one of the famous Hindu shrines outside India. This place is also famous for the rock climbing with more than 160 climbing routes. So either lord or nature, just pick your calling. There are some hot springs around. Do explore.

There are some more places that I could like to recommend. But we couldn’t cover due to shortage of time.

5. Hike to Bukit Tabur: Read some opinion here.

6. Rice fields and fireflies tour: Read here.

7. Hot air-balloon flight over Putrajaya: Read here

EAT

1. Heli Lounge: This is a working heli pad which is used as so in day time and converted to a lounge by evening. Highly recommended lounging place as it provides a brilliant open panoramic view of the city. Ideal place for couples to enjoy a candle light dinner.

2. China Town: This place is a mini heaven for Asian street food lover and shoppers located at Jalan Petaling. I suggest a day time shopping and night time hogging trip to this place. Try the roasted chestnuts, momos, wanton mee, claypot loh shu fun. There are some night walking tours as well.

3. Town Squares: Some of the areas have town squares with all food options nestled in one place. Some of the best things to try here is Nasi Lemak, Nasi Kerabu, Sarawak Laksa,etc.

Some interesting options that can be tried:

4. Food trail walking tour: Read here.

Know more here and here.

SLEEP

KL has many options to stay in premium, budget and cheap category. Most opted options are the one with Petronas tower view. Check Oasis, Summer Suites, and Pacific Regency for budget options.

Note: most hotels/ hostels in Malaysia have check-in time of 2pm which is unusual and could make a difference in your itinerary. So plan accordingly.

Weather

Average is hot and humid as its closer to equator

October to April – warm and sometimes wet

May to September – wet

December to February – cool and sometimes wet

Reach to KL

This is an important hub for Malaysia and has great domestic and international flight connectivity. Once you reach KL airport, you may take express train to get in the city costing 55 RM. However, shuttle bus is the cheapest way to travel to city costing 15 RM. Also they have good metro rail connection to travel within city with short walk or short taxi drive distance to famous places. Once here, you may also choose to bike around in the city. Its one of the best and eco-friendly ways to go around the city.

Here’s a little virtual tour.

Wondering in town in my DIY dress

China Town market

Colorful pork momos at China Town

My favourite roasted chestnut stall at China Town market

2 souls in happy state of mind

Hubby negotiating with the temple guard to let us in since we reached after 5 pm. And he was successful 😀

Temple from inside

One of the doors at Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

look at all those adorable leather purses

Ate Pretzel at this place in Petronas Tower and they were to die for

Water fountain at Petronas Towers

My view from Heli Lounge

Colorful buildings

Beautiful graffiti adorning one of the walls in town

Do you think I missed out anything? Please do share your insights. I will be happy to take another trip to this crazy city that doesn’t sleep.