Explore Cameron Highlands in Peninsular Malaysia

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Explore Cameron Highlands in Peninsular Malaysia

Up in the mountains of Pahang in central peninsualr Malaysia, is the fondest hill station of the locals: Cameron Highlands. But its not the respite from the tropical heat alone that makes the town Brinchang popular; so what is it?

In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a visit to the Cameron Highlands region, including what to see in and around Brinchang, how to get to Cameron Highlands, where to stay and explore the endless tea estates and the Mossy Forest!

Visit a Tea Estate in the Highlands

During the colonial times, the British brought many Tamil workers from south India to nurture tea planatations in the coldest part of Malaysia, an otherwise tropical country. Today, these tea fields have become iconic to many big brands like Cameron Valley Tea. An excursion to these estates is a must do! 

Stay at Brinchang to explore Cameron Highlands comfortably

The easiest way to visit the tea estates is to take a group trip from your hostel/hotel in Brinchang. Shared trips are very cheap and include multiple stops over 4-5 hours.

Tip: Pick a trip that starts earlier in the morning to avoid the haze and cloud cover that comes in mid-day, and to enjoy the views better.

Go on a Walking Tour of Mossy Forest

Undeniably the most attractive part of the Cameron Highlands! The Mossy Forest is home to so many incredible plants and insects besides mammals that wander into the forest from upper Pahang. Mosses, ferns and other delicate plants grow in this cold region. 

Stay at Brinchang to explore Mossy Forest with a guide

A two-kilometre board walk through the forest begins at a parking lot here. Its possible to drive here with a rental car as well, the roads are not too bad for smaller vehicles to traverse.

From the entrance, the board walk leads upwards through the best sections of the moody and picturesque forest. Avoid stepping off the boardwalk as the authorities are very strict about protecting the delicate forest floor.

Our experience

We visited the Mossy Forest early in the morning at 9 am. The cloud cover had already started to set in, but we enjoyed the chilly weather, the soft plants and the mist! An hour later, we saw the sky clear for a few minutes and saw Gunung Batu Brinchang, the highest peak in the region.

Trek through Mossy Forest

There are innumerable trekking points from Brinchang into Mossy Forest and upto Gunung Batu Brinchang, the highest peak. Its also interesting to explore the forest in search of the Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. It grows up to a meter wide and can weigh as much as 10 kgs, and lives for only five days! Eminating a rotting meat odour, it attracts smaller creatures to itself. Besides, you might also spot many smaller carnivorous plants like the Pitcher plant more easily.

Tip: There is no specific blooming season for the Rafflesia flower, but the chances of seeing one are better in the Rainy Season. Ask a guide in your hotel to confirm if any are blooming during your visit!

Your hotel at Brinchang can offer affordable group tours to the forest

Feast at a Strawberry Farm

The weather in Cameron Highlands is perfect for growing strawberries and there are many farms in and around Brinchang town where you can savour fresh strawberries! The cafés in the farms offer strawberry flavoured ice-creams, milk shakes, juices and so much more!

How to visit Cameron Highlands

The easiest way to visit Cameron Highlands is by direct bus. Taking a train is also possible, but only till you reach Ipoh, the cultural and food capital of the north, from where you can take a short bus/private tour to Cameron Highlands.

The best way to visit Cameron Highlands is by doing an awesome roadtrip. Brinchang is only 4.5 hours from Kuala Lampur and about 4 hours from Taman Negara, the oldest Rainforest in the World!

 

Where to stay in Cameron Highlands

We stayed at the Double Stars Hotel in Brinchang. There are many affordable hotels and homestays in Brinchang, but make sure to book ahead (especially around weekends and public holidays as a lot of Malay city dwellers escape to Cameron Highlands for respite from the tropical heat. Room rates can start as low as MYR 50 (USD 12 or INR 820) for a double bed. Ask your host to recommend a tour guide – most of them have similar pricing for group trips. We took one from our hotel for MYR 50 per person for a 5 hour guided tour covering all the above locations and a stop at a tea factory.

Find accommodations in Brinchang to explore Cameron Highlands

How many days to spend in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Spend atleast one night in Brinchang for the best experiences. Explore the night market on the evening you check in and try the street food. Brinchang has a significant Tamil population and if you’re looking for some Indo-Malay cuisine, you can taste it here. Visit the Mossy Forest, the Tea plantations and the strawberry farms the next morning after breakfast. Spend about one or two hours in the Forest – its totally worth it! And don’t forget to eat the Croissants and chocolate cake at the Tea Factory’s café. 

 

Plan this two day visit for as little as MYR 270 (around USD 65 or INR 4,500) for two persons travelling together including stay, food, sightseeing and the guided tour. 

Eating out in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

There are innumerable Malay, Chinese, Indian cuisine restaurants in the main street of Brinchang (landmark: Petronas Gas Station). There are many international chains like KFC as well.

Tip: Check out the night market in Brinchang at 7 pm every evening. If you like Durians, this is where you can eat fresh.

Cameron Highlands is one of our favourtie destinations in Malaysia for all of these reasons: colonial architecture, the absolutely phenomenal nature, diversity of people and most importantly, it does not burn a hole in the wallet for the amazing experiences it offers! If Malaysia is on your mind, then explore farther away from Kuala Lampur to explore more interesting places.

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