The Cameron Highlands is a hill station in Malaysia and possibly one of the most famous with Malaysia’s biggest tea producers, BOH, based here.
Where to Stay
Tanah Rata is the main town in Cameron Highlands but that doesn’t mean it’s big. With everything based around one street it’s all pretty close together. We stayed at De Cameron hostel which was budget. So if you don’t mind budget (which we didn’t) then it’s fine, just watch out for the bathroom sinks which had a tendency to fall off the wall…
With it’s cooler climate the Cameron Highlands is perfect for hiking, especially compared to the heat of the majority of Peninsular Malaysia. Around the Cameron Highlands there’s a network of 14 walking trails, all available without a guide. We did Route 10 and you can find out more about it here. I would highly recommend making the most of the cooler weather and seeking out some of the great views on offer.
Other than hiking, the attractions in the Cameron Highlands are very spaced out. Grab isn’t available in the region yet and with all the mopeds booked up on the bank holiday, for once, we went on a tour.
Most tours offer pretty much the same route; we did a half a day tour package for 45 RM. Below are the stops we made.
Taman Rama Rama Butterfly Farm
With Taman Rama Rama Butterfly Farm (isn’t that a tongue twister) the stop to start our day my first thought was “why would you have a butterfly farm?” It’s evident that it has been built just for tourists and the undercover area named ”butterfly farm” was sadly more like a butterfly graveyard.
On top of the tour fee it’s 7 RM extra entrance fee which is not worth it to see lots of animals and insects dead. While the turkeys were funny and the rabbits super cute I didn’t like how scorpions looked like they were piled together and their floor was littered with Scorpion pincers. 100% give this a miss.
Tea Plantation Viewpoint
I expected the whole of the Cameron Highlands to look like Sri Lanka, and was surprised at our viewpoint on route 10 that it didn’t. When we got to the tea plantation viewpoint on the road up to Mount Brinchang, I thought, ‘now this looks like Sri Lanka!’
It doesn’t matter where you stop, the rest of the road was just as picturesque.
Mount Brinchang Mossy Forest
After the viewpoint stop we then proceeded up the long, narrow, winding and bumpy road up to 2,000m where the sun disappeared.
While we were told the road to the top of the mountain was closed, we still walked the short boardwalk through a piece of the mossy forest in the mysterious cloud.
At the end of the board walk was an observation tower, marking the state line where Perak and Pahang meet. On a clear day, the view is supposed to be great but we were met with a creepy, cloud of fog… very eery!
On the way down our driver stopped to show us the wild Cobra Lilly which blooms only 25 days in a year. We were lucky to see a small, young flower just opening on the side of the road. He also proceeded to give us a little guide of the other flora in the Cameron Highlands, from small pitcher plants to smelling balsam which Tiger Balm is made from to the beautiful Angel Trumpet Flower which if eaten, will apparently kill you after 3 weeks?!
Boh Tea Plantation
As a hill station, the Cameron Highlands has the perfect climate for growing tea. While there are a few tea plantations, Boh has the greatest history being founded in 1929 as the first tea plantation in Malaysia. Are you ready for some fun facts? Boh Plantations was founded by Archie Russel, a Brit who moved to Malaysia when he was 7 and saw the potential of the Cameron Highlands. The name Boh comes from the area Bohea, a hilly landscape in a Fujian province where some believe tea to have originated. Boh also means precious happiness in Mandarin, which Russell could apparently speak well.
As I mentioned above, Boh is the largest tea producer in Malaysia and a great attraction in the Cameron Highlands. Most pictures of the Cameron Highlands you’ll find are from here. The café sits out from the hills and has all glass windows, with beautiful views. As it was Malaysian bank holiday it was packed so we didn’t stop to have a cup of tea or indulge in the yummy looking cakes.. but make sure you do!
The factory wasn’t in production on the bank holiday we visited but it’s interesting to look round on your own self-guided tour.
Tea isn’t the only product grown in the Cameron Highlands. We only had a quick stop at one of the strawberry farms (there are a lot) due to our fellow traveller feeling ill, so while we didn’t pick our own strawberries I had a small tray of fresh strawberries with a lake of honey for 6 RM. After 7 months they tasted amazing! The strawberry milkshake costing 8 RM (not too bad considering the prices in Tanah Rata) was very good too. But not as good as the 5 RM hot strawberry muffin… yum!
There are a few waterfalls in Cameron Highlands. We did plan to walk to the Parit Falls on our last day but the rain had other plans.
Robinson falls is also a short walk from Tanah Rata and is apparently bigger than Parit Falls. We didn’t visit the falls as the couple we shared a dorm room with got bitten by one of the two aggressive German Shepard’s ‘guarding’ the path, so I wouldn’t advise it either.
Be careful of the German Shepard dogs near Robinson Falls!!!
Tanah Ratah Park
It’s by no means a big park or a main attraction in the Cameron Highlands but Tanah Rata Park is where me and Alex got involved in a game of frisbee with some kids from Perak, the neighbouring state in Malaysia. It’s fair to say I had a lot of fun and the kids were so polite with incredible English (and frisbee) skills, if only my Malay was that good!
Lots of Pocket-sized love,