Few destinations on earth can match the sheer wonder and luscious flora that has found a home in the Cameron Highlands. This laid back hill station is nestled in Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Range, offering its visitors breath-taking panoramic views across the plains of Peninsular Malaysia.
The captivating district stretches for 712 square kilometres, delivering an abundance of spectacular sights and exciting activities from the north boundary near Kelantan to the west border with Perak. With blankets of green underfoot, warm sunshine beating down from the skies and a charming selection of hotels, eateries and venues to explore; it’s no wonder that Cameron Highlands has become such a popular choice with tourists from across the globe.
- The Cameron Highlands is the largest hill station in Malaysia: Cameron Highlands cover over 700 square kilometres.
- But the smallest constituency: Despite being the largest high station, Cameron Highlands is also the smallest constituency in Pahang.
- It gets its name from a British soldier and colonial administrator: It was named after explorer Sir William Cameron, who, in the late nineteenth century, mapped the area.
- It has its own micro ecosystem: It has a different ecosystem to the rest of Malaysia, being home to hundreds of species that are rarely found elsewhere in the tropics.
- Plan your journey by car ahead of time: Traffic in the area can get very crowded, particularly during peak times. Plan accordingly, doing as most of your trips through densely populated areas through weekdays if possible. The areas that tend to be the worst for traffic jams include Brinchang, Lavender Farm and Tanah Ratah.
- Be aware of temperature changes: Although through the day, you’ll likely be able to happily get by just in a pair of shorts and t-shirt, do be aware that the temperature can dip drastically on an evening.
- Avoid overcharging: Generally, Cameron Highlands isn’t particularly bad for overcharging. However, during peak season, certain businesses do occasionally try to overcharge, with restaurants being the main culprit and foreign visitors being the main target.
Getting Around in the Cameron Highlands
Due to the Cameron Highlands being a densely rural area, there’s actually only one main road connecting most of the town. This makes getting around an absolute breeze in terms of navigation, but does mean for certain areas, walking is necessary. It’s not a very large area so most places are reachable on foot, especially if you like a good spot of exercise.
Alternatively, you can opt for car rental. The only rental services available are available online. If you do choose to rent a car, it’s important to ensure you do so through reputable companies.
“Cameron Highlands has a lot of attractions to offer. While most of them are worth a visit, there are some tourist traps mixed in some of the day tours offered by travel agencies. The best way to explore if you’re a group of 3 or more is to rent a car or hire a cab so you have complete control of your time and itinerary. It will also end up cheaper if you split the cost.”
By Yoshke, The Poor Traveller
A more popular option than the car, motorbike rentals are the mode of transport of choice for backpackers here. There’s plenty of places that rent motorcycles, including several spots in Tanah Rata and certain guesthouses. A sample of the prices available from TJ Nur Travel & Tours is 2 hours for MYR 20, 5 hours for MYR 35 and 10 hours for MYR 50. Scooters are also available.
When it comes to public transport, busses are not a good option. The services that used to run hourly from Tanah Rata were discontinued in 2016. Today, only busses that travel long distances operate and they are not reliable in terms of time.
Image sources: Maks Karochkin
If you therefore prefer to have someone else chauffeur you around on your holiday, you’ll have to use a taxi service. These are usually found in Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Finding taxis elsewhere is possible but difficult. There are no set taxi rates and these change depending on the season, nearly doubling during peak times. A rough guide on taxi prices would be around MYR 40 per hour. It is always advised to agree upon a rate with your driver before you start your journey.
Flights to the Cameron Highlands
Image source: Aero Icarus
Unfortunately, the Cameron Highlands does not have a dedicated airport. Don’t worry though. It is easy enough for travellers to reach this beautiful destination by landing in the nearby Kuala Lumpur airport (KUL). From here, you simply need to hire a car from one of the many available rental firms and drive through the scenic route.
The journey takes around one hour due to the slow driving speeds and involves travelling through a picturesque mountain range on the North-South Highway before exiting at Tapah Town. You’ll then be lead through the mountain range as you follow the trunk road, which will eventually bring you to the first town in the Cameron Highlands: Ringlet.
Visit the Expedia website to find the best prices for flights to Cameron Highlands.
However, most of you will opt to drive there, and if you are coming from Kuala Lumpur make sure you get a chance to gaze at the amazing scenery that will accompany you on your journey. There’s an adventurous and exquisite route via the mountain range from the North-South Highway. Take the exit at Tapah Town and follow the trunk road leading you through the range., there is a beautiful route through a mountain range from the North-South Highway.
If you’re travelling from the North, then the Pulai Highway is the best way (20km before Tapah); it leads you to the Cameron Highlands via the interchange at Kampung Raja, taking you through Kuala Terla, Tringkap and Kea Farm before entering Brinchang.