The Cameron Highlands is 130 miles north of Kuala Lumpur and is the highest region in mainland Malaysia. The region is popular with locals and tourists keen to enjoy its cool temperature and lush green surroundings. As the tea-producing capital of the country, the Highlands are the perfect place to enjoy a nice cup. There is a lot to do here, from jungle trekking, to picking up a bargain at one of the night markets, the Cameron Highlands are the perfect combination of relaxation and sightseeing.
Hostel prices – Hostels are affordable here – some even starting at $5, with most around $15 USD per night will get you a bed in a dorm while a private double room costs around $17-20 USD.
Budget hotel prices – It might be worth it to spring for a hotel since the city is so affordable – expect around $17 USD for a double room.
Average cost of food – You can find plenty of options for less than $1.50 USD, but expect to pay around $5 USD for a really good restaurant – what a deal!
Transportation costs – Transportation is extremely affordable – buses from Tanah Rata to the tea plantations and most attractions cost $0.50 USD.
Money Saving Tips
Camp – Cameron Highlands are pretty safe, so if you’re feeling adventurous, this is a good way to save on accommodation and have an experience. Sg Pauh campsite charges just $1 USD per night.
Cycle – For a few Ringgit a day you can rent a bike from most hotels. Although local transportation is super cheap, this is an excellent way to see the area and have a truly local experience.
Top Things to See and Do
Tour the tea plantations – The Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s tea-producing capital due to the high altitude and cool climate. By visiting one of the plantations you can watch the entire production process and then enjoy tea and scones while looking over the tea fields. It’s possible to combine tours of the plantations with visits to a strawberry, bee or butterfly farm. This costs around $5-10 USD.
Wander through Tanah Rata – Tanah Rata is the largest and most developed of the Cameron Highlands, although the town centre consists only of one street, Jalan Besar White buildings, parks and hotels make up this quaint town but it is also the centre of the Highland’s nightlife with locals and tourists descending on the Jalan Besar on a Saturday night. Jalan Besar is where you’ll find some of the area’s best restaurants.
Visit a bee farm – There are three bee farms in the Highlands, although Tringkap Bee Farm is the best. The farms are usually free to tour, and it’s pretty cool just to watch the worker bees buzzing round collecting the honey. The best part of the trip is the honey tasting at the end! Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to buy fresh honey.
Go to Sam Poh Temple – Built in 1972, the Sam Poh Temple is the fourth largest in Malaysia and is quite an arresting site. The temple sits in the hills overlooking Brinchang and offers a fantastic view over the town. Inside you’ll find statues of Buddha, Zhenghe and other deities.
Climb Gunung Brinchang – The road up to this hill is the highest in Peninsular Malaysia at 6666 ft, although the climb is not that tiring, presumably because the cool climate helps things along. The panoramic views over Brinchang and all of the Cameron Highlands from up here are spectacular and consequently this one of the most popular walking tours in the region.
Do some jungle Trekking – There are 14 trekking routes heading out from Tanah Rata, so you are sure to find a trail to suit your ability. Trails are a great way to take in some of the local attractions, as many of the trails pass by places of interest – for example Trail 9 includes the Robinson Waterfalls and Boh Estate tea plantation.
Find Tranquility at Robinson Waterfalls – By following jungle trail number 9 you’ll find yourself at the Robinson Waterfalls. This place is really serene and is a great way to fill a relaxed afternoon, especially if you are there in the wet season (November to March), when the waterfalls are even more impressive.
Take in beauty at the Flower Festival – The Highlands are Malaysia’s leading producer of flowers and as such are a great location for an annual flower festival. The festival takes place in August/September every year. Aside from displaying the flowers and agriculture grown in the area, the festival also includes parades, competitions and cultural shows.
Check out the Time Tunnel Museum – One of the most recent tourist attractions to hit the Highlands is the Time Tunnel Museum. For $1.50 USD you’ll get to take a step back in time and view this large collection of memorabilia. Since opening in 2007, the Time Tunnel has established itself as one of the most popular attractions in the Cameron Highlands.
Eat strawberries until you burst – They are so delicious here. They grow everywhere and they are served a hundred different ways — which means they don’t cost a lot, for the most part. While most everything is a sweet treat, it is hard to say no. Try the strawberry lassi or, for something more unique, strawberry coffee.
Walk through Cactus Valley – This is a nice outdoor site, with beautiful flowers and plants everywhere you look. Walk along the various terraces and check out the different fruits and vegetables. There are some neat gifts for sale, as well as cacti and other potted plants.
Go golfing – The golf course here is beautiful and a promising challenge for beginners and advanced golfers alike. The course is 18 holes with varying greens and terrain. Getting up early and starting your day off at Cameron Highlands Golf Course is relaxing and fun.
Eat at Rosedale Bistro – This is a popular little café, for locals and travelers alike. Aside from the pleasant atmosphere, the menu offers everything from local food to Chinese and European dishes. The prices are decent and the wi-fi is free.
Visit Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm and Garden – The garden itself features a huge variety of different bugs and butterflies. Entry is cheap and it’s open all day long. Next door, there is a butterfly farm—perfect for getting some awesome photos.