Cameron Highlands is the smallest district in Pahang which is located in the north-western corner of the state. One of the most popular hill resort in the country, this highland paradise still retains much of the charm of an English village. Although massive development in the last decade has changed the landscape of the highlands, it remains a popular destination for those who wanting to to escape the hot weather of the lowlands.
Being a primarily agricultural domain, you will find an abundance of vegetables and fruits farms dotted all over the highlands. Cameron Highlands is also the leading producer of flowers and tea in Malaysia. Be prepared for a lovely sight of tea plantations and beautiful flowers you won’t see flourishing elsewhere in Malaysia.
Located on the Titiwangsa Range at about 1500 metres above sea-level, the temperature here can drop to 16 ˚C or lower at certain times. The weather here remains at the lower 20′s most of the time.
Cameron Highlands is made up of 4 main townships followed by smaller settlements at different elevations. The first town from the south is Ringlet, followed by Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Kea Farm, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja.
If you’re taking the old road via Tapah, this is the first town you will reach after after the 1 hour drive through the rainforest. Located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea-level, Ringlet is one of the main agricultural hub for the highlands. There is nothing much to do here for the typical tourist besides stopping for fuel as this is one of of the towns with petrol stations. Bertam Valley which is located about 5km away is one of the main flower and vegetable producers in Cameron Highlands. The nearest hotel is the LakeHouse which is less then 5 minutes drive from here.
The heart of Cameron Highlands is indeed its administrative township called Tanah Rata which is highly popular among local and foreign tourists. Nestled at an elevation of 1,440 metres (4,720 ft) with a daily temperature range from 16 to 24 degrees Celsius, the air here is fresh and crisp and the surrounding land is ideal for a wide range of temperate and sub tropical flowers that thrive here in abundance.
The name “tanah rata” actually means flat ground in Malay and it refers to the relatively flat valley on which the town is located amidst the surrounding hills and mountain peaks. Being a popular place among tourists, there are many hotels, resorts, holiday apartments, backpacker inns and lodges located within the town and also at its surrounding countryside.
Tanah Rata has banks, bars, money changers, sundry shops, cyber cafes, tour counters, restaurants, fast food outlets and even a Starbucks cafe. Tourists often choose to explore the surrounding sub-mountain forest here as there are numerous jungle trails with varying lengths and difficulties conveniently accessed from town.
Some trails that are popular include the Trail Number 4 from Parit Falls among others leading to mountain peaks such as Gunung Beremban (1,812m), Gunung Mentigi (1,535m), Gunung Perdah (1,551m) and Gunung Jasar (1,670m). All jungle walks here are numbered and can be easily referenced from tourist maps available from shops, cafes and hotels around town
Brinchang which is a bustling township in Cameron Highlands is located five km from Tanah Rata. It is the highest and second largest township of Cameron Highlands, attracting a large number of local tourists on weekends and public holidays.
Brinchang has a popular night market during weekends and public holidays which attracts local tourists with its highland produce, local street food, soft toys and fruits.The town has a numerous restaurants serving Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine and a range of budget and medium ranged hotels.
Being located higher, the place is frequently blanketed by heavy mist, while on clear days, the air is crisp and the surrounding mountain view is magnificent.
Many vegetable farms, flower nurseries and fruit orchards are located close to this town and some popular tourist spots here include Cactus Valley and the Big Red Strawberry Farm.
Kea Farm, Tringkap, Kuala Terla & Kampung Raja
Beyond Brinchang, the road leads to all the way to Blue Valley. Most of the tourist spots are located around this route. This is where you will find the markets, vegetable farms, flower gardens, bee gardens and butterfly gardens. The road also branches out to the Sungai Palas tea plantation from here where you can visit the factory or have a cup of tea while enjoying the breathtaking view of the plantation.
If you continue on the main road heading north, it will be downhill from Kea Farm onwards. You will see vegetables farms all the way from here to Tringkap and beyond. Tringkap is a small farming community where you can find stalls along the road selling local produce. Fifteen minutes away is Kuala Terla, another small farming community. Kampung Raja is the last town on the map. Since the opening of the Simpang Pulai road, this town has become the gateway to the highlands from the north. From here, you can head west to Ipoh or east to Gua Musang in Kelantan.