This is backpacker heaven! After spending MONTHS in the insane heat, it was so nice to finally reach the Cameron Highlands, a mountain town with cool air (sweater weather) and beautiful hikes.
While I LOVE the island life, this was exactly the place I needed to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. I planned to do tons of hiking while I was here, but my back was in so much pain that I physically couldn’t. Even without all the hikes, it was still a picture perfect place to be.
The Cameron Highlands are known for awesome hikes, great locally grown tea, and fresh strawberries. The chocolate-strawberry nuggets at the strawberry farm are delicious! The milkshakes too!
I spent a lot of time relaxing (which I desperately needed), making friends, and writing. My favorite things to do!
I’ve got a handful off oddball stories from here, but none seem appropriate to type up just yet. So I’ll leave you with this…
Things To Do
Half Day Tour: 45rm ($10)
- BOH Tea Plantation & Factory
- Gunung Brinchang (highest peak)
- Short walk in the Mossy Forest (featured in Avatar and Lord of the Rings)
- Butterfly Farm (extra cost)
- Strawberry Farm (extra cost to pick strawberries)
BOH Tea Plantation
Gunung Brinchang (highest peak)
Mossy Forest (from Avatar & Lord of the Rings)
Choosing a tour company is relatively easy. There are tons of operators on the main road and they all cost relatively the same price +/- 5rm ($1 USD). Most people opt for the 45rm half day tour. I had a friend to the 25rm sightseeing tour (no walk in the Mossy Forest) and she said that was great too. FYI: The BOH Tea Plantation factory is closed on Mondays but you can still visit the viewpoint and the cafe. I had the Lychee & Rose tea and it was AMAZING!
- Time Tunnel
- Rose Garden
- Bee Farm
- Lavender Garden
- Golf Course
- Thompson Falls
- Local markets
Noodle Burgers at the local market
Fresh Papaya/Mango Salad
Local Ramadan Market
- Restoran Kumar – I ate here every day! Great (and cheap) naan platters + chicken options. Awesome banana pancakes too (asian-style pancakes arelike crepes).
- Restoran Sri Brinchang – Awesome chicken (said other meat-eating travelers).
- My Cake Home – 8rm ($2) for a slice of delicious cake
- Cameron AA Curry House – more expensive but great food
- Starbucks – western coffee, duh!
- Local Markets
Banana Pancakes + Fresh Fruit at Restoran Kumar
Veggie Buffet at Restoran Kumar
Carrot Cake at My Cake Home
Jungle Bar (closes around midnight, pool table, reasonably priced drinks)
Most of the hikes are easily accessible from the main town, Tanah Rata. Our hostel provided a free map of the hikes as well as recommendations. Since I didn’t do much hiking, I can’t objectively describe the hikes but found these two awesome resources: Check out this great link! Or this quick overview.
Where to Sleep
Stay in Tanah Rata, that’s the name of the town. It’s close to all the hikes and has tons of tours, hostels, restaurants, etc. I stayed at Father’s Guest House for 35rm ($8) per night. Another cheaper option is KRS Pines Guest House for 30rm per night. You can find hostels as cheap as 15-20rm per night, but they might not have wifi. Check Hostel World, Booking, and Agoda for places to sleep. Not all the hostels are listed on Hostel World so check all three.
Father’s Guest House had strong wifi, air conditioning, free coffee and tea all day, and a cafe on-site (all of the things I was looking for to relax and write). It’s a 2 minute walk to town and you can easily access ATM’s, grocery stores, local markets, restaurants, trail heads, and the bus station.
Cafe at Father’s Guest House
Be warned, this is a tourist town. It’s filled with tour operators and touristy things to do. I usually hate towns like this, but the vibe is chill and super peaceful. Plus, you can’t beat the crips, cool air and early morning wakeup calls from the roosters nearby.
After a great week in the Cameron Highlands, I was headed to Kuala Lumpur on a 4 hour PLUSH bus ride for 35rm ($8). I opted to skip Taman Negara, which is also in the center of the country. Taman Negara is known as the world’s oldest rainforest, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much with a hurt back and the weather there is hot hot hot.
What was your favorite experience in the Cameron Highlands?