Recently, Malaysian destination Cameron Highlands made the Conde Nast Traveler’s list of world’s most beautiful places. The highland region known for its hilly terrains covered in lush plantations is among 51 destinations around the world curated by the United States travel magazine.
With a high elevation ranging from 800 to 1,603 metres above sea level, Cameron Highlands enjoys cooler weather compared to other regions in the country. A check on the temperature in Cameron Highlands in recent days shows that the weather averages around 17 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Besides, the acidic soil of the rolling hills coupled with the cool temperatures has made it the largest producer of tea in the country and source of many other vegetables and fruits such as crystal corns, chillies, cucumbers, and strawberries. Tourists travelling to Cameron Highlands can procure various fresh produce from the farms there.
Getting To Cameron Highlands: Driving To The Destination, Or Flying And Taking A Bus
Cameron Highlands is a district situated in the northwest region of the state of Pahang. From Singapore, you can drive along the North-South Expressway and choose either to exit through the Simpang Pulai toll or the Tapah toll.
The Simpang Pulai route – which is the updated route – may be further by distance but is easier to navigate with wider and less bendy uphill roads compared to the other older route via Tapah Road. It is situated near to the Ipoh exit. Do note that the Tapah road is to be avoided at night as it does not have streetlights. Driving from Singapore to the highlands will take you roughly around seven to nine hours.
Alternatively, you can fly from Singapore to Ipoh that will take around an hour. AirAsia offers return flight tickets at RM491 (S$141.99) at the time of writing. Then, you will have to take a bus from Terminal Meru Raya in Ipoh to the Tanah Rata station in Cameron Highlands – which takes roughly two hours and 20 minutes. According to Easybook.com, a roundtrip bus ticket costs S$7.36.
When planning for your trip, do take into account weather conditions and observe landslide alerts especially during rainy season. Do note that Cameron Highlands has quite a bit of rainfall so it can get chilly at night.
Something else to consider is the travel period. Cameron Highlands can be popular during certain holidays and weekends so it can get crowded so do expect a heavier traffic.
Where To Stay: A Colonial Resort Across A Golf Course, Or Hotels
Cameron Highlands is known for its charming colonial resorts set around nature surroundings. An accommodation with a prime location is the Cameron Highlands Resort which is only a five minutes’ drive from the Tanah Rata bus terminal. Situated amid Tanah Rata town, the resort offers easy access to restaurants and convenience shops.
Average room rates at the resort for a Deluxe King Room is RM750 per night before additional fees and taxes. The room comes with a king size bed or twin-size beds, internet access, fan and balcony.
The Cameron Highlands Resort is located opposite an 18-hole golf course and the BOH Tea Centre.
A relatively new hotel in Tanah Rata is the Zenith Hotel Cameron that has a room capacity of 175. The King Room comes with either a full king size bed or twin super single beds. Guests will be able to enjoy a separate bath and shower area, air-conditioning, internet access, and parking. Visitors can book the King Room for a price starting from RM495 (S$143.14).
For an additional RM120 (S$34.70), you will get daily breakfasts and food and beverage credit worth RM120 (S$34.70) that can be used at dining outlets within the hotel as well as for room service.
Aside from that, hotel guests are privy to facilities like swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna.
What To Do: Tea Tasting, And Mossy Forest Tours
No trip to Cameron Highland would be complete without visiting a tea plantation. After all, Cameron Highlands is one of the regions that has a flourishing tea production in the country.
Tourists can learn more about tea planting at the Sungei Palas Tea Garden in Brinchang, operated by BOH Tea since the 1950s. The attraction offers factory tours and has an exhibition gallery and gift shop fitted into it.
The tea garden is popular because it has a 20-foottall viewing deck overlooking the serene vistas of rolling hills covered in tea plantations. Tourists can enjoy the view while treating themselves to light snacks and none other than a hot cup of tea.
The state of Pahang is known for its forests and near Mount Brinchang, there’s a popular nature site called the Mossy Forest. The forest, which is believed to be one of the oldest in Malaysia, is mature and is covered in layers of moss and mists – creating an almost ethereal scene.
Visitors can pay RM10 (S$2.89) to enter the forest and enjoy a refreshing walk while young visitors aged below 12 need to pay only RM5 (S$1.45).
As mentioned, the Mossy Forest is on the way to Mount Brinchang, the highest point in Cameron Highlands you can drive to. Klook offers a half day tour that includes sites like Mount Brinchang and Mossy Forest for S$18.69.
What To Eat: Charcoal Steamboats, And Western Dishes
The chilly weather of Cameron Highlands makes for a perfect environment for a hot steamboat meal.
Cameron Organic Produce is a one-stop destination with an organic farm and steamboat restaurant. The restaurant produces its own organic vegetables including lady’s finger, pumpkin, carrots and zucchini that are served fresh to the table. The restaurant offers soups with local flavours like tomyam, chicken soup, herbal soup, and mushroom soup which you can cook vegetables, meat, and seafood in over a charcoal fire. Patrons can also order dishes such as butter prawns and chicken stewed in ginger.
Otherwise, visitors can enjoy Western fares at the Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant, specifically English staples such as roast chicken, grilled lamb chop and cottage pie in a cosy colonial style venue.
Featured Image Credit: Honey Shune Lai Ngo
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