If you are tired of concrete, shopping malls and lowland heat, Cameron Highlands is the perfect getaway to enjoy fresh, crisp and cool air with more green and natural surroundings. The “Little Swiss” of Malaysia in located in Pahang, in the west part of Malaysia about 200 kilometres from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. About 43,000 people populate the area at an elevation of 1135m to 1829m above sea level. This is one of the few places in Malaysia where you can end your struggle with sweat, warmth and humidity when the temperature rarely rises above 25 degrees during the day and 12 degrees maximum at night.
There are various things to do once you are in Cameron Highlands. Whether you love or hate strawberries, the strawberry farms are not to be missed. There are several strawberry farms around the highlands but some that are worth visiting are “Big Red Strawberry” where the entrance is free and massive strawberries grow all around you. Another strawberry farm that stands out is the “Kok Lim Strawberry Farm” which occupies the biggest batch of strawberries and allowing visitors and guests to jump into the fields and hand pick their own for a reasonable price.
Apart from the strawberries, stroll around Cactus Valley, which is just a few minutes walk from Brinchang town where you can find thousands of cactus plants in all shapes, sizes and form. There are also other things like apple trees, tomatoes, roses, gerbera, lilies, birds of paradise and dried flowers. In addition, there are two butterfly gardens adjacent to each other. Other than the hundreds of different colorful butterflies, you will also get to see bugs, chameleons, lizards, frogs, grasshoppers, snakes, leaf sticks and other strange creatures roving in the forest you won’t find on city streets. Children will find their entertainment and excitement here. The Lavender Garden, which is one of the newest attraction is called just that because of it’s all lavender affair with a whole range of lavender potted plants, artificial lavender plants, perfume, towel hangers, soft toys, along with other types of flowers. Photo enthusiasts will be happy to find this place if their favourite color is purple.
The trip to Cameron Highlands cannot be whole without a visit to the local tea plantations namely the BOH tea plantation. The history goes all the way back to 1929, where the son of a British administrative officer, John Archibald Russell who started a tea plantation which is now the BOH tea plantation. Let your breath be taken away by the tea treas mounting the terraces, countour after countour. Walking amidst all that green lush full of tea trees is not too difficult even in your flip flops is breathtaking and an experience to remember for the rest of your life. It only gets better. At the end of your destination past the beautiful hills, is a little village and an Indian temple. On top of that road lies a restaurant with the most amazing view serving various kinds of teas from the plantation, light snacks and sort of a souvenir shop with tea packs. Vieving the factory production tea processes and delighting in a “cuppa” is definitely a big part of the fun. It is fascinating to find the two BOH tea factories maintaining their traditional ways and equipment of making and processing the tea as they have always been dating back to the 1930s when it has just opened.
Mossy Forest, also known as Cloud Forest, Elfin Forest or Upper Mantane Forest will take you in a flash to the settings of Lord of the Rings. This enlivening forest that is covered with a thick blanket of spongy beautiful shade of light to olive green moss hanging from one tree to another likens a fairytale sight to behold. With the chunky envelopes of moss on the ground and chilled weather, it is the best place to welcome the sunrise and sunset. There are guided trips avalaible where a guide will take you through the forest with a wooden walkway. Having proper footwear like trekking shoes would be encouraged. Otherwise a four by four wheel drive is the favoured vehicle for this activity.
A tad of historical viewing can be catched at the “Time Tunnel”, just a few minutes walk away in Brinchang where candid relics and cherishables are in display for the art lovers that are gathered by history lover and owner See Kok Shan. Plenty of Singaporeans and Malaysians tip toe around this split level museum looking at objects with nostalgia and memories from their childhood. The collection are mostly a reflection of how life was after the occupation of Japanese in Malaysia. Aside from that, there are photographs captured right after the war in display. Ttime Tunnel remains to be one of the main attractions in Cameron Highlands.
A great way to get acquainted with the locals and their lifestyle is taking a walk at the night markets. Local produced from closeby farms, flowers, straberries with chocolates, fresh vegetables, boiled peanuts, souvenirs are some of the things you can expect to find there. Kea farm and Brinchang night market are some of the more popular markets there.
Due to Cameron Highlands’ beautiful landscape, it is no surprise that trekking is a popular activity among local and tourists alike. This can be done independently around Brinchang and Tanah Rata with plenty of trails that are marked and numbered. Maps can be obtained from tourist information centres for free. A guide is not necessary. One of the highest peaks next to Gunung Brinchang, is Gunung Irau where camping overnight is something that can be done through a guided tour or on your own. There are two waterfalls, Robinson and Parit Waterfall that is viable through road and paths.
It takes 4.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Tanah Rata from Pudu Sentral Station. The roads are very safe though a bit winding. The temparature stays the same throughout the year though the coolest periods are between December to February when it may drop as low as 10 degrees.