- Southeast asia
7 Best Things to Do in Cameron Highlands
The last time I was in Malaysia (2016), I didn't have enough time to visit Cameron Highlands so when I was back in Malaysia again in 2019, Cameron Highlands was at the top of the list.
I stayed for 2 full days in the chilly highlands of the peninsula, exploring all the cool attractions from hiking the rolling hills of the tea plantation to a walk in a secret mossy forest (no, not the main one), here are adventurous things to do in Cameron Highlands.Table of Contents
- Cameron Highlands Attractions Map
- Southeast Asia Travel Video
- When to Visit Cameron Highlands
- Where to Stay in Cameron Highlands
- How to Get to Cameron Highlands
- How to Get Around Cameron Highlands
- Travel Insurance
- 7 Things to Do in Cameron Highlands for 2 Days
- Further Reading for Malaysia
Cameron Highlands Attractions Map
Southeast Asia Travel Video
When to Visit Cameron Highlands
It rains a lot in the Malaysian highlands throughout the year so there is no escaping that but if you are looking for the most optimal time, February to April on weekdays are the best time to visit. The temperature is perfect at around 21 - 24°C and the roads and attraction not as crowded.
It is best to avoid peak season (May - September) as Cameron Highlands gets very crowded especially on public/school holidays and weekends. The roads are small and traffic jam often occur during this time.
Where to Stay in Cameron Highlands (Tanah Rata)
Budget - Traveller Bunker Hostel - 6.14 USD/Night (Dorm)
Mid-Range - Gerard's Place - 26 USD / Night (Double Room with Private Bathroom)
How to Get to Cameron Highlands
Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands
From Kuala Lumpur, you can get a direct bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan to Cameron Highlands (Tanah Rata) for 35 MYR and it will take around 4 hours each way. You can easily book your bus ticket online at Easybook.com.
How to Get Around Cameron Highlands
You can either go on a half/full day tour (very affordable) that will take you to all the Cameron Highland attractions you want to see or you can rent a scooter to explore your self. Some attractions are quite far so having a vehicle is recommended.
Keep in mind that the road is small and traffic can be quite hectic up there especially during the holiday season so please drive carefully if you are renting your own scooter.
That said, if you want to do some hiking, most of the good hiking trails begin in Tanah Rata (your base for exploring Cameron Highlands) within walking distance so you do not need a vehicle to begin hiking.
Getting back, on the other hand, will require either you hitchhiking a ride back (there are lots of cars heading towards Tanah Rata) or flag down a taxi back yourself to Tanah Rata.
Are you looking for a tour company in Cameron Highlands? I had a great experience with Eco Cameron company with a half-day tour I did with them for 50 MYR. They took me to Boh tea plantation and climb up a hill through a private Mossy Forest with their jeep.
This place is quite cheap compare to all the other countries in the world. If you are planning a trip here, you can expect to pay around 25 - 45 USD per day per person and that should include accommodation and 3 meals.
Keep in mind that this is just a suggested daily budget based on my style of traveling, which is leaning more toward the budget side of things. If you want to stick to this budget, expect to sleep in dorms, eat out only a few times, and be comfortable using the cheapest and most convenient way of transportation, which often times involves walking.
If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Malaysia, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for a travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure. They have a simple and flexible search system that allowed me to find the right insurance for the right amount of time at an affordable price in seconds. If you need travel insurance, give WorldNomads.com a try.
7 Things to Do in Cameron Highlands for 2 Days
1. Visit the Boh Tea Plantation
On your first day in Cameron Highlands, I would recommend you to go on a tour to visit all the attractions that are further away from Tanah Rata. I went with Eco Cameron and they were awesome. I went for a half day tour (8:30 AM - 12 PM) to Boh Tea Plantation and Mossy Forest and it cost me 50 MYR.
With the Eco Cameron guide, you will learn about how the tea was made, why it plays such a great role in Cameron Highland economy and where the products go after it has been processed. It is quite interesting to learn that the grand daughter of the founder of Boh tea plantation still runs the place from where she lives in Singapore.
Starting at the early hours, the tour will drop you off at the Boh tea plantation before anyone (we had to whole place to ourselves for a bit) and let you walk around before the guide explains all the process.
Keep in mind that the tea plantation factory is closed on Monday so avoid going on that day if you which to go inside and sip their delicious tea.
The clouds often roll in in the afternoon and evening in Cameron Highlands so if you wish to see the tea plantation in its full glory, I would recommend you visit in the morning.
2. Hike around Mossy Forest
Another popular attractions in Cameron Highlands is the Mossy Forest but as of March 2019, you are required to pay for an entrance fee and our guide from Eco Cameron told us that it is not worth paying 30 MYR just to walk for 300m on a plank wood trail. He recommended we go to Eco Cameron's private trail through a different Mossy Forest that goes up to a nicer viewpoint instead.
It was the best decision ever as I learned that the mossy forest is not exclusive to that area alone, they are all over Cameron Highlands. With the Eco Cameron's private trail, we were able to experience the Mossy Forest in a more intimate way.
The trail was also more fun to hike up as we go through a real rugged trail instead of a plank wood one at the usual Mossy Forest. I couldn't recommend the Eco Cameron company more.
The viewpoint is also well-exposed and worth the 15 minutes climb. The trail gets slippery at time though due to the impenetrable forest so walk carefully.
The guide will stop and explain the all features of the mossy forest as you climb up. The whole trail should take around 30 minutes round-trip.
3. Stroll Around Tanah Rata and Try out the Scones
After hiking the Mossy Forest, you will be dropped off at Tanah Rata, where you can spend your afternoon and evening, trying all the different food they have here. Cameron Highlands is also known for their homemade scones so if you are hungry after the hike, be sure to drop by Lord's Cafe and try their scones.
4. Hike up the Gunung Jasar (Trail #10)
For the second day, we are going to explore Cameron Highlands nature on foot. There are several hiking trails in Cameron Highlands (14 trails to be exact) but the best one I found is trail #10 that goes up to Gunung Jasar and trail #6 from Gunung Jasar down to Cameron Valley tea plantation.
The hike up Gunung Jasar takes around 1 hour and you will be able to see the Cameron Highland Heritage Hotel and the landscape surrounding the area in its entirety.
5. Hike in the Tea Plantation (Trail #6)
Trail #6 begins heading south from the summit all the way down to Cameron Valley tea plantation where you will be able to experience the tea plantation up close away from the crowds. You can combine trail #10 and #6 into a half-day hike starting from Tanah Rata to Gunung Jasar and to Cameron Valley. It should take around 3.5 hours in total.
Personally, the combination of trail #10 and trail #6 is my favorite attraction in Cameron Highlands because it combines all the things I wanted to do and see in Cameron Highland, hiking to a great viewpoint, see the tea plantation up close, and best of all, away from the crowds. I met only 4 other hikers the entire time I was hiking trail #10 and #6.
6. Have a Cup of Tea at the Cameron Valley Tea House
After hiking to the Cameron Valley tea plantation, you can sit and enjoy the view from their tea house and sip a cup of their finest tea with your favorite pastries. You deserve it!
Getting back from Cameron Valley to Tanah Rata, you will either have to hitchhike (like I did, standing on the parking lot of the tea house) which shouldn't take long as there are lots of cars heading towards Tanah Rata or you can flag down a taxi from the road.
7. Explore Tanah Rata's Night Market (Friday and Saturday)
Last but not least, if you are there on Friday or Saturday, be sure to go check out the night market at Golden Hills in Tanah Rata. It opens from evening until late at night. You will find plenty of native products like the strawberries, tea blends and other souvenirs being sold here.
Further Reading for Malaysia
Malaysia may often be overlooked by travelers, but the country has so much to offer that you can’t get anywhere in Southeast Asia.
Here is a selection of articles you might want to read about Malaysia:
- Looking for a complete itinerary and travel guide for Malaysia? 10 Days Itinerary for Malaysia.
- Are you planning to travel to Malaysia as part of a big Southeast Asia trip? Check out our 3 months backpacking itinerary for Southeast Asia.
- Kuala Lumpur is where you will likely land when you are traveling in Southeast Asia and from the outside, it may look like your typical Asian cities but KL is so more and at a cheaper price too. Here’s a complete guide on things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
- Not your first time in Kuala Lumpur? How about we go explore the cafe and the unique Kopitiam culture of Kuala Lumpur with the 8 Best Cafes and Restaurant to try in Kuala Lumpur guide?
- If you are looking for a day trip from Kuala Lumpur or somewhere to stop on your way to/from Singapore, Melaka is a great place to stop and learn a little bit about this ancient port city. Check out my 8 Incredible things to do in Melaka travel guide here.
- Cameron Highlands is high up in the mountains with the cool breeze making it the perfect place to go hiking and there are over 14 trails to pick. Check out my ultimate hiking guide to Cameron Highlands.
- Penang is the food heaven of Malaysia and it is a must-stop on your way to/from Thailand. Here are 7 delicious things to do in Penang.
- Want to go off the beaten path in Malaysia? Let’s head over to Borneo with a complete travel guide and a 2 weeks itinerary for Borneo and Brunei.
- Want to know where to go after Malaysia? How about spending 3 days in Singapore or go snorkeling on Koh Lipe, Thailand?.
- For all articles about Malaysia, visit Malaysia Travel Guide page.
- Looking for more travel guides for Southeast Asia? You can find more on my Southeast Asia Travel Guide page.
- I have also compiled all of my favorite photos I took in Southeast Asia into one post. Check out 64 photos of Southeast Asia that will inspire you to travel.
- For more of my travel guides, visit All Destination Travel Guide page.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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