Just 4 hours from Kuala Lumpur you will find the coolest place in Malaysia. And we mean that literally. Cameron Highlands is the cool heart of Malaysia with elevations ranging from 800 meters to 1600 meters above sea level. Temperatures drop significantly from the rest of Malaysia, which is one reason we loved it so much.
Most people head to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia for its tea plantations. But did you know it’s also the perfect environment to go hiking? We found a butterfly garden and visited one of the many strawberry farms.
If you want to spend some time in nature and cool down, Cameron Highlands is where you need to go. Don’t just take a day trip; spend a day or 2-3 exploring the region. Let’s dive into what Cameron Highland has to offer!
Where is Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is a highland region located in the state of Pahang in Malaysia. It is situated approximately 150 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur. Most people head to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur, but it’s about 70 kilometers from Ipoh. This is another great way to start your trip to Cameron highlands.
You can be reached Cameron Highlands by car, bus, or taxi. Several bus companies operate daily services to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and other major cities in Malaysia. The roads are quite winding as you approach the highlands, so prepare if you suffer from motion sickness.
Although getting to Cameron Highlands is quite easy, getting around the area without a car is a little bit more difficult. A lot of farms and tea plantations are remote and there aren’t a lot of buses. It might be a good idea to install Grab or Uber to make your life easier.
Things to do
Although Cameron Highlands is known for its tea plantations, this area has more to offer than just that. We loved driving around and discovering hidden gems like the butterfly garden or a strawberry farm. The roads are quite windy and you have beautiful lookouts over the area.
Because it’s a bit cooler here, this is a good spot to go hiking. There are many trails to choose from and it’s easy to combine several of them. Just make sure to check with local authorities if you’re doing a more strenuous hike and let people know where you are.
Our base for our visit to Cameron Highlands is Brinchang. It is a small town with a few restaurants and some shops. Our accommodation was a little bit away from the city center, but since we had a car this wasn’t a problem. There aren’t a lot of restaurants outside of the towns, so keep this in mind.
Brinchang is one of the main towns in the area, along with Tanah Rata and Ringlet. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,450 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest towns in Malaysia. It is a charming and scenic town with good access to all the attractions in this area.
There are quite a few trails that run through the jungle of Cameron Highlands, about 14 in total. On the internet (here and here) you can find information about the difficulty and safety of each trail and the routes are indicated on Maps.me.
We made a combination of trail 5 and trail 3, which goes from easy to slightly more difficult. The route starts at a remote parking lot at a farm and the first part runs through gardens full of vegetables. Soon we were in the middle of the jungle and the real trail could begin.
The path is fairly recognizable and goes up or down a bit here and there over naturally created steps of tree roots. We saw a lot of moss, which we haven’t seen in previous parks in Malaysia. Before we knew it we are at the shelter where route 5 changed into route 3. There are different signs for all routes and the trails are marked well.
The transition from easy to slightly more difficult is noticeable, we had to climb and scramble a lot more and even cross several rivers. Although this part is a bit more difficult, it was definitely worth it.
Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre
One of the things that should be on your itinerary if you are visiting Cameron Highland, Malaysia is the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre. This is one of the many tea factories in this area, but they offer a tour and show you how they make tea from start to finish.
The drive to the Tea Centre is worth it by itself because all of a sudden you are surrounded by fields of tea. When you get to the Tea Centre simply follow the stairs up to an observation point. There is a restaurant as well to grab a cup of tea.
On the back you will find the factory and this is where the tour starts. They take you through different rooms with all kinds of machinery that are necessary to turn tea leaves into the tea we drink. Although our guide was sometimes hard to understand the signs helped us to figure out what was happening.
This Butterfly Garden might not look like it’s worth your time from the outside, but this was one of the best butterfly gardens we visited! After you buy tickets, head downstairs and you will find an assortment of butterflies flying freely through the room.
There are also several cages containing large beetles, spiders, lizards, and stick insects. At the stick insects and the ‘leaf insects,’ there is a caretaker who grabs an insect if you want to take a look up close. The stick insect is a bit too big for me, I don’t have to touch or hold it. The ‘leaf insect’ looks a lot friendlier, you hardly see the difference with a normal leaf. Now that’s good camouflage!
In the second part, we see even more tropical flowers, rabbits and guinea pigs, snakes, and even real scorpions. The mesh above the bin has been removed, so it feels a bit scary like they could attack you at any moment.
The Butterfly Garden is a varied garden that is definitely worth a visit. Besides the butterflies, we saw so many other animals, flowers, and plants. The climate ensures that everything grows and blooms nicely.
One of the things that surprised us when we drove to Cameron Highlands is the fact that there are a lot of strawberry farms in the area. Some of them even allow you to pluck your own batch. But besides that, you will find all kinds of strawberry souvenirs and strawberry-based products, such as jams, ice creams, and cakes.
The cool and temperate climate of Cameron Highlands provides ideal growing conditions for strawberries. Next to that, the high altitude provides a unique environment that is rich in nutrients. And the popularity of strawberries has led to high demand. Many farmers have turned to strawberries to generate income.
Pay attention while driving around the area for signs that allow you to pick your own strawberries. We just stopped somewhere on our way to Ipoh and had a nice cup of coffee with a strawberry tartlet.
Cameron Highlands in 2 minutes
Add Cameron Highlands to your Malaysia Itinerary
Cameron Highlands is a beautiful area that you should not miss if you go to Malaysia. We drove onwards to Ipoh on winding mountain roads. The cool heart of Malaysia has earned a place in our hearts. This area is so different from the other parts of Malaysia.
Have you been to Cameron Highlands or is it on your to-do list? Let us know in the comments. If you’re not done discovering Malaysia, check out Ultimate Guide. There is just so much to see and do in Malaysia and our guide will help you make the most of your visit.
Find this post helpful? Buy us a coffee!
New here? Join our mailing list and be the first to hear about news, discounts and other related subjects.
This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission (for which we are very grateful). We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own.