Unforgettable Travel Company

Top 10 Things to Do in the Cameron Highlands

Around four hours’ drive up from Kuala Lumpur, heading up on twisting roads through misty forests and evergreen hills, you’ll find the Cameron Highlands: Peninsular Malaysia’s most unique and intriguing tourist area. 

With a cool highland climate and topography reminiscent of rural England, the Highlands were established as a ‘hill station’ retreat during British colonial times. A colonial, northern European atmosphere persists, with both domestic and international travelers enjoying a trip up here to sample a climate and landscape totally apart from tropical Malaysia. 

The region boasts a fine array of day trips and tourist attractions. We’d usually recommend a stay of at least two nights up the Highlands to explore the area properly. Our sample guide to the best things to see and do and the region is below.

Tea hills in Cameron Highlands Malaysia 1

Tea Plantations

As well as providing a respite from the tropical heat, the lower temperatures and regular rainfall made the area a prime location for cultivating everything needed for a typically British diet. 

Driving through the Highlands you’ll find alluring scenery of rolling tea hills. Visit the famous Boh Tea Plantation to tour the grounds and enjoy a cup of tea is an absolute must-do while up here – an experience you’ll be unable to recreate elsewhere in Southeast Asia. 

For the ultimate tea experience, head to the region’s best hotel to enjoy high tea at Cameron Highlands Resort.

Strawberry Farm in the Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Strawberry Farms

As well as tea, the British also established typically European crops such as carrots, cabbage, lettuce, and berries. Aside from tea plantations you’ll also find many strawberry farms -a visit, with a tasting session, being another of our favorite activities here. 

Our pick in the area is the Big Red Strawberry Farm, an agrotourism park overlooking Brinchang. As well as row-upon-row of hydroponically grown strawberries, you’ll also find flower nurseries, a mini petting zoo, a cafe, and a gift shop stocking a comprehensive range of strawberry products.

Butterflies in the Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Insect Farms

The unique Highland climate lends itself to farming of all sorts. Not only tea and strawberries – but also flowers and insects.

Bee farms are a popular attraction in the region, with one each located in main towns Brinchang, Ringlet, and Tringkap. Visit the hives and shop for a full range of honey and honey-related products. 

The Butterfly Farm, located at Kea Farm between Brinchang and Tringkap, is one of the Cameron Highlands’ oldest attractions, and a big hit for families. 

Lavender Ice Cream Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Gardens

Completing the ‘escape from the tropics’ scenery, the Highlands are also littered with beautiful show gardens. 

Lavender gardens, rose gardens, and show gardens of camellias, carnations, and cactus are a common sight. Some parks are fully open to the public without fee, while others are more established with your entrance fee including access to nurseries, cafes, and farms. 

Our favorite would be the Cameron Lavender Garden on the road heading north from Tringkap, which is a great walk and also offers lavender-flavored ice cream!

Cactus Valley Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Cactus Valley

An even more curious horticultural attraction is the Cactus Valley, just outside Brinchang. As the name suggests, this botanical show garden showcases cacti of all shapes and sizes, as well as an impressive array of ornamental plants and flowers. 

It’s an easy walk over from Brinchang town and combines well with neighboring Big Red Strawberry Farm. This and all other mentioned gardens are open 8am – 6pm daily, with a small ticket price of MYR 5 per adult (approximately $1.20 or £1).

Mossy Forest Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Hiking

With such dramatic topography and cool climate, hikes and treks are an obvious choice of activity during your stay in the Highlands. Established hiking trails are found all over the region, the most famous of which is the boardwalk through the Mossy Forest. 

A short walk up from Brinchang, this invigorating walk takes you through an otherworldly landscape of evergreen ferns, moss, and overhanging tropical trees. Keep an eye out for assorted tropical fauna, including Rafflesia – the world’s largest flower, only found in the jungles of Malaysia. 

Summit of Gunung Brinchang Cameron Highlands

Climb Mount Brinchang

For keen hikers only, the most challenging in the Cameron Highlands trail is an ascent of Gunung Brinchang (Mount Brinchang). The highest accessible peak in the Highlands, Gunung Brinchang tops out at just over 2,000m elevation. 

Your climb begins from Brinchang, with a challenging walk of around 12km up to the summit. There is also a paved road up the mountain, so for many the perfect plan is to head up by road and then descend on foot after enjoying the magnificent views.

Chinese Temple Tanah Rata

Local Temples

A visit to the Highlands should also sample contemporary Malaysian lifestyle and culture. Although a world away from the heady multicultural cities of Kuala Lumpur and Penang, you’ll still find the full array of colorful local temples here. 

The largest Hindu temple in the area is Sri Thendayuthapani Swami Temple, a colorful collection of buildings found at the southern end of Brinchang. The largest Buddhist temple in the area is the Sam Poh Temple, a typically ornate construction in the hills above town, with a large entrance gate and gilded statues.

Tanah Rata Night Market Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Tanah Rata Night Market

Further slices of local life can be found in the string of small towns which make up the Cameron Highland – Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Ringlet, and Tringkap. Driving through you’ll find short but busy main streets with interesting shops, supermarkets, cafes, and plenty of local restaurants. 

Should you be visiting over a weekend, we recommend visiting the ‘Golden Hills’ night market in Tanah Rata, which runs each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4pm ‘til late. You’ll find stalls selling local souvenirs, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and – most enticingly – hawker stalls selling heart local cuisine.

Steamboat Dinner in Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Enjoy local cuisine

Speaking of local cuisine, the Cameron Highland’s most well-known specialty is ‘steamboat’ dinners. If you’re familiar with Chinese hotpot-style dining then you’ll know what to expect: a shared grill station for meat and vegetables, which runs down into a central bowl of delicious broth.

This warming, hearty fare is perfect for the lower temperatures of the Highlands. Larger towns Brinchang and Tanah Rata have many options to choose from – our personal favorite being the imaginatively named Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat Restaurant in Brinchang. 

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