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A Fun and Adventurous Road Trip To Cameron Highlands

driving to cameron highlands

What others said about Cameron Highlands

“Cactus Valley – A pleasant surprise”

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of a visit to the Cactus Valley as it’s part of our Agro tour with the agency.

However, I was quite surprise at the variety of cactus available. The different shapes and colours really brighten up the place, but unless you wanna make a purchase of the various cactus pots available, I don’t think you’ll be spending too much time here.

There’s also a souvenir/snacks stall in the place.

Visited May 2014

cameron highlands cactus valey

The cactus valley in Cameron Highlands.

“Butterfly Garden – Meet The Beatles – for 5 RH only”

Best value ever. The ‘butterfly’ garden is a bit of a broad term for a bizarre collection of insects, rabbits, lizards, snakes and even ducks.
The butterfly area only has 2 species: the raja brooke and the yellow birding – 2 of the most spectacular.

There are plenty of flowers – so great photo opportunities.

The true star attraction is the beetle collection: especially the three-horned rhinoceros beetle (13 cm tall) is quite something.

Also, don’t miss the long-nosed horned frogs – who seem to be designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Perfectly camouflaged, it will take you a while to spot them.
Overall: great fun for just 1.2 Euro.

Visited September 2014

“Brinchang Mountain – Magnificent view”

The road leading up to Cameron Highlands highest mountain is narrow and there are a lot of vehicles from other tour operators.

The diesel from cars can be smelt in the air. The observation tower at the top is made of steel, solid but rusty.

The steps up are narrow and very steep. Once on top, you get a good view of the surrounding areas. You can only stay a short time due to limited space.

Amazingly mobile reception is very good up there as this is where a lot of the communication towers are located.

Visited August 2014

“Trail No. 10 – Moderate Climb, Spectacular View”

The entrance is not easily located as it is situated behind an apartment. If not for the locals, it would be hard to find the start of the trail.

The trail was moderate, with certain part of the trail being steeper than other. As such, if you are looking for a leisurely walk, this should not be the trail that you should be taking.

However, the view from the top is great. The top is when you see the high voltage tower. It does offers a great view of Tanah Rata from the top. A simple picnic lunch could also be done at the top as there is not much clearing. However, during rainy seasons, the trail could be wet and slippery and it might be hard to trail without proper footwear.

Visited July 2014

driving cameron highlands

Trail number 9 is one of the popular hiking trails.

“Tan’s Camellia Garden – A breath of fresh air”

A peaceful little haven in sharp contrast to the mostly poor quality commercial tourist ventures or poorly maintained natural attractions in Cameron Highlands.

This is a garden to be enjoyed by those with a strong interest in gardening. So generous of the owner to share the garden with the public free of charge. Thank you.

“Rose Garden – For the love of flowers”

I loved this place!! The flowers were like nothing I have ever seen before. While it is called the Rose Centre the other flowers are really what the attraction is all about. Coming from the Northern US I am not used to the variety of tropical flowers and the ones here were super-sized compared to what I have seen before.

The views are amazing and you can climb for what seems like forever. This place wasn’t crowded at all and there are great places to set up a camera for photos. Looking out over the valley you really got to see the area and the number of greenhouses was unreal.

They did a nice job of adding some fun areas like Snow White and the dwarfs and various other statues full of color.

Overall we spent more than an hour but I LOVE flowers.

Visited May 2014
Source: Tripadvisor

driving cameron highlands

Some of the hotels at Cameron Highlands.

About Driving Trip to Cameron Highlands

Escape the heat and dust to the cool Cameron Highlands.

PART of the joy of holidaying in Cameron Highlands is the journey itself.

There are two ways to get there by road. First is the older winding road from the Tapah toll exit of the North-South Expressway. Then, there’s the newer, easier route from the Simpang Pulai toll exit.

driving to cameron highlands

Breathtaking view of the tea plantations in Cameron Highlands

Both routes are challenging to take, especially when it rains. You need patience and good driving skills to maneuver your car at some of the sharp corners of the winding roads and to overtake slower vehicles.

Driving Guide to Cameron Highlands

Driving along the Tapah road unveils the rolling mountains, deep valleys and the beautiful Lata Iskandar waterfalls. Along the roadside are simple huts where the Orang Asli (indigenous people of Malaysia) sell handicraft and jungle products.

The temptation to stop at these stalls is strong, especially for those who can’t resist petai (a local bean) and other jungle vegetables and flowers.

Cameron-Highlands Driving Map

Fun map of Cameron Highlands

The Simpang Pulai route is less winding and the road is wider with two lanes on one side at some stretches. Vegetable farms dot the landscape, especially near Kampung Raja.

The journey on either routes takes one to two hours, depending on your driving speed and the number of stops you make. The weather in Cameron Highlands is very unpredictable, depending on the month, but the average day temperature is about 33C and at night 22C.

For most people who come from other places, it’s time to “show off” their sweaters and leather jackets. But, what a picture of contrast you will make when you see the locals move about in their shorts and singlets!

What to expect during your driving trip

The first town that greets you in Cameron Highlands is Ringlet. It’s the first settlement on the highlands and most visitors usually bypass it.

After Ringlet, you reach Tanah Rata, Camerons’ biggest town with rows of shop houses along its main road. It has the feel of a resort town with many eateries and shops catering to tourists.

driving cameron highlands

You will encounter a lot of attractions along the way in your driving trip.

You’ve to be more alert when you drive further up the highlands. It’s not because the road is more challenging but because your driving skills will be challenged by the “kings of the mountain” – those famous and notorious modified Land Rovers used by the highlanders to get in and out of their farms and other workplaces.

Often, these rugged four-wheelers are overloaded with vegetables and other farm produce. These mean machines seem to appear out of nowhere and you’ve to be deft at your driving so as not to collide with them.

What to do in Cameron Highlands

For many, a must-do in Camerons is sipping tea and having scones at English-styled inns or tea houses. For a breathtaking view of tea plantations while you sip the golden brew, don’t miss the Bharat Teahouse located between Ringlet and Tanah Rata and the Boh Teahouse in Sungai Palas. While there, you can enter the tea plantations and even pick some tea leaves yourself.

At vegetable and fruit farms, you get to learn a thing or two about farming. At strawberry farms, you even get to pick your own strawberries. Fresh strawberry jam is an excellent buy.

road trip to cameron highlands

Tea plantations are some of the attractions in Cameron Highlands.

For dinner, nothing beats having steamboat in the cool night. Ferns Restaurant at Hotel Rosa Passadena serves delightful steamboat at RM25 per person. You get fresh Camerons vegetables to go with pieces of chicken, fish, prawns, meatballs, crabsticks, tofu and other ingredients. Order Strawberry Delight – thick, juicy and yummy strawberry juice to go with your steamboat at Ferns.

You can’t leave Camerons without going to one of its markets. Not only can you get fruits and vegetables but you’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to flowers – both fresh and dried – and also cacti in a multitude of colours.

Look also for Camerons’ homegrown apples at the wet markets. The fresh apples are sweet and juicy and the locals say they are good to cool the body.

The markets there are so enticing that you can’t help but to buy and buy. But don’t be surprised if some of these items are much cheaper in hypermarkets in Kuala Lumpur! But hey, what’s a trip to Camerons without shopping?

Where To Stay

For accommodation, there are many choices — from five-star to budget. A local chain of hotels offers three types of lodging: Rosa Passadena (three-star); Hotel Rainbow (budget); and Casa dela Rosa (boutique).

Both Rosa Passadena and Hotel Rainbow are located in Brinchang town while Casa dela Rosa is in Tanah Rata.

Named after a rose, Rosa Passadena has nicely furnished rooms and penthouse suites. Altogether, there are 120 units. The weekday rate is RM128 nett per room per night (twin sharing) with breakfast. Weekend rates are slightly higher. The hotel arranges sightseeing tours for its guests.

driving cameron highlands

You will see some of these colonial buildings along your journey.

For details, call 05-491 2288 or email rosapsdn@streamyx.com. The hotel is located at No. 1, Bandar Baru Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.

Best deals for Hotels in Cameron Highlands

Other highlands in Malaysia that you might be interested

  • Kinabalu Park – Listed as Malaysia’ first World Heritage Site, home to Southeast Asia tallest mountain, Mountain Kinabalu.
  • Penang Hill – Penang Hill is one of the island’s most famous tourist destinations. If you have ever stepped foot in Penang island, chances are Penang Hill may well be within your travel itinerary.
  • Bukit Tinggi Resort – Bukit Tinggi is just over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur City centre and lies some 2,500 feet above sea level.
  • Genting Highlands – Dubbed the “City of Entertainment Above the Cloud”, Genting Highlands offers round-the-clock excitement in a thrilling and tranquil environment.
  • Fraser Hill – At 1524 meters above sea level, this highland resort is a naturalists’ paradise boasting innumerable plant, bird and animal species.
  • Bukit Larut – Bukit Larut, also called Maxwell Hill, is the smallest hill resort in Malaysia. This little township is situated in Taiping where it’s famous for its majestic lake gardens.

Photo credits: Ben Beiske, daveonhols, Peter Nguyen , Tukang Kebun, Momoc HDR .

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