When our team first spoke about going on a road trip in Malaysia, we thought of covering the entire Peninsula but after much deliberation, we decided to stick to the North part as we were only able to go around for two weeks and with limited budget. Our first stop was Cameron Highlands in the state of Pahang, just two and a half hours away from the city of Kuala Lumpur, the departure point to kick start this journey.
Cameron Highlands, a favorite for locals and travellers as it is just a stone’s throw away from the capital of Malaysia is a sleepy town in the higher grounds of the Peninsula. It is a change from the humid and hot weather in the jungles, beaches and cities as you go through curved roads surrounded by alpines, sometimes mists and tea plantations. Cameron Highlands is best known for the agro-tourism despite development threatening the future of this area.
Take a walk in Tanah Rata
Tanah Rata gives a glimpse of what other bigger towns might used to look like 10-20 years back. It is lined with a small stretch of old school shophouses, although there are some high-rise developments being erected within the vicinity. There are plenty of tour operators, backpacking hostels, restaurants and cafes in this area.
Have Scones and Tea at Lord’s Cafe.
Cameron Highlands is known for the tea plantation that started during the British colonisation so it is only apt that visitors enjoy some tea, scones and jelly in one of the plantation cafes or even family-run establishments such as Lord’s Cafe. It is a cosy cafe that allegedly serves the best scones in town so do come early as they run out real fast.
Visit the Tea Plantation
Cameron Highland was famous during the colonial era when British tea planters saw its potential as fertile mountain slopes for growing tea, one of the biggest commodity even during the Great Depression. Now, there are a few tea plantations that you could visit, some with tours and some not but the view of the plateau is magnificent and enjoyable while sipping some hot tea with cakes.
Try Some Sambal Strawberry at 200 Seeds Cafe
Other than tea, Cameron Highland is also one of the biggest producers of flowers, vegetables and legumes in Malaysia, one of them being strawberries due to the cooler climate. There are strawberry farms around the area but 200 Seeds Cafe took it a notch further by serving Sambal Strawberry, a chilli jam with strawberries in it. My doubts were completely changed once I took a bite of the sambal accompanying the Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk rice), it was spicy, salty and sweet with a hint of sourness from the rendered fruit.
Go For a Hike at Mossy Forest, Brinchang
Cameron Highlands is surrounded by lush tropical jungles and hiking is one of the must-do activities if you’re an outdoorsy person. Mossy Forest in Brinchang is a well-known spot among locals and tourists as a hiking destination for it’s natural aesthetics that looks like it came out of a fictional movie set.
Have you been to Cameron Highlands? Are there any other places or activities you would recommend? Leave us a comment.