I used to dream about going to Cameron Highlands when I was a little kid. My dreams were of big ripe strawberries, the crunchy fresh green lettuces and the sacred act of walking through clouds. And it’s true. Cameron Highlands, famed for its strawberry and lettuce farms, is probably a good place for kids. There are fresh vegetables, fruits, and cactuses, which will probably charmed naive little imps who haven’t seen a cactus before.
But I think I travelled too far – trudging through the muddy plains of Sapa with Wellington boots, wandered around the rustic yet worn down gardens of Kashmir, braved the rain of volcanic ash to catch a sight of an angry Mount Bromo, that when I cast a glance at Cameron Highlands, I was like, Okay.
Down the streets of the main town, Tanah Rata, there is Marrybrown, a fast food outlet, Starbucks and several other coffee places. That was it. In Brinchang, the night market is probably an eye opener, with stalls frying anything that they can get their hands on – mushrooms, sweet potato balls, chicken, prawns, sotong, eggplant, carrots.. you get the idea. The foodie in me was excited, but food was not all I was looking for.
You could have a steamboat for RM35 for two people, visit the Big Red Strawberry Farm in the vicinity and that’s basically all you can do if you didn’t venture further.
By venturing further, I mean driving or renting a car that takes you to Gunung Brinchang (and Mossy Forest along the way), 11 km away from Brinchang, or attempt to trek the 2km high Gunung and walk that 11km back. And that despite being a “Mission Impossible” for noob trekkers like us, is probably, the best thing that ever happened..
To be continued.
To get tips on how to climb Gunung Brinchang, Cameron Highlands highest peak, read on: http://thetravellingsquid.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/cameron-highlands-for-the-young-and-fit-go-trekking/
About Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is somewhat different from the rest of Malaysia. The weather, being the biggest difference you’d notice when you arrive by road. There’s an occasional mist, and you’d be fine walking around with just a thin sweater on. Drizzles happen occasionally and stops quickly, but be sure to have an umbrella with you just in case.
Getting around Cameron Highlands is a pain in the ass if you don’t have your own car. Taxis are expensive – RM8 for a short 2km trip, and they go by hour if you book them for a tour to the farms nearby.
Stay in Brinchang. There’s more life there – a grocery stall, steamboat houses and the night market. Tanah Rata is close to the bus stand, but doesn’t offer much retail therapy. We stayed in a hotel – Casa Del La Rosa. It was fine, but located in between Brinchang and Tanah Rata. As a result, we had to pay a taxi fare of RM10 each time we booked one to take us town, 2km away.
Worth the trip?
If you’re a Singaporean, I’d say no. It took us 10 hours in total to get home from Cameron Highlands. About four hours to KL from Cameron, and another 5 hours from KL back home. In that time you could take a short flight to see the Angkor Wat, or other lovely countries in South East Asia. Then again, if you’re a farm person, to each his own.
Source: Wiki Travel
The Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations. It covers an area of 712² km, about the size of Singapore, At 5,000 ft (1,500 m) above sea level it is also the highest point in Malaysia accessible by road. During the day, the temperature seldom rises above 25 °C; at night, it can drop to as low as 12 °C.
There are four main roads into the area: two to the west, to Ipoh and to Tapah; and two to the east, to Gua Musang and Kuala Lipis.
The towns lie in a string of settlements approximately 25 km long.