Nestled in the mountains of central Malaysia is the Cameron Highlands. When you take a bus here you will ride the twists and turns all the way up to the main village of Tanah Rata. This town looks like an old Bravarian village and is surrounded by small mountains. Many people come here as a stop over on their way to the northern cities. The highlands offer so much to do and you can spent a week here trekking through all the trails! So get out there and go explore the area!
Where to stay
There are plenty of places to stay around town. With so many options to choose from two of my favorite places to stay are friendly and welcoming for backpackers.
Located just 5 minutes walking from the main bus station this has become the go to hostel for backpackers and budget minded people. Dorms run RM30.
CH Traveler’s Inn
Located in the heart of the Tanah Rata. This cozy family run Inn is quite and has comfortable beds. There is a small common area with couches and a tv with movies on demand. The 4 bed dorms cost RM35
Where to Eat
The village is full of restaurants that cater to every budget. My two favorite places are on opposite ends of the budget.
Rozah Indah Food
This place is very budget friendly and serves great local food. Starting around RM5
This place is set up to look like military barracks and serves a western local fusion menu. Expect to pay between RM15-23.
What to see and do
Most of the essential things to see and do here can be done in a day or two but to really experience the city stay a bit longer to enjoy the cool weather.
Land Rover Expedition
This is the main way of seeing the highlands and the best bang for your buck. It will take you around to all the main highlight of the highlands in one day. There are two option: the half day and full day. Take the half day to save money which will take you to the mossy forest and the BOH tea factory then walk to everything else you want to see. Costs RM53 for half day and around RM100 for full day
As the main tourist attraction of the area it is a must see! This ancient forest is on the top of the mountain and covered in a misty haze most of the day which gives it a magical feeling while walking through it! Visit early to avoid the crowds. FREE to enter but you have to pay a cab or tour guide to get up there.
With more than a dozen trails to choose from there are ones for every level of experience. While some are only an hour or two long some like trail 1 can be as long as 5-7 hours! So be sure you plan accordingly and know which trails are open. FREE.
BOH Tea Farm
As one of the two staples of the region visiting the tea farms is a must. The views over the rolling mountains are breathtaking and after exploring you can stop in and try the local black tea! FREE but tea and biscuits will run about RM10-12.
As the other staple of the region this is a must see. Here you can pick your own strawberries but mainly people just come here to get the fresh strawberry smoothies! FREE just be sure to order a strawberry smoothie
This small but wonderful exhibit lets you walk among the butterflies. It also has a big beetle collection as well as a few other exotic species. RM5
Take the half day tour and save the money. You can see all the main attractions in one day. So one to two days is all you need here. However, it’s cooler climate makes it a great escape from the coastal heat. So if you want to stay a couple extra days then I would go trekking on one of the many trails.
The nightlife here isn’t that spectacular and there is really only one bar next to the bus stop. Save money and buy beer at the market. The cheapest I found in the market was RM5.50 but expect to pay twice that or more at the bar.
Where to next
The highlands is a great middle of the country jumping point and it’s location provides you with plenty of places to go explore from here. Below are few of the hot spot locations that most backpackers will go to depending on what direction you are traveling.
This cultural hotspot is a great few days stopover before you get to Langkawi. The street food and art scene is spot on and makes an incredible evening stroll! All this is done while in a 17th century English town that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Definitely worth seeing! Checkout what to do here.
This former tin mining town is full of adventure for all types it offers caving, old town charm, hiking, white water rafting and more! As the 4th largest city in Malaysia is has plenty to offer!
This is known as the place with the world’s oldest rainforest and the longest tree canopy walk in the world.
As the capital of Malaysia this metropolis is bustling with activity. You can find the famous Petronas Towers here and also the helipad bar at the top of a skyscraper.
If scuba diving, snorkeling, sea-kayaking, sunbathing and turtle conservation volunteering are all you want to do then this is the place for you! However, due to weather the best time to go is only between March and October.
I hope this helps and you enjoy your time in the Highlands! I know I sure did! Be sure to like and share! Is there anything you did here that was not listed but was a blast?!