Cameron Highlands to me is beautiful greenery landscape, misty cool temperature, relaxing hill resort and awesome steamboat to warm up the cold weather. I didn’t bring much expectation to this famous tourist attraction in Malaysia, but the short weekend getaway didn’t sync with what I’ve imagined earlier.
Not saying that the highlands at 1500 meters above sea level is not fun, but I could share with you what’s good and what’s not.
The journey from Penang takes about 2.5 hours by driving and the road from Simpang Pulai was quite comfortable and not overly winding. Excitement rushes in when we turned off the car AC and let in the cool breeze.
BUT we were quite turned down by the scenery out of the car window – vegetable farm with semi-transparent shelter that looks a lot like a disease quarantine zone. Hahaha.
Our first stop – the Lavender Farm was not as intriguing with RM8/entry that showcase some lavender, some flower species, and pick-your-own strawberries which our visit only lasted less than 20 minutes. It’s a man-made attraction, but comparing to the vast flower farm in Europe, or man-made Gardens By The Bay in Singapore, it’s just too not attractive. There’s plenty of similar farm at Cameron Highlands, mainly cactus and strawberries and I could suggest you to skip them all. Just buy the strawberry from the market, and not pick-your-own.
I highly recommend you to skip all those farms and concentrate on the famous tea plantations. Sungai Palas Tea Plantation where the famous Boh Tea brand is located is my favourite!
The weekend was crowded with people, but immersing myself in the plantation was just fascinating and refreshing. The visitor centre itself is an architectural award winning building which is worth seeing.
Another famous tea plantation is Cameron Valley which I still find Boh has a better visitor center.
The second place of interest that I liked is the Mossy Forest – a trekking trail at the highest point of Cameron Highlands that leads you to Gunung Irai. Unfortunately, we did not equipped ourselves well as the trail was muddy and wet. Obviously our attire and mindset was not ready for it.
Read that it takes about 2 hours to reach the top of Gunung Irai, and another 2 to come back. Thus, a good stamina and planning is needed. But the walk in Mossy Forest board walk was fun enough as it’s very cooling.
If you are driving to Mossy Forest, just have to drive slow and careful as the road is very winding, steep and narrow. Though, there’s a beautiful landscape along the road, really beautiful and amazing!
Temperature at Cameron Highlands was perfect to me, ranging from 16 to 24 degree celcius which reminds me a lot of my life back in the UK. Do bring some warm clothes to keep you warm up as it gets cold as night falls.
One last thing, try not to come on major holiday or weekends, I didn’t expect that the traffic was so bad up there, as there’s only road leading from point to point.
The next time, I am gonna gear up for the trek and rent a nature filled Airbnb to enjoy the cold weather. Say no more to fake farms.