Cameron Highlands: Your European Retreat in Asia

By Nikita Shankar | Places in Malaysia

If you travel about three and a half hours away from Kuala Lumpur, and decide to drive up to a certain plateau, you’ll be rewarded with the hill-station that is Cameron highlands. This small pocket of relaxation and tranquility is nestled on the Titiwangsa mountain ranges, and is a very popular tourist and local attraction. Often known as having a European feel, Cameron Highlands boasts temperatures below 20 degrees Celcius year round, incredible views and a great place to unwind and loosen up.

A Quick History Lesson

Way back in 1885, Sir William Cameron first stumbled upon this plateau and decided that the cool climate and untouched beauty was the perfect choice for a resort. After about fifty years, Cameron Highlands slowly started to develop, with the British more than happy to make these highlands their holiday home. For this very reason, Cameron highlands is steeped with history and a mix of British and Malay culture.

The Many Attractions in Cameron Highlands

Strawberry Farms

To fulfil any of your strawberry cravings, look no further than these highlands. Cameron Highlands is the prime spot for strawberry harvesting (thanks to the great weather!), and you’ll find many strawberry farms along the way to Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

Big Red Strawberry Farm

Here you’ll find rows and rows of luscious juicy strawberries all for your picking! While you can view the process of strawberry farming and cultivation, you can also pluck some for yourselves. Other than strawberries you can find parsley and tomato growing here as well as a small nursery. Don’t forget to head down to the shop where you can buy all things strawberry related!

Raju Hill Strawberry Farm

This is a smaller set-up compared to the other farms in the area, but Raju Hill is famed for having some of the best strawberry desserts. From strawberry tarts, ice-creams, milkshakes, cakes to strawberries dipped in chocolate syrup and powdered with icing sugar, the small cafe set up next to the farm is always bustling with people.

Credit: pupuchik

Hiking, Camping and Trekking

Some would say that the true Cameron Highlands experience would only be complete once you’ve taken a hike along the majestic mountain trails in the area. You can go on individual hikes on the various trails (it’s said to be marked very well) or you can join up with a tour guide and team. There are 14 jungle trails set up in Cameron Highlands, each ranging in their difficulty level.

Robinson Waterfall

If you decide to head down trail number 9, then you’ll be rewarded with the impressive Robinson Waterfall. These waterfalls offer trekkers a wonderful experience amidst dense greenery. However, it’s not quite possible to swim near the falls.

The Mossy Forest

Brinchang Mountain is the highest mountain in these highlands, and on this very mountain you can find the Mossy Forest. Thanks to the constant cloud cover at the peak, this forest area is covered with moss and vines. You can start your trek at the entrance of this forest and make your way through muddy, wet terrain with an exotic mix of flora and some wild animals as company. The boardwalk placed in various parts makes the trek a little easier and a lot less slippery. This is truly a unique and almost magical experience and many tourists vouch for it!

The Giant Rafflesia Flower

The famous (and now almost extinct) phenomenon that is the Rafflesia flower can be seen blooming in some parts of Cameron Highlands. This highly popular parasitic plant can be reached with the help of guided tours in the area, though this plant is slowly decreasing in numbers.

Credit: honzasterba

Tea Estates and Plantations

Boh Tea Estate

You’ll find Boh Tea in almost any supermarket here in Malaysia, but it originates from the cool mountains of Cameron Highlands. One of the oldest plantations in the area, Boh Tea Estate is a must visit. Apart from tasting different tea made from various leaves, you can also have an educational tour of the factory as well as some snacks from the attached tuck shop.

Bharat Tea Plantation

Bharat Tea Plantation is a worthwhile day trip wherein you can walk along the marked pathways around the plantation, have a steaming cup of masala tea and have your fill of scones and other pastries at the cafe. This brand of tea is known to have a South Indian influence, leaving you with a spicy and aromatic blend.

Sam Poh Temple

Again located in Brinchang, Sam Poh Temple is the fourth largest Chinese temple in the country. The oriental architecture this temple is built around is fascinating to witness, and the calm, serene atmosphere adds to the positive vibes this temple emanates. The temple overlooks the city of Brinchang and the valleys around it, with the views from the lookout point being phenomenal.

PropertyLife Tip: Don’t forget to stock up on your vegetables when you're in these highlands because you cannot beat the quality you’ll be getting for the price paid. Also, along the drive up to the peak, you can find vendors selling bamboo shoots, a local delicacy used vastly in South East Asian cooking.

Making Cameron Highlands Your Home

While you can’t expect this area to be serviced by trains, there is a good connection of roads that lead you to and from these highlands. Local buses, taxis and private cars are the chief forms of transport.

One downside to living here would only arise during the peak holiday season when tourists flock to Cameron Highlands and its narrow roads are filled with traffic. A recent experience to these highlands left me driving up to the peak for more than five hours!

Living in a place like Cameron highlands, with its great climate and stunning views, is certainly a luxury compared to the sweltering heat and pollution of other cities in Malaysia.

Property types at this hill station include apartments, condominiums and a few landed properties. Many investors find that buying a property and renting it out leads to better rental yield thanks to the demand tourists have for rented apartments in these highlands.

If ever you do decide to make Cameron Highlands your home base, then your neighbours would include retirees, government employees, business owners and those working in the tourism and service industry.

Whether you’re planning to visit Cameron Highlands for a few nights or make it your permanent stay, these highlands are certainly a great option. We hope you found this article useful. Do help share the article!

About the Author

Born in India, raised all over the world, I’m currently based here in Malaysia, truly enjoying this Asian enclave. Starting off as a fiction writer for many online publishing sites, I’ve moved on to following one of my major passions: Copywriting. For more than a few years now I’ve worked with companies to create some great web content, particularly in the real-estate field. From reviewing property developments to writing home improvement articles, I do believe the property world is my calling. When I’m not holed up behind a computer screen, you can find me reading a good book, gallivanting across the globe or merely listening to some tunes on my iPod.