BOH tea plantation
photo by Steven Wong

Cameron Highlands is a hill resort at the northernmost tip of Pahang state, Malaysia. The main towns in the Cameron Highlands are Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

Getting there

By bus

The nearest major town is Ipoh.

From Kuala Lumpur, buses to Tanah Rata can be caught at Puduraya Central Bus Station and take about 4 1/2 hours. Look around the ticket counters to find the various companies although they don't always have buses running at the advertised times. Buses leave between 8.30 and 3.30, but more buses run in the morning. Prices range from RM20 - RM30. The cheaper Kurnia Bistari bus tickets can be bought at ticket counter 86/87, however these buses frequently take up to 7 hours for the journey and are known for breaking down on-route, and have only one toilet stop. The Unititi Express can be bought at ticket counter 66 but has fewer services.

From Singapore, overnight VIP buses run from the Golden Mile tower/complex.

By car

From North-South Expressway, exit the expressway at Tapah and then proceed via route 59 straight along the way to the highlands. You are estimated to reach the south end's first town of Ringlet in 1 hour 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can exit the expressway at Simpang Pulai, Ipoh and proceed via a new route 145 to Cameron Highlands along the way to the top.You can expect to reach the first town of the northern end, Kampung Raja, in an hour.

Traveling around

Tanah Ratah is a small town set up along the road and is easily traveled by foot.

Local buses (to tea plantations, further away tracks, strawberry farms, and other attractions) run hourly. Taxis are available as well. Taxi between Tanah Rata and Brinchang costs RM6, while the bus costs RM1.50.

Some guesthouses have motorcycles and bicycles for rent. Note that in Malaysia a license is mandatory for motorcycles.


  • Robinson Waterfall , A short walk to from Tanah Rata. Follow the road to the hospital and take the road right where the river joins the road. There is a sign from the road but as of September 2008 it was on the ground and not easy to spot. Water is polluted and is not suitable for swimming.

  • Rafflesia Flower, The largest flower in the world (actually a fungus). The best way to see it is via a tour that uses 4WD vehicles.

  • Mossy Forest, There's a new boardwalk up on Gunung Brinchang that takes you through the mossy forest.

  • Rose Centre & Rose Valley, Rose Centre is located at Kea Farm and Rose Valley is located at Trinkap., You can see how roses are grown and buy cheap roses. Very romantic.

  • Bala's Holiday Chalet , 05-491 1660, off the main road between the two main towns., One of the oldest colonial buildings in the Cameron Highlands. The main building was once the school for English expatriates' children and has had a vibrant history throughout the imperialist conflicts that have taken place in the region.

Things to do

Mysterious disappearance

Cameron Highlands also has its own mystery disappearance. Jim Thompson, born March 21st , 1906 in Greenville, Delaware, was an American architect who helped revitalize Thailand's silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thompson, previously a member of the CIA, disappeared mysteriously after going for an afternoon walk on Easter Sunday in Cameron Highlands on March 26th, 1967. Jim Thompson was on a quiet sojourn to the highlands to visit some friends and the fact that he left his cigarettes and a small silver 'jungle box' on the chair outside Moonlight Cottage where he was staying suggests that he had not planned to be gone for long.

Thompson was never seen again, and the theories for his disappearance are many, some plausible and others complex and far-fetched. Many believe that he was kidnapped for his previous involvement in spying activities. However it is more likely that he was eaten by a tiger, murdered in a botched robbery or fell into an aboriginal animal trap (a pit with a spike) and buried by the Orang Asli when they discovered what had happened. Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain Thompson's disappearance, and there were some reported sightings of him after his disappearance, but what happened to him still remains one of the greater unsolved mysteries of Southeast Asia. You can see the beautiful tea plantation from the road leading to the the famous Rose Garden. Don't forget to bring your camera.

  • Hiking, You will find simple maps at tour operators and hotels, or online .

  • Trek to Gunung Brinchang, A peak at 2000m, which can be reached by walking 'Trail 1' from Brinchang. Finding the path can be a bit confusing as the sign is located about 10m from the main road. Ask for directions to the army base and follow the road to the end. From there you will find clear signs for the path. The walk to the top takes about 2-2,5 hours. It is an easy path to follow and it is perfectly possible to do this trek without a guide. The trek is not very steep but you need to be in decent shape. After reaching the top, follow the road for another 6km down to reach the main road, where you will find the 'boh' tea plantation. From there you can take the hourly bus back to Brinchang.

  • Golf, 05-491 1126, between Tanah Rata and Brinchang, The 18-hole Cameron Highlands Golf Course is a beautiful although quite challenging course with tricky greens and terrain. Like most of Malaysia however, it could do with some of the garbage in certain areas such as the steams being tidied up. If you require them, a pretty decent range of golf clubs are available to hire for RM70 at the club house.

  • Boh Tea Centre, & Sg Palas Plantation, Follow the main road from Brinchang towards Kg Raja. After the Equatorial Hotel, look out for signs that say Boh Sg Palas Estate and turn left into the narrow hill road. The junction faces a row of stalls selling fruits and vegetables from the Kea Farm and can be easily missed., Operated by Malaysia's largest tea company. Tours available of tea factory (free). Also includes an interactive educational studio, a retail outlet, and a nice cafe. Also offers some stunning vistas of rolling hills amidst a carefully tendered tea plantation. The drive up the hill can be very narrow at stages, so caution should be shown when driving up. The view from the top of nearby hill at the plantation is well worth the effort of climbing up.


There are plenty of Chinese, Indian and Malay restaurants and foodstalls available. Try the "steamboat" - a pot of boiling soup in which you cook your own meat and vegetables.

  • Mayflower, Tanah Rata, Good place for steamboat

  • Zainab Sam, Tanah Rata, Exceptionally good local cuisine

  • Gerai Opah, Tanah Rata, If you’re looking for a good filling breakfast, try the Kampung Nasi Lemak.

  • Highlands Restaurant , Best place for charcoal steamboat.

  • Restaurant No. 14 , Tanah Rata, Great Indian food.

  • Bala's Holiday Chalet , Famous for its tea and scones.

  • Sri Brinchang, 05 491 5982/012 452 4392, 25 Main Road 39000 Tanah Rata, Next to Starbucks, Cheap and very good Indian food.

  • T's Cafe , 10am - 10pm, kitchen closes at 9pm. Closed Sunday, Tanah Rata, above Marrybrowns, Cozy cafe with scones to die for and essentially great food and atmosphere. Sign in cafe says

  • German Swiss Restaurant, 05-4915667 , No 59B, Jalan Persiaran Camellia 3, Tanah Rata, The only restaurant where you can enjoy Home Made German dishes in Cameron Highlands.

  • Restorant Kumar, 05-4912624, No.26 , Main Road, 39000 Tanah Rata, Authentic Indian meals such as banana leaf rice, for only RM 7.00. Tandoori chicken.RM 7.00


  • Travelers Bistro & Pub, The only pub in Tanah Rata. It used to, but no longer shows football matches on big screen. A decent place to meet other travelers. Football can be viewed at the Jungle Bar, which is a small bar out the back of a hostel called Daniel's Lodge. This is a characterful bar with an open lit fire place, a pool table, dart board and music. Beer is reasonably priced at RM8 for a bottle and the clientele are mainly travellers from all around the world. There are plenty of places to sit and talk. The atmosphere is very relaxed.



  • Sg Pauh Campsite , 05-4911384, located near Taman Sedia and just a 5 minute drive to Tanah Rata or Brinchang, The campsite has got all the basic amenities like washrooms, bbq and cold showers. There are even electrical sockets spread around the site.

  • Father's Guest House , +60 549 12484, Tanah Rata, A very friendly and popular hostel with helpful staff and a good atmosphere. Accommodation (dorms and private rooms with shared or en suite facilities) is split between the main house and converted Nissen Huts which are cheap and clean but rather uncomfortable beds with no mosquito screens. In-house cafe open for breakfast and dinner. Tour and transport booking.

  • Hillview Inn , +6 05-4912915, No.17, Jalan Mentigi, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands., Is an ideal base for travelers and holiday makers to explore Cameron Highlands.The rooms are clean, carpeted and spacious.There is a free pick up service for guests from the tanah rata bus station but if you choose to walk, it’s only a 15minute walk away. There is an internet service, and a TV room on every floor with vcds.Arranges tour and transport booking. A café serves hot snacks, drinks and beers.

  • Daniel Kang's Traveler's Lodge , +60 549 15823, Tanah Rata, Very basic and uncomfortable dorm accomodation, but a lot of fun. Free hot showers, pool table and nightly bonfires, where you can cook your own food. Movie room with DVDs available to watch. Friendly staff.

  • Twin Pines , Located just behind the (inactive) construction area, Friendly Indian owners and clean rooms; hot shared showers; 24-hour TV Room, Internet (nominal charge), food for 3 meals, small garden, laundry service (6 RM for the first 4 kg), arranges tours in the Cameron highlands

  • Cameronian Inn, 0125595017, No.16 Jalan Mentigi, Adorable cottage with a serene garden, afternoon tea and strawberry scones, and mix of dorms and private rooms.TV room with ASTRO.

  • Hotel Chua Gin , +605 4911 80, +605 4911 80, 11 Main Road, Brinchang, Hotel rooms and apartments.

  • Tudor Home Inn , (+605)490 1353, (+605)490 1353, 10A, Jalan Angsana 3, Bandar Baru Brinchang, Brinchang 39100 Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Tudor Home Inn

  • Kalai Villa Apartment - No.11 Jalan Mentigi. Provides 4 bedrooms with King Sized Beds, Kitchen Facility with cooking utensils, Living Room with ASTRO, and Balcony with BBQ set and utensils. Enjoyable holidays with your family and friends.Phone :012-506 7507, email :,You may visit our blog at


  • The Bala's Holiday Chalet, Tanah Rata. Tel: +605-491 1660, fax: +605-491 4500, . One of the oldest colonial buildings in Cameron Highlands, this historic guest house was converted out of a school for ex-pat children and features English colonial decor and manicured gardens. This boutique hotel is located walking distance from Tanah Rata, in between the two main towns, nestled in the serenity of surrounding rainforest. With views of the mountains and a beautiful English style garden in which to enjoy tea and scones and other regional specialities, this accommodation option is one of the more affordable of the upmarket hotels. Rates start from RM120 nett for cottage style rooms and go to RM500+ for suites.

  • Strawberry Park Resort, Tanah Rata. Tel: +605-491 1166, fax: +605-491 1949, . This neo Tudor-style resort contains 230 fully-furnished rooms and apartments. The Resort blends perfectly with its breath taking natural surrounding while offering the comforts of modern facilities. Rates start from RM350 nett for the smallest Studio apartments and go all the way to RM1050 nett for a 3-bedroom Penthouse.

  • Cameron Highlands Resort, Tanah Rata. Tel: +603-2783 1000, . The Cameron Highlands Resort (formerly Merlin Inn) is the pinnacle of luxury in the Highlands. The luxurious boutique Resort features 56 well-appointed rooms and suites, and fronts Cameron Highlands’ magnificent 18-hole golf course. It also houses the third wellness centre of the award-winning Spa Village, which offers exotic treatments focusing on the healing and restorative properties of tea. For such opulence, room rates start from US$200 for the deluxe rooms.

  • Century Pines Resort, Tanah Rata. Tel: +605-491 5115, fax: 491 1115, . The Century Pines is a cosy hotel in the Tanah Rata area of the Highlands and in close proximity to the golf course. There are 111 rooms in various sizes (superior, deluxe, and suite) and the rates start from RM215 nett for the superior rooms.

  • Equatorial Cameron Highlands, Kea Farm, Brinchang. Tel: +605-496 1777, fax: +605-496 1333, . The Equatorial is the highest resort in the Camerons and also its biggest. There are 240 self-contained low-rise apartments as well as 270 rooms and suites in the hotel tower. Rates are from RM380 for the rooms and RM680 for apartments.

  • Heritage Hotel, Tanah Rata. Tel: +605-491 3888, fax: +605-491 5666, . This 165-room hotel is ideally located at 1,500 meters above sea level surrounded by lush tropical forest which gives a bird's eye view of the panoramic town of Tanah Rata. It's eye-catching tudor styled architecture, elegantly sculpture garden provide an ambience of an old English countryside. Rates start from RM350++ for the Superior rooms. Inclusive of Steamboat dinner and breakfirst. Watch out for promotion inside their web page.

  • The Lakehouse, Ringlet. Tel: +605-495 6152, fax: +605-495 6213, . A Tudor style property managed by HPL Hotels, the delightful Lakehouse Hotel sits atop a hill overlooking the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake near the town of Ringlet and is a short drive from Tanah Rata. The hotel features 11 Deluxe rooms, three Junior Suites, three Family Suites and one Honeymoon Suite. Promotional rates start from RM465 nett.

  • The Smokehouse Hotel, Tanah Rata. Tel : 605-491 1215, fax : 605-491 1214, . This English Tudor style hotel, built in 1939, is the ultimate in colonial ambience. Enjoy the wonderful traditional English breakfast, tea in the lush gardens with scones, cream and strawberry jam, and dine in probably the finest restaurant in the Highlands. Take pleasure in a drink by the fireplace and relax before retiring to one of the well-appointed suites. Room rates range from RM400+ to RM600+.


  • Cactus Point , 500m from Kea Farm, Market selling every type of cactus imaginable. It also sells fresh vegetables and souvenirs. A tourist attraction as well as a place to shop.

  • Ee Feng Gu Honey Bee Farm , 605 - 496 1951 or 605 - 496 2755, 605 - 496 1951 or 605 - 496 2755, daily from 8 am to 7 pm, 75, Batu 43, Green Cow, 39100 Kea Farm, Brinchang, The place to buy fresh honey.

  • Yung Seng Souvenir Shop, Tanah Rata, Upmarket shop with an interesting collection of handcrafts and utensils of the Orang Asli, the indigenous inhabitants of Malaysia.


  • All Souls Anglican Church, It is located between Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Probably constructed during the British Occupation. Sunday services start at 10AM.

Buses run from the bus terminal to Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang multiple times a day.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Steven Wong, Zaqqy, Eelco Cramer, Will Ellis, amrufm

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Liz, Jani Patokallio, Neil Shaw, Syahrul, See Kenn, Espen Antonsen, kschoo, Jim Nicholson, Khamal Abdul Hamid, Peter Fitzgerald and ruben, Burmesedays, Roundtheworld, Tatatabot, Texugo, Morph and Eunice

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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