During our recent holidays, we spent 3 days 2 nights in Cameron Highlands, and it is the first visit for both my son and I.
Located in the state of Pahang, Cameron Highlands is one of the popular holiday destinations in Malaysia. At about 1,500 metres above sea level, it is the highest area on the mainland with temperature ranging between 15° and 25° Celsius. Its cool climate, tranquility and beautiful landscaping makes it a perfect getaway for those who love a relaxing holiday. The main attractions in Cameron Highlands are its tea plantations, strawberry farms, orchard and vegetable gardens, cactus garden, butterfly and bee farms.
Our journey took approximately three and half hours from Kuala Lumpur via Simpang Pulai/ Ipoh (Exit 137). The road is mostly wide and its condition was better than what we had expected. Even though the route is quite winding, there are only a few sharp corners. The gradient for the climb uphill are not steep at all and you can drive on third or fourth gear comfortably.
We stayed at Cameron Highlands Resort fronted with a 18-hole golf course. The hotel room we had was spacious, beautiful and comfortable. The hotel service was excellent and their staff were friendly and polite. It is also strategically located and within short driving distance between two major towns – Tanah Rata and Brinchang with many restaurants and shops around. Visitor attractions such as tea plantations, gardens and farms are also easily accessible from the hotel.
My son was standing at the balcony of our hotel room to catch some cool fresh air. Behind him is the 18-hole golf course.
Here are some of the highlights of our trip.
There are many strawberry farms you can visit at Cameron Highlands. We went to Big Red Strawberry Farm located at Brinchang. Being the largest strawberry farm in Cameron Highlands, it occupies 10 acres of land and is shielded by large white overhead canopy. Strawberries are their main produce. These strawberries are planted in pots using hydroponic method. They are not as big and sweet as those US strawberries we sees in Singapore. This farm has a cafe that serves a range of strawberry based food and drink to visitors. This is our first time seeing how strawberry plants look like and how they are grown.
The farm also grows tomatoes, lettuce, vegetables and cactus on a commercial basis. Look at these mini cactus plants. Soooo adorable!! Which one is your favourite pick?
Have you seen cactus with blooming flowers?
We dropped by at Rose Valley located at Tringkap for a quick visit. You can find a collection of roses and other flowers in different colour, shapes and sizes.
It was already past noon when we reached Butterfly Farm. On entering the enclosed farm, I could sense butterflies fluffing around me. Some clinged to the enclosure net, while others were hidden inside the plants. I had to constantly remind my son to walk slowly and carefully so that he would not accidentally step onto those butterflies resting on the ground.
Hey! Look what I had discovered – a Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing (butterfly)! It’s the most famous of all species found in Malaysia and it has distinctive black and simmering teeth-shaped and electrical green markings on its wings. Interestingly, it is the only butterfly to be attracted to water, rather than plants. It is one of the larger tiger butterflies family. Naturally, its antennae and proboscis also rank as some of the largest around. It is the national butterfly of Malaysia and is protected by The Endangered Act.
I was lucky enough to find other “obedient” butterflies that were gracious enough to post for my camera with their wide-opened colorful wings. 😉
See! I spotted a very hungry caterpillar enjoying its yummy lunch.
Following the recommendation from a hotel staff, we drove to Sungai Palas Tea Plantation. It is another tea plantation owned by Boh Tea Plantations. Located on a hilltop, amidst rows of neat sprawling tea bushes and closed to Gunung Binchang, the valley view was truly spectacular and scenic. We bumped into a group of photographers shooting wedding shots on our way out.
The road leading to the plantation village was rather narrow and winding. So, you need to honk diligently to warn any oncoming vehicles. At some parts of the road, it can only fit one car at a time. Often when two oncoming cars meet at this spots, one will definitely have to reverse to make way for the other. As we were not forewarned of this tricky “path”, the ride was such an adventure to us, with pounding hearts and anxious looking faces.
The Boh Tea Centre, a modern designed tea house with full length glass panel, is located at the end of this plantation road. After parking your vehicle, you need to walk another 200 metres to reach this tea house which was perched at the edge of the cliff on a hill. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pursue further as my mother-in-law was too tired to continue the journey. As for my son, he was quite disappointed with this visit as he didn’t find any workers in action picking tea leaves. Later, we realised that our timing for this visit may not right as tea plucking is usually done early in the morning, or so we thought.
So, the next morning, we headed to Cameron Valley Tea House located in the Bharat Tea Plantation, hoping to catch some tea leaves plucking activities. This tea house is situated along the main road between Ringlet and Tanah Merah. It’s certainly far less challenging to drive there. Upon our arrival, the cafe was not yet opened for business and there wasn’t any sight of tea workers in the estate. My son gave me another disappointing look again. Maybe we weren’t early enough. We were later told that machine-powered or mechanical shearers are now used to take over the role of the tea workers. So, the image of an Indian lady dressed in her sari plucking tea leaves in the billowing hills is now a page in history.
In this tea plantation, visitors are allowed to walk into the tea bushes to have a feel of the tea leaves.
Look at my son! One minute he was so moody, another minute he was…………………. back to his normal self.
The morning view of the valley was simply…. breathtaking!
During our stay, we tried many strawberry-themed recipe on the menu of restaurants, such as strawberry fried rice, strawberry omelette, strawberry pancake (Strawberry Moment dessert cafe) and strawberry jam (served with scones at Smokehouse Resort). On our way back from Cameron Highlands towards Simpang Pulai, we had a very satisfying lunch at Lai Fatt Seafood Restaurant located at Kampung Raja (next to a Chinese Temple). The dishes we ordered were delicious, good quality and reasonably priced. It was really a great food find. Definitely worth giving a try if you pass by this place.
Time to say goodbye to Cameron Highland Resorts……….
Despite having limited time to cover all the tourist places, it was indeed a wonderful trip – a trip that brings us back to nature as well as to relax our mind and body. Cameron Highlands, we will surely have a return visit one day………………..If you like this article, please share: