Here are 3 tips for you when visiting Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. A fresh cool break from the heat of the beaches and home to amazing tea, strawberries and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Forget the tour.
It’s tour galore at Cameron Highlands, and you may be swayed towards taking once simply for ease. However the thing with tours is they rush you around, they all go at the same time making the sites very busy, and they don’t spend long at each location.
During my time at Cameron Highlands I did a lot of walking, probably more than most people want to do, walking probably the whole length of the highlands twice. Cameron Highlands is basically built up around one main road which means everything is very accessible and you can’t really get lost.
The maps cost here (you can use maps.me if you want) but grab yourself one anyway and then decide the sites you want to see. You can take taxis to the nearest town area for that site and form there you can generally walk to whatever you want to see.
There are plenty of strawberry farms so just ask a local which is the best for the season you are there. We were told they vary and some don’t allow you to pick strawberries at certain times.
There are 2/3 main tea plantations here too. The BOH tea plantation was had the best tea to drink however is was very busy when I arrived. I suggest walking from the main road to the plantation as the roads are packed with cars, bikes and scooters. Walking is much more enjoyable, calmer and you can smell the tea as the sun heats up the plants.
The town closest to the BOH tea plantation is Birchang and they have a flea market and a fresh market here too. The choice and fruit and vegetables here is incredible due to the climate and you enjoy steamed sweet potatoes and corn for your walk back
The other tea plantations we visited were much quieter and you can walk and explore into the hills a lot more casually here. Bharat tea had the best views however the tea was not as good as the BOH plantation. There is another plantation around 15 minutes away from here, which is even quieter, and you may as well walk down to it since you are so close, it’s called – Cameron Valley Tea House. If you are walking from Tahna Rata you will have some great views along the walk, and there is also other farms to see along the way, including avery bizzare mushroom farm.
If your tired on the way back, you can probably hitchhike back to Birchang in someones truck. That’s what we did and we managed to dodge the rain!
Take a hoody
It’s much cooler up in the highlands than in the rest of Malaysia and this is why the tea, strawberries and other vegetables grow so well here. To be honest I still found it fairly warm in the day, still nice enough to wear a t-shirt, but it’s worth taking a hoody or a long sleeve top with you for the evenings or if it starts to cloud over.
There are lots of stalls selling second hands coats and jumpers for very cheap and also the odd flea market selling a range of actually rather cool vintage clothing, so if you don’t have anything with you, don’t worry, pick something up whilst your there!
Strawberry ice pop
You will most likely see so many strawberries in Cameron Highlands you’ll be sick of them when you leave. However a must try is the strawberry ‘ice creams’ you will see dotted about in small freezers on the street or outside shops. There not actually ice creams but kind of frozen smoothie ice sticks. They’re delicious and only 5-6RM. A great way to cool down in the midday sun and a made fresh from local strawberries!