Cameron Highlands Tourist Attractions
For those daydreaming about visiting the cool and luscious Cameron Highlands, you’ll be pleased to know that aside from the beautiful scenery there are a number of things to see and do. Should one somehow want a brief reprieve from endless cups of delicious tea and warm, cream covered scones; we have you covered. The tea-capital of Malaysia offers its guests a wonderful combination of relaxation, activity and sightseeing.
A visit to Mount Brinchang is the best spot to take in the sweeping views of the highlands from the highest point in Malaysia that is accessible by car and is a must-see for all travellers who appreciate magnificent views. At 2000 meters above sea level, the watchtower at the peak offers spectacular views of the mountains, valleys and towns extending as far as the eye can see.
A return trip in a taxi can cost as much as MYR 100 and it may be travel savvy to try and negotiate stopping at a few additional tourist spots on the way to get better bang for your buck. The fabled Mossy Forest and Boh Tea plantation are both nearby.
We did this trip in our own car – and it was quite an experience. The road to Mount Brinchang – well, and to the Mossy Forest and Boh Tea Plantation, too – is quite narrow and in parts rather steep. We were travelling by car from Thailand and Thai cars are notorious for their low capacity engines. Our 1.6l Juke had hard times climbing up! Note also that the road branching off from the main route to the tea plantation and further up is not so obvious, so use your Navigator and do not rely on road signs.
The Mossy Forest
The Mossy Forest can be explored by taking a 2km boardwalk near Mount Brinchang’s highest elevation point and leads you directly into the enthralling biotope with dreamy, low-level clouds and gnarled oak tree branches forming a natural canopy above your head. With the moss-carpeted forest floors and ancient trees draped in moss, this forest reserve is made up of ferns, lichen, vines and orchids. Aside from the rich and unique plant-life, the evergreen Mossy Forest is also a moist, tropical home to insects, frogs, birds, snakes and a few mammals suited to the chilly and damp atmosphere.
Note that there is no toilettes up in the Mossy Forest and taking into account that the drive from Tanah Rata can take a while... Well, it can be tough!
Hunting for Rafflesia Flower
For visitors who love flowers, you’ll be delighted to know that in the Cameron Highlands, dwells the largest flower in the world - the Rafflesia Flower. The journey to see this unusual, reddish-brown flower involves a 4 hour hike and making the sighting even more rare is the fact that while the flowers take many months to develop, they only last for a few days. The only way to witness this beautiful parasitic plant is to join a guided tour with 4-wheel drive transport. One can expect to pay around MYR 100 per person, but fortunately the tour usually includes other activities and attractions too, such as the Boh Tea Plantations, Mount Brinchang and the Mossy Forest.
For those who wish to observe beautiful flowers in a more accessible and less strenuous manner, Rose Centre is a stunning flower garden at Kea Farm about 3.5kms from Brinchang Town where visitors can walk up steps built on a small hill. The views at Rose Centre are gorgeous and stretch across the encompassing landscapes and vegetable farms. The garden is open daily from 8am to 6pm with tickets costing MYR 5 for adults and MYR for children.
For all visitors who are in the Cameron Highlands over a weekend, you do not want to miss the popular Night Market on Fridays and Saturdays from early evening until late. ‘Pasar Malam’, as it is known by the locals, is a lively, shopping bazaar selling a variety of native products; from strawberries, fresh produce, teas, plants and beautifully crafted souvenirs. Aside from the colourful products on offer, the night market also promises a culinary sensation of hawker stalls selling food native to the different cultures of Malaysia. Come hungry.
For visitors who are yearning to learn more about the local culture, Sam Poh temple and the Time Tunnel Museum are both well worth a visit. Sam Poh is the biggest religious monument in the highlands and is tucked on the top of a hill. While being a Buddhist temple, there are also golden warrior statues and brass deities from similar religious nestled within the structure. The temple is free to enter.
The Time Tunnel
The Time Tunnel is a local museum which aims to inform and preserve the historical memory and cultural heritage of the Cameron Highlands. Meticulous exhibits, snapshots, recreated landscapes, artifacts and even sections focusing on agricultural activities, tourism and the aborigine way of life are on display for visitors. The museum is open every day from 9am until 6pm with tickets costing MYR 5 for adults and MYR 3 for children.