Long ago, the Cameron Highlands were seen as an out-of-the-way place in Malaysia, an area isolated by the Asian jungles and rainforests. Though the British were able to carve out a path through the jungle that allowed William Cameron to explore the mountains in northwest Malaysia in 1885, it wasn’t until 1925 that the United Kingdom discovered the top things to do in the Cameron Highlands were actually possible.
For the British, that meant growing tea and other crops. The lands of the Cameron Highlands proved incredibly fertile for the tea that the British had grown in Asia for decades, and they’ve remained that way ever since.
The Cameron Highlands produce 60 percent of all Malaysian tea, and the pulled tea that comes from this region is worth the trip to Malaysia on its own. Today, the Cameron Highlands remain a very agricultural, slower-paced area, but it’s certainly not lacking in things to do. Here are some of the best things to do in this area!
If you’re looking to really escape from the fast paces of life, this is one place that will absolutely speak to you. The cooler climates of the Highlands create the perfect environment for a dense, misty forest that allow you to immerse yourself in the experience and embrace being one with nature. The moisture of an area that’s near the Malaysian rainforests mean that the forest floor is soft and moist, allowing you to leave your mark on the trails.
For a view of the mountains in the area, the paths of the Mossy Forest lead to a trail up Gunung Irau, the highest mountain in the Cameron Highlands. At nearly 7,000 feet, Gunung Irau is about a three-hour climb from foot to summit, so unless you’re a regular at climbing mountains, it’s best to just enjoy the view and leave the climb to experts.
Tea is the major crop of choice here, but when it comes to things to do in the Cameron Highlands, picking your own strawberries is hard to beat. Thanks to some new technological advances, strawberries from the Cameron Highlands are now recognized as some of the sweetest and best strawberries in Asia.
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The strawberries grow year-round in Malaysia, and for a fee, you can pick your own strawberries at some of the farms in the region, including the Big Red Strawberry Farm. If you’re a lover of berries, this is something you cannot miss while you’re in the Cameron Highlands.
We’ve put off the most obvious attraction to the Cameron Highlands for long enough, but just because it’s well-known doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The BOH Tea Plantation is the largest producer of black tea in Malaysia, making about 4 million kilograms of tea every year. That makes up roughly 70 percent of the tea that’s produced in the island nation, and the cool climate of the highlands produces a smooth tea that is delicious on its own or with milk and sugar added.
You’ll get to see how tea goes from the field of Malaysia to becoming loose-leaf tea and eventually creating the delicious beverage that’s enjoyed in cafes across Malaysia and throughout the world. With flavors such as the Cameronian Gold and Palas Supreme available, you’ll have no shortage of options in getting a true taste of Malaysia.
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What goes better with tea than honey? This bee farm doesn’t only produce the sweet stuff, it’s also known for making royal jelly and pollen, both of which are in high demand in Malaysia. You’ll get to see honey bees in a natural environment and watch just how honey and other products are made before getting a chance to buy some yourself.
Outside of watching the bees at work, you’ll get to experience the challenge of finding your path through Malaysia’s largest maze, all without paying a cent because the bee farm is completely free.
If you’re looking for authentic Malaysian cuisine, this is one of the places to go. Malaysia’s history means that its cuisine from Chinese, Indian, British and Dutch cultures along with its own culture from before the days of colonial rule. Nasi lamak, a rice dish made with coconut milk and pandan leaves is a popular staple here, and it’s considered the national dish of Malaysia.
Whatever you select, every dish is homemade by the husband and wife team in charge of the restaurant, and with a small menu, they’ve chosen to focus on what they make best, which means anything you order is sure to be fantastic.
No list of the top things to do in the Cameron Highlands would be complete without finding a great place to stay, and the Lakehouse is a fantastic place to spend your nights during your visit. The Lakehouse was built in 1966 in the early days of Malaysia’s independence, but it holds several instances of British influences.
The hotel is done in a British style and even features a daily tea time, which offers complimentary tea to guests. With trees, flowers and a lake surrounding the hotel, it’s a fantastic place to relax and make sure you’re refreshed and ready to see all that the Cameron Highlands has to offer!
The Cameron Highlands is a must visit while traveling in Malaysia. From the Mosey Forest, to trying Strawberries, Tea and Honey at the plantations and farms through the area Next time you visit Kuala Lumpur take a weekend getaway (3 hour drive) to this beauty region of Malaysia. Have you been to Malaysia or the Cameron Highlands? What did you think?
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