Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s premier hill resort. Located in the state of Pahang, on the Main Range of Peninsular Malaysia, at 1524m above sea level, it is the largest of the Malaysian hill resorts. Much of its appeal lies in the neat sprawling tea plantations which date back to 1929, as well as terraced flowers gardens. Being a popular hill resort, Cameron Highlands is well-developed with visitor amenities, tourist attractions, activities and a range of accommodation for a comfortable, leisurely holiday in cool invigorating climate.

Introduction

Flanked by the towering peaks of the Titiwangsa Range, Cameron Highlands is the most popular hill resort. Spread over an accommodating plateau of rolling green valleys, the 'hill station' was a welcome retreat for the British in the 1920s-40s as it was the closest they could get to temperate climate in Malaysia. Situated at 1,500 metres above sea level, the average daily temperature is a comfortable 22°C.
Much of the approach into the main town of Tanah Rata is mainly dominated by large expanses of tea plantations, which produce among the best tea leaves in the world. The main attraction is leisure walking along the quaint jungle paths. A simple walk allows you to personally 'discover' the myriad natural tropical adornments of the place such as the coveted butterfly, Raja Brooke, the sensuous appeal of countless wild orchids, or just to sedate your senses with the deafening quietness of the surroundings.

A visit to the many tea estates is a must. You could see how tea plants are cultivated and the processes that make several grades of premium teas which find their way to your daily cuppa.

What To See And Do

Visitors are attracted to the Cameron Highlands largely for a change of climate and space. As such, activities are nature-based and relaxing with a variety of activities and attractions to suit one's mood and level of fitness.

The Cameron Highlands consists of a series of little townships which include Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Trinkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja. The total population is approximately 25,000, the majority of whom are employed in agriculture and the leisure industry. The best tourist amenities are sited in or around Tanah Rata but Brinchang is fast catching up with a number of new apartments and restaurants.

Brinchang

About 3km north of Tanah Rata is Brinchang, the centre of the highlands 'green produce'. Though it began its early days as a vegetable gardeners' settlement, it has developed into another delightful destination for tourist. It is situated on a slightly higher altitude than Tanah Rata , and its surroundings are hills terraced by vegetable farms, flower gardens and tea plantations. Here, a wide range of holiday accommodation is available to visitors, ranging from hotels to apartments and colonial bungalows.

Strawberry Farms

Across the road, on the hills overlooking the Cameron Highlands Golf Course are two strawberry farms where fresh luscious strawberries, homemade jam and marmalade are on sale.

Rose Centre The biggest rose centre in Cameron Highlands, Rose Centre Kea Farm, is located at Rose Valley Village in Brinchang. It has over 100 varieties of roses growing on terraced ground. Sculptures, fountains, walkways and pergolas are incorporated within the grounds making it a pleasant experience for visitors. At the peak one can get a panoramic view of the surroundings. Souvenirs, fresh roses, pressed flowers and plants are on sale.

The Tea Story

Tea is influenced by its character flavour and bouquet which is in turn greatly influenced by the environmental conditions under which it is grown.

The tea story in Cameron Highlands began in 1929 when a young British resident, John Archibald Russell, saw the potential of the Highlands as an ideal tea country' and sowed the seeds of a thriving tea industry. Major tea plantations are Bohlea Plantation, Sungai Palas Boh Tea Estate, Bharat Tea Estate and Blue Valley Tea Estate.

Tea pickers begin their work on the hills well before sunrise, plucking only the tender leaves of the tea bushes. The leaves are then weighed at the hills before being transported to the factory for processing.

At the factory, moisture is reduced through a process which is known as withering, thus stimulating the natural chemical reactions within are vital for the tea's flavour.

The leaves are then rolled by machines called rotovans, setting free the juices necessary for fermentation, a critical stage which develops the flavour, aroma and characteristics of tea, Fermentation is halted when the eaves are fed through hot-air machines. The drying process takes about 10 minutes during which the eaves are turned into the crisp black forms we are familiar with.The tea leaves are then graded according to their particle size.

In recent years, the highland tea has been exotically flavoured with oils, flowers, herbs and essences, of which the Songket brand has a variety to choose from. They include flavours of vanilla, mint, orange, lemon, passionfruit, cinnamon and cardamom. In all more than 3000 tea varieties are available in the world of tea.

Cameron Highlands Flower Festival

Every year, in August/September, the popular highland resort celebrates a Flower Fest that extols the colourful blooms and agricultural produce of the highlands. Events include flower exhibitions, parades, demonstrations, competitions, traditional cultural shows and cuisine.

Eating Out

Eating out is an enjoyable experience with a variety of food available atlanah Rata and Brinchang. Fine English food is offered at The Lakehouse and Ye Old Smokehouse but many of the local restaurants do serve up a decent English meal, breakfast or afternoon tea at competitive prices.

Chinese restaurants are favoured by locals for steamboat, ado-it-yourself' cook-in where a variety of raw meat, seafood and vegetables are cooked in steaming hot soup. Indian restaurants are plentiful,given the large Indian population.They serve a spicy, hearty fare of rice and curries.There is also a number of Malay restaurants, Moghul restaurants and a few vegetarian restaurants.

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