Sunday, November 24, 2013

An Overview and Map of the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia

First things first—Why the name ‘Cameron Highlands’?

The place received its name from Sir William Cameron, an English surveyor who was commissioned by the Colonial British government to map out the Pahang-Perak border area in 1885. Interestingly though, it was Sir George Maxwell, a British Naturalist and Colonial Administrator who gave the idea of turning the area into a hill station after comparing it to Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka) and Baguio (Philippines). Baguio indeed has the same climate and topography as Cameron Highlands, which is by the way, the summer capital of the Philippines. My trip to the Cameron Highlands brought a little déjà vu of my visits to Baguio almost two decades ago.

The Cameron Highlands are located in the northern part of Pahang province, 1500 metres above sea-level and with a distance of about 200+- kilometres from (north of) Kuala Lumpur. It is only reachable by land and takes about 3-4 hours’ drive on zigzagged roads depending on your speed and the traffic situation. To put geographical size into perspective, it is about the same size as Singapore.


The map of Malaysia. Pahang is one of the biggest provinces of the country. The Cameron Highlands are about the same size as Singapore (see the little green island south of Johor province).

This is our actual road trip:



From Malacca, we drove to Kuala Lumpur and stayed here a few days then left for the Cameron Highlands. We did pass by the Batu Caves for a few hours. Then we drove back to Malacca to return the rental car via KL.


Zigzagged road to the Cameron Highlands and it can get really slow when you arrive town. This bumper to bumper drive is between Ringlet and Tanah Rata.

There are eight districts with Tanah Rata as the administrative: (1) Ringlet, (2) Tanah Rata, (3) Brinchang, (4) Bertam Valley, (5) Kea Farm, (6) Tringkap, (7) Kuala Terla and (8) Kampung Raja.

Below you will see the whole tourist map of the Cameron Highlands:


Right click and open the map in a different window and then click the map to zoom in.

For this trip we mainly concentrated between Tanah Rata and a little bit further from Kea Farm, see below a zoomed-in map of the three districts: Tanah Rata, Brinchang and Kea Farm:


Right click and open the map in a different window to view it clearly.

Because of its temperate climate—18C mean annual temperature (fluctuating between 9C and 25C by night and day)—it is a great place to cultivate vegetation. In the early 1920s an Agricultural Experiment Station was formed and set up to plant fruits (strawberry, guava, etc.), vegetables, flowers (orchid, roses, cactus, etc.), coffee and tea. Over the years, the area became home to many fruit, vegetable and tea plantation farms, as well as bee and butterfly farms.


The landscape of the Cameron Highlands.


On our first day (we arrived late in the afternoon) we went driving around and saw this tea plantation. We got out of the car and took a little fresh walk. I will post soon separately our visits to BOH Tea Plantation and Cameron Valley Tea Plantation with amazing views!

Because the British developed this area, there is indisputably an air of English charm in the towns. We even stayed in a lovely English cottage and enjoyed some tea and scones with jam and clotted cream =)

Nowadays, it is the country’s premier hill resort. Urban dwellers drive to the Cameron Highlands in search for cooler temperatures escaping the heat and humidity of the city. Weekend getaways became very popular whilst for those with money, there is enough holiday homes to buy or build on their own.

To learn more go here: Cameron Highlands Website


Passing by Tanah Rata on our way back to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.

More stories about Cameron Highlands soon...

Travel Period: August 2013
Destination: Cameron Highlands (Pahang), Malaysia

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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