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3 Days In The Cameron Highlands – All The Best Activities To Try!

Are 3 days in The Cameron Highlands Enough?

 

To do the most popular hiking trail, then a full day tour that covers the most popular tourist spots, then another day to either relax, or do another trail. That is the methodology behind deciding to stay 3 days in The Cameron Highlands.

And yes, it is enough for the tourist who is passing through on a longer journey throughout Southeast Asia. If  you are travelling around Malaysia only, then I would recommend staying longer than 3 days in The Cameron Highlands. This also applies to anyone who is coming here with the intention of hiking the majority of the trails.

The reason I suggest 3 days isn’t because I didn’t like my visit here, quite the contrary. I found the surroundings and the climate to be incredible. It is just that for the average person, you might get a little bit bored here.

Check out this video of all the things to do in The Cameron Highlnads!

What Are The Cameron Highlands All About?

 

The appeal of the highlands is the natural beauty, the escape from the civilised world, the escape from the heat and noise of big cities around Malaysia.

If you want to know more about the place, then check out the travel guide, this post is aimed at covering the activities you can do with 3 days in The Cameron Highlands.

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Things to do With 3 Days in The Cameron Highlands

 

Get your hiking boots ready, be prepared to get wet, do a lot of walking, and possibly get your blood sucked by a leach. If you’re really tough you’ll just suck it right back out of him, stare him in the mouth-hole and say “Not today!”.

People come here to see nature, the surrounding hills are covered with vegetation, large tea plantations, strawberry farms, butterfly farms, bee farms and hiking trails. There is also the chance to see the world’s largest flower in bloom, the Rafflesia Flower.

Hike Trails 10 and 6

 

What is it?

From Tanah Rata you walk through the jungle, up Trail 10 to the top of Gunung Jasar which has a peak of 1,570m.

After that you descend down a much more gentle slope through Trail 6, which takes you through the impressive Cameron Valley Tea plantation. This trail combination is the one that everyone recommends, it is great fun.

See the full guide to trail 10 and 6 here.

 

How much does it cost?

Going up Trail 10 is free, and Trail 6 is free up to a point.

Once you enter the Cameron Valley Tea plantation, you are hiking on private land, but they don’t mind. They just ask that you pay the 3 MYR fee as you leave the plantation, which is the same fee that everyone pays who comes from the road to walk around the plantation.

3 MYR is next to nothing to pay for such a great walk.

 

Opening Hours?

This is just a jungle trek, that turns into a nice leisurely walk through a massive tea plantation. There are no opening hours but I would say that it is best to do it during the day time, when it warms up just enough for you.

 

What do you do here?

Walk, take pictures, enjoy the lookout and the peace and quiet.

 

How do you get here?

Trail 10 starts just on the outskirts of Tanah Rata, it is about a 6-7 minute walk to the trailhead from most hostels in Tanah Rata.

 

How long will I spend here?

It depends on how long you spend taking in the views, how long you spend taking photos, and how much weight you carry. For me, I was carrying more than most people, about 12kg’s worth of camera gear and water, but you won’t need all of the stuff I took. Here is a breakdown of my times.

 

Hostel to Trail 10 Trailhead (Through the construction site):
25 minutes.

Trail 10 Trailhead – Peak of Gunung Jasar:
1 hour exactly.

Gunung Jasar – Exit Cameron Tea Plantation:
2 Hours 45 minutes (including a rain delay where I sought shelter for 20 minutes. I also took over 150 photos in this portion of the hike and was therefore moving slowly).

 

When to come?

Whenever suits you, leave enough time to do it before it gets dark though, and extra time just in case you have any issues. I recommend having a hearty breakfast, fill your water bottles up, buy some snacks from the shop and head off in the cool of the morning.

 

Do you recommend it?

Shit yeah. It was awesome fun without being too challenging, but it gets you out and about, the peak is awesome and the tea plantation portion of the walk is a great way to finish. It is flat, scenic, and not humid.

TRAIL 10 AND 6

(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4).

Rafflesia Flower Tour

 

What is it?

The tour involves a drive in an old Landcruiser out into the jungle to where a Rafflesia flower is blooming, that is of course if there is one blooming. The tour operators will communicate with the people who work in the jungles and only if there is a flower blooming will they take you out to see it.

It is a jungle trek, and it isn’t easy. Depending on how far into the jungle the flower is blooming, you could be in for a rough walk through leech covered forest floor, in what felt like 100% humidity to boot.

If you don’t get the chance to see one in bloom, then you might get another chance if you head to Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand.

 

How much does it cost?

They do offer Rafflesia half-day tour for 60 MYR, but I recommend doing a full day Rafflesia & Mossy Forest tour for 98 MYR.

 

Opening Hours?

The tour guide will pick you up between 08:00 and 08:30 from a designated hotel pick up point in The Cameron Highlands. The half day tour will aim to have you back to the pick up point by 13:00 to 14:00, it depends on how hard it is to find the flower.

The full day tour that I was on didn’t drop us off until 19:00, but the end of the tour was the best bit!

 

What do you do here?

You walk, sometimes for up to 3 hours, through the hot and humid jungle to see the world’s largest flower in bloom.

 

How do you get here?

You will be picked up from a designated pickup point which will only be a maximum of 200m or so from any hotel or hostel, they might even come straight to your hostel if there are a few of you that booked together.

 

How long will I spend here?

The trek itself can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes one way, and then you will stop and take photos. The way back is usually a bit quicker at about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

This can be different for every group, the deeper the blooming flower is, the more challenging and time consuming the trek is. I think that I got a particularly hard day, because he pointed out a few spots as we walked where flowers had bloomed months before, or were ready to bloom in a few months time.

These were all at least 20 minutes prior to finally arriving at the flower we were going to.

 

When to come?

Whenever the flower is blooming, which is not all the time. But they will never book you in to the tour until they confirm with the locals that they know the location of a flower in bloom. You can book yourself in to a floating date, so that they call you if they find one, but this is only practical for those who live in the area, it doesn’t help tourists very often.

 

Do you recommend it?

As a half day tour just to see the flower, only if it’s something that interests you.

As part of the full day tour, yes.

I much preferred parts of the tour that came afterwards, but the jungle trek was quite challenging and the flower was underwhelming for me, but I don’t regret doing it at all. I guess at least I can say I have seen one. Fuck was I a sweaty mess by the end of it though!!

RAFFLESIA FLOWER

Mossy Forest

 

 

What is it?

It is a special and fragile type of forest environment that only grows in special climatic conditions. At high enough altitudes, the forests are blanketed in cloud cover for part of the day, covering the forest with mist, fog and moisture.

This provides the perfect growing conditions for the moss. It sits 2000m above sea level on Mt. Brinchang and it flat out feels like something you would see in a movie scene.

 

How much does it cost?

The Mossy Forest costs 30 MYR to enter. Even if you book it as part of a tour, you will need to pay the 30 MYR on top of the tour fee.

 

Opening Hours?

The entrance gate into the forest where they take your money was closed at 17:30, we crossed the workers leaving to go home for the night on the road down the mountain. Our tour guide had a chat with them for 20 seconds and then we drove to the top.

He opened the gate for us, free of charge we entered. So it was after hours, but we still got to go in.

 

What do you do here?

Look around, take videos and photos, and if you’re as lucky as I was then you can go exploring a little bit.

 

How do you get here?

Most people either rent a scooter/motorbike, or come as part of a longer day tour. If you have a scooter and are coming from Tanah Rata then it will take about 40 minutes. The roads can be a bit rough for a scooter though.

 

How long will I spend here?

Probably only an hour maximum, you are restricted to the boardwalks now, which aren’t very long. They do this to preserve the forest from degradation.

 

When to come?

If it is part of a tour then it won’t really be up to you, but if you want to come by yourself, most people say the morning is the best time to see a heavy fog and mist cover.

 

Do you recommend it?

This is hard for me to answer because I had a different experience to most people.

As stated, we got here late and the gate was closed, the tour guide let us in the gate, but then he did something that made the whole forest that much more special and awe inspiring.

Instead of leading us to the boardwalk where all the tourists have to view the forest from now, he took us deeper into the forest and then he showed us a banking that we could scurry up, right in to the forest.

We got to climb into the forest, over roots and tree stumps, the ground was soaking wet, essentially just mud everywhere due to the moisture in the air. He said the forest rangers used the paths and that tourists don’t come on here because they damage the environment. That’s what the boardwalk was for now.

I think it used to be the place where tourists could walk, but they might have stopped it for conservation reasons. He waited at the path entrance for us where it met the road, then we went into the forest for half an hour.

It was slow going trying to wade across the muddy ground, but it was an unreal thing to behold to be actually on foot inside the forest, as opposed to walking along some boring boardwalk and being limited in what you can see.

So do I recommend it?

Yes, because it is cool. But if you can do a full day tour and get let in the gate by the tour guide, then go exploring on your own for a bit (don’t touch the moss if you do), then it will be on a whole new level of worth it!

MOSSY FOREST

Boh Tea Plantation

What is it?

The largest tea plantation in Malaysia!

 

How much does it cost?

Entry is free. Walking tours operate every 30 minutes starting at 08:45 and they are also done for free.

 

Opening Hours?

08:30 – 16:30.

(Except Monday when it is closed).

 

What do you do here?

It is an operating tea plantation with a large cafe. They don’t serve meals, but they have a selection of cakes, sausage rolls and other food items, along with a large selection fo the different varieties of Boh tea.

Walking tours run every half an hour, they are done for free and provide an insight into the history of the plantation, and of the tea making process. Otherwise you can roam around yourself and look at all of the informative placards on the walls.

There is a gift shop, full of tea (and tea related trinkets) for you to take home or give to family and friends.

 

How do you get here?

A lot of people will just come as part of a full day tour, but if you want to come yourself on a scooter or motorbike, it will take roughly 35 minutes. Parking is free.

  

How long will I spend here?

You could spend quite a bit of time here if you have a seat and get some food as well as a teapot. This is hands down one of the nicest views of any cafe that I have ever sat in. The plantation has a calming effect, often with overcast conditions to create a mood of relaxation.

If you come on a tour, depending on the guide and how long other parts of the tour have taken you, you will stop here for 30-60 minutes.

 

When to come?

Whenever, it is not an overly adventurous activity so the weather will be less of an issue.

 

Do you recommend it?

Yes, free entry, come and sit down in a very clean cafe with a fantastic view, take some photos and try the tea out as well. Just get off your feet for a bit after some hiking.

BOH TEA PLANTATION

Trail 4 to Parit Falls

 

 

What is it?

This is a nice easy hike right in the middle of town, just a leisurely stroll. 

 

How much does it cost?

Free.

 

Opening Hours?

I didn’t see any gates or areas where the path can be closed off, so I assume it is always open.

 

What do you do here?

Take a walk down the main road until you get to the Parit Falls turn off, then walk the path to Parit falls (it is a loop), on the way back take Trail 4 towards the city, instead of walking along the road.

See the picture below for a better understanding.

 

How do you get here?

It is walking distance from anywhere in Tanah Rata, just head north towards Brinchang and you will be going in the right direction.

 

How long will I spend here?

You can do the full loop in about an hour, from the accommodation along the road, then the Parit falls loop (which is trail 4 sort of), then the part of trail 4 that 

 

When to come?

I would recommend doing this is the daytime for obvious reasons (less Dropbears).

 

Do you recommend it?

Sure, it is easy, accessible, free, and a good way to break up the day.

This is an example of the path you can take, purple on the way in (because it’s easier to find via the road), then red on the way out, through the park and back to home (assuming you live in The Cameron Highlands now).

TRAIL 4 TO PARIT FALLS

(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4).

Summary

 

So there you have it, 3 days in The Cameron Highlands, plenty to do and see and a nice peaceful place to relax when you’re not sweating your balls/tits off hiking. Look out for the leeches, say hi from me if you do see them. Apparently my blood is fantastic, but then anyone could have guessed that, seeing as I am fantastic in general.

 

 

Other Activities to do With 3 Days in The Cameron Highlands

 

Some of the other activities you’ll see peddled on blogs as “must-do activities” include;

Do any of those sound like “must-do activities”? I didn’t think so.

I think these are more like filler activities, the stuff you do if you have a bit of extra time to kill, they might be interesting but they won’t make your holiday. You probably won’t be telling your friends about how much lavender you saw, but it can be a good way to pass the time.

I am not going to go into detail about things that I don’t think are really worth doing, but just so you know the options are there. A lot of these activities can be accomplished in one day on a guided tour, if you’re travelling solo this is a good way to meet other people.

I did a full day Rafflesia Flower and Mossy Forest tour (booked through the hostel) and had great company for the whole day and the guide was awesome, albeit very hard to understand.

 

Possible Itinerary For 3 Days in The Cameron Highlands

 

This is an easy one, counting the 3 days as 3 FULL days of course;

Day 0 – The day you travel in, this is the day to read the brochures and book the tour you want for 2 days time, or 3 days time depending on availability. If you do want a scooter, then this is also the day to organise stuff like that.

Day 1 – Hike up Trail 10, then down Trail 6 (unless you could only get the tour you wanted on this day, then you’ll be doing that).

The afternoon is yours to do as you please.

Day 2 – Full day tour (Rafflesia Flower and Mossy Forest is my recommendation but there are about 10 different tour packages available).

Day 3 – Take the easier hike to Parit Falls and Trail 4, see the surrounding area and do whatever you like or haven’t been able to do yet.

Day 4 – Travel day, get your stuff ready and head to the bus stop, next stop is likely Penang or Kuala Lumpur.

 

The 1 Activity I Regret Not Doing

 

There are a lot of trails to do, not all of them are amazing though, Trail 10 and 6 is regarded as the best trail available in the region, but I would love to check out a handful of the others that are close to Tanah Rata.

For a full view of the trails, make sure to download MAPS.ME which works offline, I have used it for all of the trails I have been on that are obscure or overgrown It is better than Google Maps for hiking, Google Maps is better for street level stuff but doesn’t have the trails that MAPS.ME provides. I consider it an essential app to have for travellers.

 

3 Days in The Cameron Highlands Video

A Map Showing The Activities Locations

 

Ok, so I have tried to colour co-ordinate that to show you the path of Trail 10 and 6, I will have a separate post detailing exactly how to complete the trail in the near future. That pretty much sums up the 3 days in The Cameron Highlands.

I think you’ll love it here, even if it’s only for a quick visit.

 

Good night everybody, sleep tight xx

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