It may seem crazy to spend one day in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, but the reality is that’s all the time many people that visit there have.
Having spent a short weekend break with my girlfriend there this is what we suggest you as an itinerary if you only have one day or a weekend in the Cameron Highlands.
Cameron Highlands Attractions in One Day
The reason many people only come for a days worth of travel is due to people coming over the weekend from nearby cities (like Kuala Lumpur which is only 4 hours drive away), for a short break.
Or some travellers pass through quickly for a night or 2 taking the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang or vice versa. If you’re coming to the Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur it can be very busy on weekends.
Then there was us who had a quick weekend away from our home in Bangkok.
The Cameron Highlands is known for it’s cooler climate (escape the lowland heat), tea plantations, strawberry farms, and hiking trails in the mountains.
Often some of the trails will be closed so be prepared for that. The best way to find out about the trails is to go to a tour agent (you don’t have to book anything) and just ask which ones are open.
You can also find a Cameron Highlands map at most travel agents there as well.
The Cameron Highlands
We actually arrived later in the day around 14.00 so only had a few hours of daylight. I’ve put this post as one day as you can fit what we did that afternoon and the next afternoon in one day if you start in the morning.
Start in the morning by heading to a tea plantation and enjoy the view from a cafe with excellent tea.
There are a number of tea plantations to see with the most famous being Boh Tea Estate and Cameron Valley Tea.
We opted for the Cameron Valley one due to the crazy traffic jams from weekend visitors to Boh and Cameron Valley was closer to our base in the town of Tanah Rata. However if you can get to Boh instead as it is near the other things to do.
Tip: if you don’t want crowds then don’t come on the weekend.
You can take a taxi from Tana Ratah to the tea plantation from the bus station in Tanah Rata one way for around 15 ringgit. It is a one hour walk back.
Once at the tea plantation (whether Boh or Cameron) you can walk around the plantation itself. After enjoy the fresh air and view sitting at the estates cafe with fresh tea and an apple pie (very good there) and some homemade scones and jam from the strawberry fields.
Next head to the mossy forest near the Boh tea estate area. It is a ethereal place full of trees covered in moss on a mountain peak, sometimes covered in cloud. Here the air refreshingly gets cooler.
You can walk up from Boh Tea Estate in around 2 hours, but I recommended hitch-hiking up and hiking back down. You will be very tired if hiking up.
It is a popular places especially on the weekends, but during the weekday it’s fine. The beginning section is on a wooden platform where most people walk, but that eventually ends and you can hike for 15 minutes on a nature trail.
If you’re used to the heat of the rest of Malaysia, or anywhere in the region for that matter then this is a good escape from the heat.
The Cameron Highlands weather though can change easily being a mountainous region, so a sunny day can turn to cloud and rain easily, so pack right when backpacking there.
Hike back down (or whatever way you can) and at the main road there are some small strawberry farms scattered around. You can pick your own strawberries or buy them in packs. They are some of the freshest you will ever taste.
Pick up some different strawberry jams to try from different places. The best we tried out of several was Mr’s Tangs. Take the last bus back to Tanah Rata at 17.30 or it’s easy to hitch-hike back.
As far as Cameron Highland food goes there are a few good Indian restaurants on the main strip in Tanah Rata. It’s the best option for a cheap and very tasty dinner.
There’s a very good cafe called Lordes Cafe opposite the bus station that serves excellent scones and jam. Unfortunately it only opens from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. so if you’re out all day you will miss it.
But plenty of other places in the Cameron Highlands for tea and scones when at a tea plantation.
Grab a beer or 2 to relax with dinner then head back to your hotel to chill.
Or if you’re wondering what to do in Cameron Highlands at night everything shuts down at midnight so don’t expect late night action. There’s a few bars on the main strip so just head there for a few drinks.
So if like us you only have a day in the Cameron Highlands then this is a way to see some of the best things in the Cameron Highlands.
If you’re looking for a Cameron Highlands hotel or homestay then Tanah Rata is the place I would recommend staying as there is a lot of choice.
The whole area is very close to each other as far as the attractions go there.
This is a decent guide some hiking places in Malaysia including the Cameron Highlands. In case you have more time and want to hit a trail or 2.
If you’re going to be heading to the Borneo part of Malaysia then some of the best jungle trekking I have done was in the Kelabit Highlands there.
Have a good trip!
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