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Cameron Highlands

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Cameron Highlands is a hill resort at the northernmost tip of Pahang state, Malaysia. The main towns in the Cameron Highlands are Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

Get in

By bus

The nearest major town is Ipoh.

From Kuala Lumpur, buses to Tanah Rata can be caught at Puduraya Central Bus Station and take about 4 1/2 hours. Look around the ticket counters to find the various companies although they don't always have buses running at the advertised times. Buses leave between 8.30 and 3.30, but more buses run in the morning. Prices range from RM20 - RM35. The cheaper Kurnia Bistari bus tickets can be bought at ticket counter 86/87, however these buses frequently take up to 7 hours for the journey and are known for breaking down on-route, and have only one toilet stop. The Unititi Express can be bought at ticket counter 55 at Bukit Jalil (not Pururaya) but has fewer services. Keep in mind that Unititi is pretty disorganized -- it's not unheard of to call them to ask when the last bus leaves, be told that it's 3:30, then call again and be told it's 1:30, and go to the bus stand to discover that it has left at 1:00.

From Singapore, overnight VIP buses run from the Golden Mile tower/complex.

By car

From North-South Expressway, exit the expressway at Tapah and then proceed via route 59 straight along the way to the highlands. You are estimated to reach the south end's first town of Ringlet in 1 hour 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can exit the expressway at Simpang Pulai, Ipoh and proceed via a new route 145 to Cameron Highlands along the way to the top.You can expect to reach the first town of the northern end, Kampung Raja, in an hour.

Get around

Tanah Ratah is a small town set up along the road and is easily traveled by foot.

Local buses (to tea plantations, further away tracks, strawberry farms, and other attractions) run hourly. Taxis are available as well. Taxi between Tanah Rata and Brinchang costs RM6, while the bus costs RM1.50.

Some guesthouses have motorcycles and bicycles for rent. Note that in Malaysia a license is mandatory for motorcycles.

Since many of the sights are far away (Rose Valley, Boh Tea Plantation, Bharat/Cameron Tea Plantation), consider hiring a taxi for 2 hours for RM 50. This is a rate fixed by the government. You can get maps from the local tourist information center (run by Unititi), but these are not at all to scale -- two sights next to each other on the map can be 8 km apart.

See

Do

Mysterious disappearance

Cameron Highlands also has its own mystery disappearance. Jim Thompson, born March 21st , 1906 in Greenville, Delaware, was an American architect who helped revitalize Thailand's silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thompson, previously a member of the CIA, disappeared mysteriously after going for an afternoon walk on Easter Sunday in Cameron Highlands on March 26th, 1967. Jim Thompson was on a quiet sojourn to the highlands to visit some friends and the fact that he left his cigarettes and a small silver 'jungle box' on the chair outside Moonlight Cottage where he was staying suggests that he had not planned to be gone for long.

Thompson was never seen again, and the theories for his disappearance are many, some plausible and others complex and far-fetched. Many believe that he was kidnapped for his previous involvement in spying activities. However it is more likely that he was eaten by a tiger, murdered in a botched robbery or fell into an aboriginal animal trap (a pit with a spike) and buried by the Orang Asli when they discovered what had happened. Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain Thompson's disappearance, and there were some reported sightings of him after his disappearance, but what happened to him still remains one of the greater unsolved mysteries of Southeast Asia. You can see the beautiful tea plantation from the road leading to the the famous Rose Garden. Don't forget to bring your camera.

Buy

Eat

There are plenty of Chinese, Indian and Malay restaurants and foodstalls available. Try the "steamboat" - a pot of boiling soup in which you cook your own meat and vegetables.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Splurge

Cope

Get out

Buses run from the bus terminal to Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang multiple times a day.

Related Information



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