What You Don’t Know About Cameron Highlands

“Hi” as well as “apa khabar? “- or “How are you?” in Malay. Are you excited to visit Cameron Highlands? I’m sure you’ll be chilly once you get here and I’m sure you brought a sweater along. Running shoes or jogging sneakers could be helpful if you want to explore some of the famous jungle trails.

Before we begin, let’s learn about the region.

Cameron Highlands is in the highland region approximately 121 km to the east of Ipoh and 214 km north of Kuala Lumpur. It is located in Malaysia’s most populous peninsula statein the state of Pahang. At 5,000 feet, or 1,500 metres above sea level, it is the highest area in the entire mainland. Cameron Highlands enjoys a hyderabad jobs news rather cool climate in comparison to Kuala Lumpur, with temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, but never going below 12degC. Although it may not seem that cold to some of you however, in humid and hot Malaysia it can be quite cold.

What’s the background story to Cameron Highlands?

It is said that the French author Henri Fauconnier wonderfully described the tropics in Malaya when he wrote his most popular novel, “The Soul of Malaya.” The book is, in fact, Malaya is the original name for Malaysia. The author said, “In Malaya, the seasons are hardly distinct. You do not die a little every year, as in Europe at the end of autumn. You cease to think of date or time.”

But people like the British who were living in Malaya in the early days found this to be highly monotonous and decided to explore areas that would allow them to escape the scorching heat. Looking for ways of escape the British decided to go towards the cool mountains here. It was a wonderful holiday spot away from the noise of city life and away from diseases such as dysentery and malaria.

How did Cameron Highlands get its name? The answer is thanks to a federal surveyor named William Cameron who stumbled upon this mountain range in all its mossy glory in 1885. He described the newly found region as a ‘fine flat plateau with gently slopes protected by tall mountains’. If you believe this to be somewhat over the top and poetic, then you’ll soon discover it to be an understatement However, I’ll leave it up to you to explore that.

So while William Cameron was the one who found this place- there was a small issue. William Cameron forgot where it was. The British administrator at that time Sir Hugh Low, made a several expeditions in the following years and finally put Cameron Highlands on the map.

Cameron Highlands became a hit to those who had grown bored with Fraser’s Hill, a less well-known highland region in Malaya at the time. Fraser’s Hill was considered too small, too cramped and had poor conditions to grow produce. This is a great news for Cameron Highlands. The government of the time quickly began to shift their interest here. After they cleared the forests the tea planters arrived in hordes to claim the area around the Cameron Highlands for their plantations. Chinese farmers also came to plant their own vegetables and produce. Shops began to spring up to cater to requirements of the new and growing population.

Alright. This is the brief background of Cameron Highlands.


Before we move on to the sites in and around Cameron Highlands, you should know that there are a few distinct towns in the region. In the end, we’re talking about a huge region here. If you’ve been to Singapore and Singapore, you’ll find that it’s about two and a half times larger than Singapore.

Here are the towns:

We first have Brinchang (spell this out) as the biggest town in Cameron Highlands. In Brinchang, you will find hotels, night markets along with a military camp banks and a commercial district. There is also Tringkap (spell that out) which is the center of business of Cameron Highlands, which is popular for its stalls as well as shops. Here, you can get vegetable, fruits and flowers every day and are fresh out of the farm. In fact, some traders are from Kuala Lumpur actually travel all the way up here every day to return some in Kuala Lumpur, as the wholesale price here is ridiculously affordable! Look out for shops selling roses as little as three Ringgit for 10 stalks or all of the vegetables for only 2 Ringgit. It’s definitely a steal at these prices. The next stop is Ringlet (spell that out) which is the first stop to make if headed from Tapah, and is also famous for its vegetable farms. It also has a farm for flowers too. Another city in the region is Tanah Rata (spell it out). Similarly like Brinchang Tanah Rata has grown to become one of the most important towns in Cameron Highlands where it hosts several hotels, parks as well as a business centre. For those of you who love your coffee and familiar brand logos, there’s even the Starbucks Starbucks here! The next stop will be Bertam Valley (spell it out) that has yet another popular local farm for vegetables, and a flower farm that is international that has flowers like the chrysanthemums, roses, and chrysant. And finally we have the Blue Valley, and it must be on high on your list as it is where there is the BOH Tea Plantation as well as the Blue Valley Plantation are.

You’re probably getting the drift right now: there are plenty of vegetable and flower farms in Cameron Highlands. Also, of course, tea plantations.

Okay, now that you’re familiar with the names of the main towns here, let’s move forward to the most notable and intriguing attractions of Cameron Highlands. Before that, become acquainted with a young boy by known as John Archibald ‘Archie’ Russell. Russell was born in Malaya in 1890, at the age of seven along with his father. He came to Malaya when Kuala Lumpur was just beginning to develop into the country’s biggest administrative centre. Russell was raised among the community of English planters and tin miners. At a young age, he found his niche in business and that led to Russell acquiring at a minimum the equivalent of a third of Ipoh town.

It was 1927 that he realized his true calling to grow and sell tea of premium quality. While visiting Cameron Highlands, he found the rolling hills and valleys with their ample rainfall suitable for tea cultivation. Soon, the first Boh plantation was established and is still serving more than 60 percent of the Malaysian markets for tea. It is the country’s largest tea producer with 8000 acres of land spread across Palas, Farlie, Bukit Cheeding and Ringlet. Boh is derived from Bohlia which is the source of the tea that originates in the Szechuan province in China.

It is possible to reach the plantation’s Sungai Palas estate, which is located to the just north of Brinchang. Signboards can be seen on the way, so it is not difficult to find it. It is a great place to sit and have a nice tea, the scones and strawberry jam while admiring the magnificent tea plantation. It’s truly a memorable experience. Just ask for the Sungai Palas Plantation. Most people will know the exact location.

When you visit take a look at the tour for free that takes visitors around the factory. Guides will show you the various steps that tea is produced. Here you can see the various machines that are still in pristine conditions despite dating from the 1930s. In fact, some of the tea bushes of the 1930s remain in existence as they can be harvested for as long as a hundred years until they are removed.

After the tour, feel free to explore the plantation or head off to the plantation’s tea shop. Here you can buy the best Malaysian teas. The Boh business is still kept by the Boh family.

That’s all for the tea plantation. I’m hoping that you’ll have a great time drinking tea as those of the British did.

The next place on the tour is the historic Lakehouse in Ringlet that was constructed by Colonel Stanley Jack Forster. The Colonel was a member of his time in the British Army when he was just a young boy with a love of adventure in the Far East. While most servicemen quit the tropical region after they had served during their service in Malaya, the Colonel stayed in the tropics following the war. It could be a way to say that he was looking for excitement until the very final day of his life.

The Colonel would carry a cane or whip with which he chased the locals off when they came into his property. Of course, this didn’t apply to his partners, which according to local stories, were actually the residents he used to chase away! A strange character. While a little eccentric, he is widely famous for the Lakehouse which he with great pride, built his dream bed and breakfast. His plans to build this model motel brought them back to Kuala Lumpur where he would salvage roof tiles from an old and dingy hospital. The Colonel even went so far as designing some of the woodwork elements in his dream motel. These include a few chairs as well as the foyer chandelier.

There was another odd thing about the Colonel. He would scrutinize his guests to determine if he liked them or not. If they are deemed to be suitable to be guests, whatever request could be accommodated. If they were deemed unsuitable, not even large sums of money could convince the Colonel to allow them to leave a room!

The Colonel passed away in the year 1984. His company HPL Hotels and Resorts now manages his dream motel so don’t be concerned if you get through the Colonel’s check. The majority of the hotel has been left as the Colonel intended that it should be. It still sits on a hill looking very similar to the cozy cottage that was on the Colonel’s mind. The Lakehouse is a crucial part of Cameron Highland’s history as it’s one of the few colonial homes in Malaysia that caters to the people. Walking into its lobby gives an atmosphere reminiscent of Old England. I’m hoping you’ll get a chance to stay at this hotel. However, I’m here to warn you- it does come with a substantial price.

Another historical building can be found at Bala’s Holiday Chalet. The Bala’s Holiday Chalet used to be a school for children of expats. The stories of Bala’s Chalet have one constant and crucial character: Miss Anne Laugharne Phillips Griffith- Jones. The actress, Miss Griff as she was fondly known, went to visit their brother who was in Singapore. She enjoyed Singapore so that she chose to remain there following the conclusion of her initial three-month trip. She began to help her brother O.P’s sister in law run a school that served the expatriate community in Singapore and then later, she opened her very own Tanglin Day School. Though she wasn’t trained in the field of teaching she decided to make it her profession not only to instruct, but to assume the responsibility of giving the best education to students within colonial Malaya in Malaya and Singapore. Eventually, at her advice from her brother, she established another branch here within Cameron Highlands. In the beginning, Cameron Highlands was just getting started and quickly was regarded as the place to go to for high-end drinking and female companionship.

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