We chartered a 11 passengers mini-bus for 2 full days at RM800. We managed to squeeze 13 adults, 1-pre-schooler and 2 babies on board the mini bus.
The driver cum tour guide will bring you to places you want to visit at your pace.
A draft itinerary of my group
Breakfast in Brinchang
Temple cum Orchid Garden
Cabbage and sweet corn plantation
Trek to Robinsons Fall
Visit the Orang Asli & trying out the blowpipe weapon
Boh Tea Plantation
Pasar Malam @ Brinchang Town
We took the 20-seater coach from Golden Mile Complex to Cameron Highlands via the Second Link at Tuas.
It cost SG$149 per pax round trip from Singapore to Cameron Highlands. The coach will drop you off at your accomodation choice unless it is unaccessible by their coach e.g. Cluny Lodge where the road is too narrow for a coach bus.
The coach ride takes around 9hours inclusive of 2 x 30 mins stop for meals/ toilet break.
The seats can be recline to almost total sleeping with personal TV screen for Video-on-demand. Some of the seats might b faulty and the knee rest cannot be adjusted or the TV does not work.
you could always get package tours from the hotels, that can bring you to the tourist attactions like the Boh Tea plantation, strawberry farms, cactus farms, bee farms, butterfly parks, etc.
I dare not drive up the small tiny roads that lead up to the top of the Boh plantation, that's why I decided to go along the tour.
It really is not cheap, but if you don't know the way, it is better to go on a tour. We paid RM88 for a family of four.
Riding in Cameron Highlands are not for sissies. There's an element of risk and it takes skill, patience and courage to navigate the hairpin turns, blind spots and errant cars. Just make sure you've got good brakes, helmets and a riding suit ( for protection against the weather and general safety ) before preparing to ascend CH.
The old road to CH - Quite a number of steep hairpin turns here. Far, far worse than the hairpin turns are the buses and tinpot cars who ascend all the way using the first gear.
Simpang Pulai - Gd road for riding. Graduated Climb and hardly any hairpin turns though there are numerous blind spots.
If you have a bit more spare change, you can also take a cab in/out of Cameron Highlands. There's a taxi stand at Tanah Rata, along Jalan Besar ( not too far from the bus terminal ). Just look out for the yellow topped cabs. Alternatively, these cabs can also take you around Cameron H. Here's a sampler of their fares -
From Tanah Rata taxi stand to:
Brinchang RM 6.00
Kea Farm / Butterfly Farm / EQ Hotel RM 15.00
Sungai Palas Tea Plantation - RM 25.00
Kampung Raja - RM 28.00
Bharat Tea Plantation - RM 12.00
Boh Tea Plantation RM 28.00
Tapah ( the nearest town beneath the highlands ) RM 60.00
KL RM 200
If you're wondering where you end up in when you take a bus from KL/Singapore to Cameron Highland, here's where - the new bus terminal located in Jln Besar, the main street in Tanah Rata . It's not too far from the old bus station. Having said that, travelling to Cameron by bus is the way to go if you're on a budget. Here's the details. For travelling times, refer to the website below.
Kuala Lumpur -> Cameron Highlands
Where to get your ticket - Puduraya Central Bus Station(KL)
Travelling Time - 4.5hours
Cost - About RM20+
Cameron Highlands - Kuala Lumpur
Where to get your ticket - Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata Bus Terminal
Destination - Puduraya Bus Station or Pasarakyat ( Ask before buying!)
Travelling Time - 4.5hours
Cost - Ranges from Rm20 to RM30
Singapore - Cameron Highlands
Where to get your ticket- Golden Mile Complex
Destination - Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata Bus Terminal
Travelling Time - A Whopping 10 hours. The journey typically starts at night and you'll wake up at your destination if you can sleep at all.
Cost - About S$45 per way.
I guess the best way to see Malaysia is with your own vehicle or self-drive. You can take your own sweet time and stop where ever you like and when ever you like! You can also choose either to take the Simpang Pulai route or Tapah route regardless whether you come from the north or south.
This tip was first composed in 2004 and totally re-written in Aug 2006.
This "Tapah" route used to be the only way to drive to Cameron Highlands from KL. I do not prefer this route, because it is windy and this causes many people to suffer from motion/car-sickness and vomitting. Get some plastic bags and panadol ready!
Use the North South highway and exit at Tapah toll booth. After that, just follow the signs to Cameron Highlands. The first town you'll reach is Ringlet, which is 1,000 m from sea-level. For some reason, there are always a lot of flies at Ringlet, so I usually don't prefer to stop here. Nevertheless, if you get hungry, or need a toilet break, this would be one place where you may consider to stop. After Ringlet, on your way to Tanah Rata, you'll pass the Lakehouse (now known as Concorde Resort I think), which is a nice and unique hotel facing a huge lake. You will also pass by the Bharat Tea Plantation and Boh Tea Plantation.
This route is quite scenic, with primary and secondary forest, some durian trees, and orang asli settlements. Once you reach Tanah Rata, which is 1,400 m above sea level, you'll know that you've arrived at the center of Cameron Highlands. Total journey takes about 1.5 hours from Tapah Toll to get to Tanah Rata.
As for me, I much prefer the Simpang Pulai route, which is mentioned in the tip below. The map which is enclosed is very useful and may be found from the Equatorial Cameron's website.
As this is the first time i took a bus to Cameron Highland, I requested for a VIP bus ticket at Kurnia Bistari Counter but was told that all their buses are new and don't need a VIP bus. On the day we took the bus, the bus was like very old and the seat could even dropped out. Each time the bus turn at the bend and curve, i was like gonna flew out of the seat. It was quite a terrifying experience riding in this bus. I told my friends of my terrifying experiences and my fear of riding on the same bus again. So on the returning journey, my friend in Cameron Highland helped me to buy the new bus, Unititi bus, a very new and VIP bus. The seat is big and very comfortable. Even though the ticket price is a big expensive compared to Kurnia Bistari, i don't mind to purchase it at all as the returning journey is so much comfortable with a bigger and so much comfortable seat. At least the things in the bus wouldn't start flying left and right with every bends and curves and my seat wouldn't seem to come flying off too as i have to hold on to my dear life with every turns of the roads.
Visiting Cameron Highlands on bikes is not a bad option. You just have to extra careful when you're negotiating corners.
Also look out for mean Land Rovers that sometime don't slow down even when they coming down the steep mountain road fully loaded with vegetables. Well, they already familiar with every curve over there. Some of these work horse Land Rovers have bad wheel alignment problem, but the driver just manage to drive them. For me, I just like to stay a far distance from them in case they really run into you.
I don't like vegetables and definitely don't want to be one if I am being run into one.
it doesn't seems to us that getting a taxi to get around is easy, most of the time there are people in the taxi and unless arrange with the cab serivce in the lobby at equatorial there were be much cabs coming into the resort.
maybe there's some other way to get cabs that we dont know. :-\
we relay on the shutter bus service instead.
if you are staying in Equatorial resort they have shutter services at every 3 hours (example: 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm) to transports resort guest to town brinchang or tanah rata. a one way trip will cost RM5 per person and a 2 way trip will cost RM8 per person. if the time is right for you, this is a really cheap alternative to get to town instead of arranging for a cab.
and if you are in town, there's also shutter service at the titiwangsa travel company that arranges shutter services to transport people back to their hotel but the frequency of the shutter is unpredictable, so it is best to to the them to check with them about their shutter service before going around town. it cost only RM3 per person.
36, brinchang main road, 39100, cameron highlands, pahang darul makmur
From Tapah (1 1/2 Hours)
Pros: More things to see on the way, like malay villages, aborigines' shelters, durian stalls, waterfall, vegetable farms & flower nurseries.
Cons: Long and winding roads prone with landslides. More challenging to drive.
From Simpang Pulai (1 Hour)
Pros: Wider and less winding roads. Easier to drive.
Cons: Nothing much to see except hilly valleys and vegetable farms towards the end of the journey (at Kampung Raja).
I cannot remember when was my last time gone up to Cameron Highlands by bus. Therefore I cannot advice on tips to buy bus tickets and prices.
My last few rounds to Cameron Highlands were mostly by my own transportation. Having a road hugging 4WD for highland driving can be considered as ideal. Of course cars with sufficient power and complete with power-steering will be equally good.
Tanah Rata bus station is the only bus station in Cameron Highlands which is actually belongs to the Regal Bus Co. that serve the route of Tanah Rata to Tapah (via Lake House, Habu & Ringlet) as well as Tanah Rata to Kg Raja (via Brinchang, Kea Farm, Butterfly Farm and junction to Sg Palas Tea plantation).
Apart from the Regal Bus Co., other bus companies that use this station are Kurnia Bistari Express (for journey to KL) and Kinta Omnibus (for journey to Ipoh)