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Cameron Highlands Malaysia

The Cameron Highlands are the largest and most genteel of the hill resorts in Malaysia. It's located in Pahang's north-western corner, at an altitude of 1,829 meters.

The Cameron Highlands were discovered by William Cameron in 1885. In these days the British planters realized that those mountains were very fertile. Because tea was prized commodity among the colonies, they decided to grow tea on the slopes of the Cameron Highlands.

British families who were stationed in Malaysia at the time also took to hills in a respite from the hot, humid tin mines and rubber plantations. Some of the old bungalows, which they left behind, are still being preserved for viewing by tourist, with a few facilities added for the conveniences of visitors. So, much of the character of the Cameron Highlands has remained unchanged since colonial times.

Ben van Wijnen

Since that time the Cameron Highlands has developed into a favored getaway among honeymooning couples. The cool, fresh air on the highlands is also a retreat for city dwellers who want to retreat temporarily from the noise and pollution in the city.

"A fine plateau shut in by mountains". At 1524m above sea level the area enjoys a cool climate, with temperatures no higher than 20??C and rarely falling below 10??C, a welcome change to the generally oppressive heat and humidity at sea level.

Without doubt the most interesting aspect of a visit to the resort is its tea plantations, the first of which were established in 1929 by John Archibald Russell and belong to the most famous Malaysian tea producer, Boh Tea. The estates are wonderfully manicured and visitors are welcome to view the factory production process and enjoy a cuppa' at the tea shop.

Other interesting places to visit include the numerous vegetable farms dotted all around the area. There are also strawberry farms, flower nurseries, butterfly farms, a challenging 18 hole golf course and for the more adventurous various jungle treks.

The three main highlands towns are Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang with most visitors staying in and around the latter two. Accommodation varies from small inexpensive hotels and guest houses, to self-catering apartments and first class hotels.

Any time of year is suitable for a visit, but tries to avoid the main public and school holiday periods as the area can become very busy. It is also best to be prepared for the 2 hour journey from the entry point at Tapah to Tanah Rata, the drive is not steep and is extremely interesting, but the road is quite narrow and very winding, so drive carefully and try to stop occasionally to enjoy the various sights along the way.

These include the impressive Lata Iskandar waterfall, amazing tropical vegetation and various Orang Asli (indigenous people) dwellings. Without doubt Cameron Highlands is the place to visit on Peninsular Malaysia.