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Picture green vistas with the faint aroma of tea hanging in the air. Add mountains, forests and a cool climate and you have Malaysia’s highlands. Culture Trip explains how to get the most out of 24 hours in Cameron Highlands to visit tea plantations, pick strawberries and eat steamboat.
Tea plantations, strawberry farms and refreshing temperatures are three characteristics of Malaysia’s highlands. Culture Trip explains how to have an action-packed 24 hours in Cameron Highlands including drinking high tea and picking fresh strawberries.
Activity: Visit Southeast Asia’s largest tea plantation
Most travellers stay near either Tanah Rata or Brinchang. Click here for the best hotels in Cameron Highlands. Grab a light breakfast at Uncle Chow Kopitiam in Tanah Rata (we recommend local-style kueh teow soup).
The morning of our 24 hours in Cameron Highlands itinerary involves a trip to BOH Tea. The sprawling 8,000-acre plantation first opened in 1929 when Cameron Highlands was part of British Malaya. Producing more than four million kilograms of tea annually, it’s the largest plantation in Southeast Asia. Take a 20-minute taxi from Tanah Rata along 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) of twisting mountain roads. Marvel at the lines of tea rising up the terraces. Stroll through the plants and savour the air thick with the aroma of tea. Culture Trip recommends joining the factory tour and discovering the process from cultivation to arriving in your cup of tea.
Pro tip: Most visitors spend approximately two hours at BOH Tea Plantation. Order a pot of tea and sip away with views of their never-ending green vistas.
Activity: Celebrate religious diversity and step back in time
Take a taxi from BOH Tea Plantation to You Hoo in Brinchang, one of the oldest restaurants in Cameron Highlands. Indulge in a Chinese lunch (we recommend hotplate tofu) before exploring the town’s religious diversity. Walk up the hill to the yellow and red Sam Poh, the largest Buddhist Temple in Cameron Highlands. Check out the nearby incense-filled Hindu Sri Tehndayuthapany Swamy and elegant Kayangan Brinchang Mosque.
Continue north along the main road for approximately one kilometre (0.6 miles) to Time Tunnel. The memorabilia museum features more than 4,000 collectables spanning eight themed galleries. Black and white photographs decorate some of the displays. Others resemble scenes from Malaysia’s yesteryear including an old-fashioned barbershop and kitchen. This is our favourite museum and a must on any 24 hours in Cameron Highlands itinerary for the Instagram photos alone.
Pro tip: The afternoon involves a lot of walking. Wear suitable shoes and bring an umbrella – the weather can change on the turn of a dime.
Activity: Cacti and strawberry picking
In the early evening, check out Cactus Point and Strawberry Farm Kea. Both are within walking distance of Time Tunnel.
Cactus Point houses hundreds of cacti, both big and small, in all shapes and varieties. The nursery provides a free opportunity to see rare cacti and learn about their fascinating biology. Continue along the main road through Cameron Highland’s agricultural heart. Vendors sell fresh fruit and vegetables as well as handicraft and souvenirs along both sides of the road. If you’re a fan of strawberries, head to Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm. Cameron Highlands is the only place in Malaysia where strawberries grow. And Raju’s Hill allows visitors to pick their own. The farm shuts at 6:30pm, so aim to arrive before 5pm.
Pro tip: Families with small children might want to visit the nearby Butterfly Farm instead. Hundreds of colourful butterflies flutter in the open as creepy crawlies lurk inside tanks.
Activity: Steamy steamboat in the fresh mountain air
For dinner, Culture Trip recommends OK Tuck in Brinchang for a hot steamboat. Steamboats come with a soup base and a mix of both meat and vegetable sides which are boiled inside the broth. Expect approximately RM50 ($12.20 USD) for a meal suitable for two people. Nothing can quite beat a hot steamboat on a chilly night. We strongly recommend this culinary treat for all travellers with 24 hours in Cameron Highlands.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for nightlife, check out backpacker-friendly Jungle Bar. Or head to Rosette Café to have a mid-range Western-style meal with bottled beer.