Undulating green vistas bursting with tea plantations and strawberry farms, hours of hiking in the cool air and English countryside vibes – Malaysia’s highlands are known for many things, but not their nightlife. Culture Trip explains where to get a drink in the relatively dry Cameron Highlands.
Malaysia’s highlands have stunning mountaintop vistas, tea plantations and cooler temperatures. But they lack an active nightlife. Culture Trip rounds up 10 bars in Cameron Highlands, including backpacker-friendly spots, hotel bars and where to drink scotch in an English country pub.
If you’re craving a pint of beer, head to Travellers Bistro & Pub. Tanah Rata’s countryside pub acts as a magnet for both local and international travellers. The dimly lit bar boasts a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which makes striking up a conversation easy. Expect mid-range prices, a variety of alcoholic drinks (think draft beer and wine) and smoothies. Culture Trip recommends this among the best bars in Cameron Highlands to meet other travellers.
Backpacker-friendly Daniel’s Lodge’s Jungle Bar is a haven for young travellers. With jungle-themed decorations, there’s always something to talk about. Add both Western and Asian food, a pool table and a friendly environment. Expect relatively affordable drink prices and a crowd made up of young international travellers. This is among our favourite bars in Cameron Highlands for backpackers in Tanah Rata. Pro tip: The bar can be challenging to find. Make sure you know where you’re going before it gets dark.
Tanah Rata’s Rosetta Café fuses a café with a bar and restaurant. Customers can find everything from coffee to Western food to budget-friendly bottles of beer. Images of flowers decorate the orange interior, creating a colourful environment. Both local and international tourists make up the diverse crowd at one of the more popular restaurants/bars in Cameron Highlands. Expect mid-range prices.
Wai Yat is a Chinese restaurant serving bottles of beer (Tiger, Carlsberg and Heineken). Older Chinese Malaysians often sit inside with a beer drank out of a small glass. While this is one of the more off-the-radar bars in Cameron Highlands, it does give a taste of Malaysian-Chinese drinking culture. Culture Trip recommends Wai Yat for anyone who wants to escape the international crowds. Order a budget-friendly meal (fried rice, noodles and steamboat) and a bottle of beer.
Located near Copthorne Hotel in Brinchang, Chef Weng is both a Chinese restaurant and an affordable place to drink beer. Plastic chairs surround round tables inside the basic seating area. Expect a more local-style (and budget-friendly) environment a stone’s throw from the upscale hotels and resorts. Order a big bottle of beer (Tiger, Heineken or Carlsberg) and watch the world pass by. This is among the more affordable bars in Cameron Highlands and an ideal spot for an early evening drink.
With a catchy name like You Hoo, the Chinese seafood restaurant allures curious first-time visitors. But the family-run restaurant along Jalan Besar is also one the oldest restaurants in Cameron Highlands. Regulars keep coming back to enjoy their affordable meals (try butter mantis prawn and beer pork). Bottled beer is available, and You Hoo acts as a meeting place for locals wanting to enjoy a few drinks with their friends or family. The restaurant gets busy between 6:30pm and 8pm.
Set inside an English Tudor-style bungalow, Smokehouse Hotel exudes the flair of British Malaya. The hotel bar adorns decorations resembling a 1960s English countryside pub. Think leather sofas, wooden fireplaces and unusual antiques. Popular with upscale tourists, this is among the more affluent bars in Cameron Highlands. Take a seat and order a large gin and tonic or glass of imported wine while indulging in the high life.
The colonial-style Highland’s Bar offers a sophisticated spot for a tipple or two. Dark wooden mock Tudor beams and leather chairs create the atmosphere of an exclusive pre-war colonial club. Sit down and choose from their menu of whiskeys and marvel at the English-like surroundings or spoil yourself with an evening of fine dining. While this is one of the more expensive bars in Cameron Highlands, it does offer a glimpse into the former imperial lifestyle.
Cricket Lounge is the trendy hotel bar at Brinchang’s Copthorne Hotel. Dimly lit areas give exclusivity and the chance to chat while sipping on fine wine. Or grab a stool next to the high British-style bar and get a draft beer or Scotch. Soft music serenades customers and gives an air of refinement. Culture Trip recommends this among the top bars in Cameron Highlands for a more intimate drink with a loved one.
Cameron Bar at the Lakehouse epitomises an English country pub. Set inside the Tudor-style hotel, the bar stocks a broad selection of aged Scottish whiskeys and draft beer. Comfortable armchairs next to wooden tables could fool anyone into thinking they’re in the English countryside. Big screen TVs broadcast live sports (including EPL games) on weekends. Despite the high drink prices, this is among the more popular bars in Cameron Highlands with international tourists.