The Cameron Highlands: Cool Off and Relax

To escape the blistering heat and concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur, I hopped on the first bus heading north to the Cameron Highlands. The Cameron Highlands is an extensive hill station about the size of Singapore with jungle, mountains and the main attraction, tea plantations. The cool mountain temperatures make this destination nice for relaxing or trekking without the heat and mosquitoes!

Boh Tea Plantation Tea Field

One of the many fields at the Boh Tea Plantation

The bus from Kuala Lumpur dropped us off in the town of Tanah Rata, the main town for lodging and dining. Our plan was to visit the Boh Tea Plantation, Strawberry Farm and climb to the top of Gunung Brinchang, the second highest peak in the Cameron Highlands. We walked to the bus depot on the north end of Tanah Rata and found that no buses were running, the one bus they have broke down and nobody wanted to fix it… So, we hired a taxi and got dropped off at the beginning of the road leading to the Boh Tea Plantation and we began walking. The road is narrow and winding with many cars, trucks and tour buses cruising up it, blasting their horn all the way. The walk was easy, steep at some points but well worth the work as a car could never pull over for photos on these narrow roads. We climbed for a while, then descended into the valley as we approached the Boh Tea Plantation.

Boh Tea Plantation Workers

The tour of the Boh Tea Plantation was basic and lasted a whole 5 minuets before we found ourselves in the restaurant getting a cup of fresh tea and lunch. The views of lush green tea fields and rolling hills were incredible from the restaurant and I highly suggest sitting at one of the outside balcony tables.

View from the Boh Tea Plantation Factory

View from the Boh Tea Plantation Factory

 

We left the Boh Tea Plantation and headed up the road, which would eventually lead to the summit of Gunung Brinchang. Along the way we passed many amazing views and a strawberry farm. The strawberry farm doesn’t have much to offer and was kind of a let down so if you are really excited about strawberrys, other farms can be found closer to town.
The road became steeper as we climbed, and eventually opened up to a parking lot where we went to the right, into the Mossey Forest.

Gunung Brinchang Summit

The summit of Gunung Brinchang is a couple hundred meters up the road from the parking lot where there is a viewing tower and weather station. We climbed the tower, hung out in the clouds and caught a couple great views before heading down and picking up Jungle Trial 1 located at the summit. We were told by several people that the trial was muddy and very slippery but after at least 10km of hiking road, we were excited to get into the jungle.

Trekking down Gunung Bringchang on Jungle Trail 1

Trekking down Gunung Bringchang on Jungle Trail 1

For the first half hour we climbed down steep, sometimes vertical, terrain that was slick mud, but totally manageable. The trail is very defined and is more like navigating tree roots than actual ground. Eventually the trial became fairly flat as we made our way to town. The final stretch of the trail is on a pavement road that leads right to the night market, just north of the taxi stand.

Do it:
Hire a taxi at the bus station on the north end of Tanah Rata and have it drop you off at the road to the Boh Tea Plantation. Maps of the area are available from all Cameron Highlands tour offices.

Gunung Beremban

The next day, from Tanah Rata, I took a hike up Jungle Trail 3 to the summit of Gunung Beremban. It took about an hour and a half to reach the summit despite many sources quoting three. The last half hour of the climb is very steep, as many signs will indicate, but it doesn’t last long. Gunung Beremban’s tree covered summit didn’t really offer much of a view but it was a nice hike overall.

Beat up summit sign at the top of Gunung Beremban

Beat up summit sign at the top of Gunung Beremban

Do it:

From Tanah Rata, find Jungle Trail 5 by walking though the entrance of MARDI and go left up the street. There is a sign pointing to the trail head right when you feel like your going the wrong way.

Pirat Waterfall

Instead of taking a taxi from Tanah Rata to Brinchang, hike jungle trail 4 in between the two. The simple hike takes about an hour and passes Parit Waterfall along the way.

Parit Waterfall located on Jungle Trail 4

Parit Waterfall located on Jungle Trail 4

 

Summery:

Be adventurous, skip the tours and make your own plan. The Cameron Highland tours would be nice if time is limited.

Instead of taking a taxi from Tanah Rata to Brinchang, hike jungle trail 4 in between the two. The hike takes about an hour and passes Parit Waterfall.

Take Jungle Trail 1 up or down to see both the Mossy Forest and the Jungle terrain. The hike will almost always be muddy and it tends to be foggy, but try to tell me sitting in a bus seat is better!

2016-11-27T02:25:55-06:00

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