Much of the Cameron Highlands is under cultivation engulfing hectares of forestland. Jungle trails lead visitors to scenic spots, waterfalls and aboriginal villages and most of the tracks here begin at Tanah Rata. Apart from its walks, the sanctuary is also known for its tea plantations, vegetable farms, orchards, nurseries, insect life, soaring peaks, nature spots, temperate plants, deep ravines, mossy forest, wild animals, serene lakes, golf links, meandering streams, jungle-clad hills, rest houses, places of worship, waterfalls, rolling greens, reptiles, colonial mansions, Land Rover’s migratory birds, animal traps and last but not the least, its native population. The natives or aborigines are basically jungle dwellers and on the surface, their lifestyle has always been made out to be backward, though this has changed over the years. While many have left to take up residence in the nearby towns, there are still some who prefer to treat the jungle as their home. The buildings (at the Cameron Highlands) were similar to those of Simla the “Queen of British hill resorts” in India, and were an eclectic mixture from “railway Gothic of the most overpowering kind to publican’s Tudor”.
During the colonial era, the “Cameron” was a haven for the home sick. At present, it is a stopover for those many who want to escape from the heat of the lowlands. It is endearing to visit the outpost’s Cameron Highlands Church and Bala’s Holiday Chalet which is an inn and one of the oldest buildings at the Highlands.
There’s a network of jungle trails, waterfalls and mountains, and less-taxing points of interest, including colourful temples, rose gardens and tea plantations where visitors are welcome to try the local brew.
Boh Sungai Palas Tea Estate, in the hills north of Brinchang, has the roads lead past a Hindu temple, and the tea pickers are predominantly Indian.There is also a gift shop selling every version of Boh tea that one can imagine and a pleasant cafe where you can sip tea while looking out over the evergreen dense plantations below. The Titiwangsa Tours cover the local nurseries, organic farms and orchards and the entrance fees and dinner are included. Fathers Guest House has a resident licensed guide who leads informative nature tours of the Highlands, including a visit to the Orang Asli village.
The Cameron Highlands Golf Club began with a nine-hole golf course a century ago when it was common to find tiger paw prints in the bunkers! Apart from its improved facilities, it has also undergone a change in name and is presently known as the Kelab Golf Sultan Ahmad Shah (SAS) Cameron Highlands.
Now known as The Lakehouse, this establishment was previously owned by the late Colonel Stanley J.Foster, and is colonial in its ambience as the unit sits atop a hill overlooking the Sultan Abu Bakar Lake. The interior is reminiscent of an English country house with open fireplaces and wood-panelled walls. Outside, the landscape would pass for an authentic English garden with a lush forest reserve serving as its backdrop.
Tringkap is close to Brinchang and a short distance from the tea estates. Kuala Terla also nearby from Tringkap has most of its residents as farmers. Kampung Raja is the first town after departing the Simpang Pulai interchange and by and large, a residential area. The best place to pick up local produce is the Multicrops Central Market, which sells teas, fruits, strawberry, jam, honey, potted plants and numerous other things. Yung Seng Souvenir Shop has a good, if rather expensive, selection of Orang Asli, woodcarvings, as well as affordable artwork from across Asia. Very popular with travellers, foreign and domestic, the Rosedale’s menu spans several cuisines (Chinese, Malay, European, Indian), and is complemented by good coffee and free wi-fi. This bright highland also serves a range of simple Indian fare, including tandoori chicken, set meals, fish-head curry and vegetarian dishes.