Cameron Highlands is a popular tourist destination in Pahang, Malaysia. Due to its high altitude advantage above 5000 feet or 1500 meters from sea level, Cameron Highlands enjoys cooler climate at around 25 degree Celsius, obviously a pleasant place to unwind for a short weekend gateaway!
The best way to get there (or the only way as far as I know) is by road as the scenery heading up the highland is spectacular.
We took this chance to explore the recent completed route from Simpang Pulai to Cameron Highlands via Kampung Raja. Coming from north of Peninsular Malaysia along North-South Express Highway (E1), we exit at Simpang Pulai (Exit 137). Then, look up for the sign board of Cameron Highlands at the junctions. Not too far from the toll booth, enter into Second East-West Highway (A181).
At the beginning, you will come across a few quarry operations and marble factories. Soon after 10 minutes drive, there are a few settlements of Malaysian Natives (‘Orang Asal’) could be spotted in clusters. Their houses are usually built from bamboo and wood. Also visible are small huts set-up by local entrepreneurs on the road side selling local fruits and food.
As we drove along this highway uphill, the greens grow in abundance hugging the cliff on one or some parts both sides of the road. It was indeed a very scenic drive! Compared to the federal or trunk road heading to Cameron Highlands from Tapah, this route is obviously less winding with gradual gradient that at times, we didn’t even feel like we were on a slope.
Although most parts of the road is a single double lines road but at some areas, the road is made wider to keep slow vehicles on the left and overtaking possible.
After about 30 minutes drive from the beginning of this highway, you will see a stretch of splendid mountain tops with some peaks covered by the thick mist. These mountains range is Titawangsa Mountains Range, the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia. A stretch of mountains here are also called G7, since they are seven peaks all above 7000 feet from sea level with Mount Korbu being the highest peak. For avid mountaineers in Malaysia, usually their aim is to conquer these peaks all at once perhaps in less than a week! Salute them!
The higher you drive towards the highland, the natural habitat are homes of bamboo and ferns. Approaching the Kampung Raja junction, sign board was visible whereby we took a right turn to Kampung Raja and then Brinchang. Going straight ahead will be the route to Blue Valley and Gua Musang. The journey from Simpang Pulai to this junction takes roughly an hour.
In Kampung Raja and Tringkap area, you can see plenty of semi-hemispherical white root tops occupied the valley taking care of nursery plants or vegetables.
Cool… we have arrived in Cameron Highlands!