Cameron Highlands is home to several major towns and areas. The major towns here are Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang while the smaller ones include Tringkap, Kea Farm, Kampung Raja and many others.
Ringlet Town, the first town from Tapah
While Tanah Rata and Brinchang are often crowded with tourists especially during weekends and public holidays, Ringlet is a much quieter town with plenty of old style shops and sundry shops. Those who are driving from Tapah will first reach this little town and simply drive pass without giving it a second glance. After all, there is not much architecture or attractions to be explored here. However, on your way to Tanah Rata, you’ll see the wonderful Tudor-style Lakehouse. Other than that, only Malay stalls, vegetables and flowers stalls can be seen along the way.
This is known to be a sleepy town and is the first sight of modern development especially if you are driving up the winding trails here.
One of Malaysia’s richest men, the founder of Top Glove was raised in this town.
It is among the quietest towns in Cameron Highlands which accesses to Bertam Valley, a major agricultural town located not far from the town centre.
Altitude: 1135 meters above sea level (3723 feet)
Main Activities: Vegetable farming and international flower farming
Tanah Rata, the main town
Tanah Rata is the administrative town of Cameron Highlands and is the next major town when you leave Ringlet. Tanah Rata is the local phrase that means flat-land which is what you get after ascending the mountains for more than an hour since Tapah.
At Tanah Rata, you will find a broad range of public amenities that include the bus and taxi terminal at Bus Terminal Freesia. If you are coming here on express bus service, you will disembark at this terminal.
Meanwhile, there are other services here at Tanah Rata including hotels, resorts and homestay options while the main commercial area is where you will find banks, a police station and schools as well.
There are clinic and medical services while the Hospital Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom is not far from here too. Travel agencies provide tour-related services here and for those who like to enjoy a hike or jungle trekking will find the trails starting from Tanah Rata.
Altitude: 1135 meters above sea level (3723 feet)
Main Activities: District council, banks and ATMs, the main Police Station, taxi station and a bus station. Backpackers’ Town
Brinchang Town with Pasar Malam
Where Tanah Rata is the administrative centre with public services, Brinchang town is where you come for the entertainment and food attractions. It is located not far from Tanah Rata and is the busiest town here.
At Brinchang, you will find fast food outlets like KFC or you can try out the local cuisines and restaurants here. This is where you must have a meal at the many steamboat restaurants here which is a common local favourite and among the visitors too.
Besides that, Brinchang offers a broad range of accommodation options like hotels and apartments while you can head out towards attractions like the strawberry farms, flower nurseries and tea plantations.
Another major attraction here is the Night Market where you get to buy the freshest produce and local products, among others.
Altitude: 1,540 metres
Main Activities: Tourist hub with local flavours, Banks, Bus station and taxi station.
Kampung Raja, the main town from Simpang Pulai
Cameron Highlands has many towns and areas which are known for specific reasons. For instance, the town of Brinchang is the main commercial town of Cameron Highlands which is where the police station and petrol stations are located besides some very popular steamboat restaurants and hotels.
One of the smaller towns in Cameron Highlands is Kampung Raja. Kampung Raja means “King’s Village” in the local language. It is named as such in reference to the Sultan (or ruler) who donated the land for the formation of this village.
Getting to Kampung Raja is easy as it is located around the northern part of Cameron Highlands. This means that if you are coming here through the traditional route, you will reach Kampung Raja at the end of the journey before heading out to Simpang Pulai at the north.
Coming in from the north however would mean that Kampung Raja is the first town you will reach. Here is where the gateway is coming in from Simpang Pulai and the likes of Gua Musang.
It is about 5 minutes-drive away from the town of Tringkpa while if you are heading towards Brinchang town, it will take another 10 minutes-drive away.
Kampung Raja was originally located around Ringlet town before it was relocated to its present location in the 1960s to make way for the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam which recently burst, causing millions of ringgit in losses.
There are several tourist attractions here that include a few vegetable gardens, strawberry farms as well as a wide view of farmland located around the village. For those who like to try the local food can head out to the very famous Ngow Kee Restaurant.
Ngow Kee Restaurant is one of the most established eateries here known for its yong tou fu in curry sauce, the Cantonese fried noodles and a wide variety of Chinese dishes.
Tringkap Cameron Highlands
The town of Tringkap is one of the towns in Cameron Highlands which is rapidly improving into becoming a major tourist attraction here. Located around the norther part of Cameron Highlands, it is where you will approach if you are coming in from the Simpang Pulai exit. The first town you will reach through this road is Kampung Raja before reaching Tringkap.
Meanwhile, getting to Tringkap via the Tapah route will be farther as you will be passing through almost the entire Cameron Highlands before reaching this town. From Brinchang, Tringkap is about 10 minutes’ drive away where you will see a lot of interesting attractions. Unlike the busier towns like Brinchang and Tanah Rata, Tringkap is situated off the congested trail.
Once known as the ‘Dai Kong See’, in reference to a former Boh Tea Plantation, Tringkap now attracts a lot of visitors to its vegetable farms and flower nurseries.
The Cameron Tringkap Bee Farm and Rose Valley is located here while the Sungai Palas Boh Plantation is within minutes from Tringkap. Besides that, the local markets here sell a wide range of fresh products including honey and strawberries while the Guan Dai Temple is located within the vicinity as well.
Bertam Valley the new town from new highway
One of the few major towns in Cameron Highlands is Bertam Valley although it is smaller as compared to the likes of Brinchang or Tanah Rata. Bertam Valley is naturally a land area sandwiched among 2 mountains. It is home to a few hundred people which is sometimes referred to as a ‘sleepy town’.
Known for its land which is very suitable for agriculture, Bertam Valley has been susceptible to landslides in recent years since it is located just below the Sultan Abu Bakar dam which has reportedly overflew during the rainy season and heavy rainfall.
Most of the locals here are migrant farmers and planters. As such, there are several vegetable farms and flower plantations which are usually found near the banks of Bertam River, giving them easy access to water supply.
Besides that, there are several Orang Asli settlements not far from here. Children of the people here attend the SJKC Bertam Valley.
This town is the main entry point if you are travelling to Cameron Highlands via the Kuala Lipis and Raub road. Once you reached Bertam Valley, you will almost be at the main town area of Ringlet before heading to the others like Tanah Rata and Brinchang.
Situated somewhere nearby the Equatorial Hotel, Kea Farm is always busy all-year round. Kea Farm is one of the major reasons that caused massive jam between Tringkap and Brinchang (especially during public holidays and weekends). Due to the massive jam here, sometimes you’ll be trapped for an hour or so to get between the townships. But anyways, back to the ever-popular Kea Farm. Putting aside the limited parking spots and crowd, it can be a great experience to shop here. While you can spend your night time strolling around Brinchang night market, walking and shopping in Kea Farm in daytime can be rewarding.
Vegetable farm and apartments
This is the best place for you to purchase fresh farm vegetables and fruits. Vacationers who are staying in apartment units that come with kitchen and utensils should definitely prepare steamboat at home. After all, you can purchase all the needed ingredients in Kea Farm. As you take a leisurely walk around the day market, gorge yourself with the various snacks such as fried mushroom, corn and water crest.
To visit the day market, it is best to get to Kea Farm early in the morning to avoid congestion.
Smaller towns in Cameron Highlands
Apart from the 3 main towns, there are a few other smaller towns in Cameron Highlands namely Sungai Palas and Kuala Terla.
Sungai Palas is a tea plantation town and is owned by Boh Plantations, the largest tea company here. Located nearby to Brinchang and around the Kea Farm area, it is here that you get to visit the Boh Plantations and enjoy the beautiful sights of the plants towards the horizon.
Kea Farm is situated towards the northern parts of Brinchang where many like to come here to shop for fresh vegetables. The Ee Feng Gu and Butterfly Garden is located here where you get to be up and close with some of the wonders of nature. From Kea Farm, you will then reach Tringkap, a renowned farming community town.
At Tringkap, you will be welcomed by rows of shops and stalls along both sides of the main road. It is actually not far from Brinchang town where you can buy a lot of local products here and is one of the quieter towns as compared to others.
Kampung Raja meanwhile is on the other end here which is the first place you will reach if you are coming in from the Simpang Pulai interchange.