You can spend 2, 3 days or even longer in Cameron Highlands because there are quite a lot of things to do. Some people take a tour for half a day to see the mossy forest and the BOH plantations, which is about 60 RM per person (10€). Some others do a tour with the rafflesia flower, which is a unique species of flowers that only exists in three countries in the world and is one of the biggest flowers on earth. Some others go for the sunrise and a combination of these tours.
However, if you have only a couple of days, or one full day of time in Cameron highlands, we would recommend doing a full tour including everything that we mentioned above. For us, this was the best tour guide one can do on Cameron highlands on how to find the rafflesia flower. Not many operators do that because it involves some driving to go to the different locations and it’s a tour that takes between 10 and 12 hours. When we arrived at Cameron highlands, we had one of the tours of BOH tea plantation and the mossy forest almost booked, when the person at the reception of our hotel said that now it was the season to see the rafflesia flower and that we could actually do a tour that combines everything we mentioned above for 200 RM per person + 50 RM for the entry fees to the rafflesia and the mossy forest. Moreover, the tour included breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea time and cakes. We thought for a couple of minutes and went for the tour. It was one of the best spontaneous choices of the trip ^^
We met the person that was organizing the tour, Karl, and he talked to us about what we would be doing and when I asked him, what we could do with the two hours of sunlight we had left (since we arrived in Cameron Highlands about 16h30), and he said, you can visit the Cameron Valley, which is not included in the tour and is very beautiful. I can give you a ride. And he was so nice that he just gave us a ride to the valley and told us we could walk down the fields of tea and he would be waiting for us upstairs. We did that and the landscapes there were really beautiful. We don’t have any drone video because drones are not allowed in any of these tea plantations unfortunately.
Then, when we came up from the walk, he had offered three more people to bring them back to Tanah Rata for free (the place where we were sleeping). He explained a lot of things about the tour in the meantime and we realized he’s a very good person and motivated to be a tour guide. His English is also really good.
On the next day, the tour started and here we will summarize what it was to us one of the best day tours we have done.
The best tour guide of Cameron Highlands
We started the tour very early, at 6.20 AM since we wanted to drive to the BOH tea plantation to see the sunrise revealing the mesmerizing spectacle of the tea valley minute by minute. The tour was almost private with only two more people from France, who were really nice ^^. We got to the viewing point by 6:45 AM and had 45 minutes left to enjoy the sunrise. The landscape was beautiful and there were not many clouds, so you could feel the light and see the sun coming slowly behind the mountains and unveiling the tea plantation in front of our eyes.
Breakfast at a Chinese Malaysian local market
The sun came up very punctually at 7:30 AM and we then headed up to the place where we had our breakfasts. We were served quite a big plate of noodles as well as 2 or 3 Dim-Sum (they call it Pau) per person, with different vegetarian fillings. Everything accompanied with black tea. After this breakfast we were really full but the food was great.
Rafflesia flower and 1.5 h hike through the Malaysian forest
We then headed up to the next stop, which was a 1.5h hike accompanied by a native guide, who knew where to find the Rafflesia flower that was open that day.
Luckily for us there was a Rafflesia flower that had just opened 2 days ago, which meant that we saw it on the 3rd day, which is one of the best moments to see them. The Rafflesia flower is one of the biggest flowers in the world and it’s actually a parasite of the vine leaves. It feeds on them and it doesn’t therefore need any root or even stem. The flower has some hair and even some teeth. It smells of rotten flesh and it attracts all sorts of insects, especially flies. These insects ensure the pollination of these species by carrying the pollen from a male flower to a female flower. You can see the explanation in this BBC video as well as a couple of pictures of the flower we found out and the comparison with ourselves! It was beautiful, a bit smelly and amazing to be able to have seen that.
We also saw some flower buds that will blossom soon. The flower only stays like that for 3 to 5 days, so you have to be lucky to see them wide open. And also some insects that were quite impressive
After that, we went for lunch at a Chinese restaurant that had very tasty food. There was also a lot of food but it was tasty so we ate so much that afterwards everyone was really full.
Walk through the mossy forest
After lunch we headed up to the mossy forest. Karl is a really good guide because when we arrived there, there were almost no people apart from us. This was because he usually plans the day trip so that you don’t get to the places when everyone goes.
The mossy forest is a mystical place that has always clouds around them, all year round. The forest is full of moss and different species of plants, including carnivorous pitcher plants. You can spot them by looking at the top of the trees, since they are usually between 2 and 10 meters above your head. The fact that you have clouds and so much green at the same time, makes it perfect for picture opportunities. You can see some examples here ;)
The walk through the mossy forest is very tourist friendly since you walk for 30 minutes going back and forth on a wooden platform.
The best way to arrive at the mossy forest is with a jeep, like the one of our guide. You can also get there walking or even with a motorbike, but the majority of the motorbike rental places won’t allow you to get there and if somebody sees your motorbike there, you basically will be fined by not getting the deposit back. However, we were told that if you go to a very small shop of motorbikes, you might get away. Anyways, the drive is really steep, so we think that it’s not the best idea to get a motorbike yourself.
Head up to the tea plantation
Afterwards, Karl drove us up to the first Boh tea plantation, which is at another location of the one we saw during the sunrise. There you can usually see the factory. It was closed that day because of previous landslides that happened a couple of weeks before our visit there. However, we got to walk to the top of a hill and enjoy the beautiful views.
Enjoy the afternoon tea
By the time we went down from the hill, Karl was waiting for us with two types of Boh tea (black and green) as well as some nice pastries. It was a great way to end up the afternoon ^^
Bonus point: see the strawberry and honey bee farms.
This is optional but we were given the option to see a honey bee farm, where we were shown the differences between the male and female bees. They also explained to us how they lived in one of the hives that was protected by glass so that you could see the details.
The same farm, had also a strawberry farm that was nice to see as well to end up our perfect tour!
Here we’d like to leave the contact of Karl if you want to organize a tour with him. His Whatsapp is +60 12-998 4229.
He’s been doing this for 9 months and doesn’t yet have a website, so I wanted to help him out get more reach thanks to our blog.
Thanks again Karl for your nice tour.
We hope you liked this post as well and we have one more place we will visit in Malaysia before ending our 6 months trip in Asia