Tanah Rata is the main Cameron Highlands town. So if you are planning for your Malaysia travel destination trip, Tanah Rata is a good place to hole up for the night. Basically most visitors would choose either Tanah Rata and Brinchang to look for their accommodation. They are the most central location in Cameron Highlands.

Tanah Rata of Cameron Highlands

Tanah Rata consists of one main road that takes you from Ringlet to Brinchang. There are several side roads leading to other township areas like Taman Royal Lily, a side road heading towards the Robinson Waterfalls passing by the Arabella area located high up on a hill and several smaller roads in and around Tanah Rata. There is no way you can get lost in Tanah Rata as the place is not big. Though for the first time traveller they may get anxious as to whether they can find their Cameron Highlands hotel which they booked. Even I was anxious the first time visit to Cameron Highlands. Not to worry, Tanah Rata is not that big, those for those accommodation located away from the main road may need a little running about before finding them. It shouldn’t be a problem.

As for me, having been up there for so many years and even running a dedicated website about Cameron Highlands, I’m pretty much familiar with Tanah Rata, well at least the main areas. There is still much to explore!

Quick layout idea of Tanah Rata

Restaurants in Tanah RataAnyway, running along the main road of Tanah Rata, you have the shop house one side, and some stalls, food court, taxi stand and bus terminal on the opposite side. Those two storey shop houses have been around for a long time. The new shop houses addition located nearer to Heritage Hotel are four storeys high and they are in keeping with the Tudor style architecture. Several enterprising highlanders has made used of the building to make it into hotels and apartment.

Restaurants, Cafes and Mamak shops

Staying in Tanah Rata means you can have quick access to the various amenities and facilities. There is no shortage of restaurants so there is no way you will starve here! Steamboat meals are the usual fare, though there other variety as well. You can find some restaurant serving western style dishes and interesting cafes offering other types of meals.

My parents like to head off to Cafe Downtown Hotel for some cheap and simple western fare. For some nice Fusion, you could head to Lord’s Cafe (T-Cafe) located above the fast food Merrybrown franchise. They have very nice apple pies if you like going for sweet desserts. They have tea and scones too if you like being a little English in Cameron Highlands!

Starbucks, Cameron HighlandsAnd yes, they have Starbucks coffee in Tanah Rata! Hey, you would have thought it is all about English tradition afternoon tea since it was started by the British when they set up Cameron Highlands like a sanatorium for relaxation! Have a cup of tea? Well now, I guess we like to have our good old caffeine fix too. Tea doesn’t seem to give you that much needed umph! to borrow a favourite phrase from Boh! Of course if you like to head it off Malaysian style, there are mamak shops and Indian shops where they can mix up a good teh tarik!

For those who want to serve internet looking for travel information (like say this Malaysia Travelnet website, eh?) while having your sip of coffee or tea, Starbucks provide them for free and so are a few other cafes offering free WIFI internet access. But not all provide though it will change eventually as we are all living in the information age. It did take Cameron Highlands a long time to have good internet infrastructure.

Banks in Cameron Highlands

Looking for banks in Cameron Highlands? There are quite a number of banks located in Tanah Rata. So for the locals Malaysia who is running out of cash buying too much souvenirs and vegetables, there are many here with ATM machine where you can make a withdrawal.

Grocery Stores

And if you rented an apartment and planning on doing some cooking especially steamboat (well this is a very easy meal to prepare and do, you know) and forgot to bring an ingredient or two, not to worry. Plenty of grocery store around. And the price is reasonable too, in fact pretty much the same as you would have it in the lowlands (same can’t be said of Genting Highlands though, that one pretty cut-throat). If one of the kedai runcit don’t have what you want, then go to another.

Post Office

Post Office in Tanah Rata, Cameron HighlandsStill like to use the good old snail mail especially for posting your travel postcards? Then head over to the Post Office located on the main road in Tanah Rata. The post office stand out against the other shop house as they have an old fashion stone wall style exterior. In this day and age of internet, emails, social website, there are still a market for good old lick-the-stamp-paste-it-on-the-envelope and post your mail in the letterbox. It might take a long while to reach your recipient destination though. You might just reach home first before the letter or postcard arrives!

Bus Terminal and Main Taxi stand

Yep, they build this interesting bus terminal next to the children playground. The town council named it Freesia Terminal. It was a badly designed building that was meant to double as a car parking lot. The ramps were too narrow and any brave soul who attempt to get in would get a nice long scratch on their car. Some attempts have been made to remedy it. Don’t know when it can be used as a car park lot. But for now, buses and coaches will use it at their disembarkation point.

Governmental buildings

This being the main town, the Cameron Highlands police headquarters is located here and next to it the town clinic. They also have a library on a hillock behind the bus terminal. Along the road from the bus terminal there is MARDI (Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute), which has beautiful gardens and they are open to the public for an entrance fee. Behind the row of shop houses on the main street there is a road that will lead up to the weather station where the meteorological department records the various climate condition of Cameron Highlands.

Playground and Football Field

Next to the bus station is a rather rundown children’s playground that will get soggy wet after a downpour. At least on a dry day, the children will have somewhere to spend their energy. Despite the cool weather in Cameron Highlands, I betcha they will still break out into a sweat from all the running around! And across the river, there is a nice big football field. Well, we Malaysians are what you call, gila bola, really passionate about soccer!

Hotels in Tanah Rata

Tanah Rata, Cameron HighlandsAnd of course last but not least, there are indeed plenty of hotels in Tanah Rata that you can choose. And some of them also run a travel and tours outfit, or should I say the travel and tours company also run a lodging service? Whatever. Hotels and accommodations in Tanah Rata are varied from cheap budget guesthouses to the star-rated hotels. Popular backpackers guesthouse accommodation include Father’s Guesthouse, KRS Twinpines, Kang’s Travelodge and Cameronian Inn. They may be cheap, but their warmth and personal touch sure makes a nice cosy place to hold up for the night. Mid range include hotels located in shop houses and if you are willing to pay more for better room facilities and service you could go for Heritage Hotel and Century Pines Hotel.

Travel and Tours

For those who don’t want to trudge around on their own, there are plenty of travel and tours companies located in Tanah Rata. CS Travel and Kang’s Travel are some of the bigger outfit while there are several booths selling their tour packages. You can scout around and see which one you like, though most would be similar. Only thing is how is their service like?

So now you have a fair idea about Tanah Rata of Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands Town
About Cameron Highlands
Malaysia Highlands

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