Cameron Highlands is a region and it consists of several towns. Most notable is the Tanah Rata and Brinchang which is the main tourist town in this Malaysia Highlands. The other towns are mostly for residents of Cameron Highlands although nowadays I do see some apartment accommodations and hotels located in Ringlet, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja. These other towns are located further away from the central tourist area of Tanah Rata and Brinchang. However they may have some interesting spot and activities for exploration.

Ringlet, Cameron Highlands

Of course for the first-timer, the first thought is to beeline to the main tourist town of Cameron Highlands and that would be Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Even for me, I would still choose these two towns over any other because of the convenience and access to the amenities as well as to the various sights and attractions in Cameron Highlands.

So which town would you choose from these two? Either one has their own pros and cons.

Tanah Rata

This is like the main town Cameron Highlands. Most government office and buildings are located here. There is even a government clinic and the town library located in Tanah Rata. And like its name sake in Malay, the land area here is relatively flat, thus the name “Tanah” as in earth or ground, and “Rata” as in flat or plain.

The main bus terminal is located here as do the main taxi stand plus the fact that there are many travel and tour companies located in Tanah Rata. Because of the relative plain area, they are able to build many of the shops and housing over a wider area making this place less congested in comparison with Brinchang and other towns in Cameron Highlands.

Choosing to stay in Tanah Rata is good choice for the ease of access to the various shops and restaurants and travel agencies.

Brinchang

Brinchang is located a little higher up to the North-West of Tanah Rata. It takes about 5-10 minutes drive from Tanah Rata, though I have seen tourist without transport walking over between the towns. I have no idea how long it takes to walk over as I would rather drive over since I have a car transport. You just have to take your chances. And of course you have to be real fit to do lots of walking but with the nice cool weather you won’t break into a sweat with some healthy walking in the Malaysian highlands!

Brinchang is smaller than Tanah Rata and if you are driving, there are fewer parking spaces available especially when they have the popular night market during the weekend, school holidays and public holidays. Some people opt to stay here for the smaller town resort feeling and of course easier access to the night market when it is on.
There are also limited choice of travel agencies located here and no bus terminal no taxi transportation terminal. However there is a small stand that doubles for a bus stop and taxi services on the main street in Brinchang.

In both Tanah Rata and Brinchang, finding food is not a problem. Considering that Malaysians really enjoy the food, there are no shortages of restaurants in both of these towns. In fact even in the smaller towns like Ringlet, Tringkap, Kampung Raja, Kuala Terla and in between, you could find many restaurants and cafes. So no way you won’t be able to find any food in Malaysia highlands.

The most popular dishes in Cameron Highlands is the steamboat where a boiling pot of soup is place in the centre of the table, and various food like chicken, seafood, vegetables and noodles are thrown into the pot to be cooked and scoop out when it is ready for eating. Something about the cool weather in the Malaysia highlands makes a steamboat meal rather enjoyable. Steamboats are available in just about any restaurant in Cameron Highlands. For something interesting, go for the charcoal fired steamboat found in some Brinchang restaurants rather than the usual gas stove heated steamboat.

Accommodations

As far as accommodations are concerned in Cameron Highlands, they have very cheap budget backpacker guesthouses to the affordable mid range price to the very expensive star rated hotels in Cameron Highlands. Pick one according to your budget and affordability. Of course, if you want to rough it out a little even though you can spend, the guesthouse do make and interesting change from the usual mid-range and luxurious hotels.

One of the most sought after accommodations are the apartments. Most Malaysians tend to go for vacation in a big group. Whole family members and relatives may go for a vacation and get together and foster a strong family relationship. Apartments are available in both Tanah Rata and Brinchang as well as in the countryside.

Amenities

You could easily get what you want in the various retail and grocery stores available. And the prices are similar to those in Kuala Lumpur. Unlike Genting Highlands where they jack up the prices, those everyday items are very reasonably priced. You should not have any problem getting what you need if you forget to bring along with your trip.

There are also many banks in Cameron Highlands, such as HSBC, BSN, Maybank, Public Bank, EON Bank, Agro Bank, located in Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Short of funds? No problem, just pop in your ATM card and withdraw what you need. For international travellers, additional charges may apply for making a withdrawal from your bank account. Rather convenient is it not?

In the end the choice of staying in Cameron Highlands is either Tanah Rata or Brinchang as it has better access to amenities in comparison with the other towns in Cameron Highlands.

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