Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our trip to Cameron Highlands on 3-9-2013

Singapore to Kuala Lumpur(KL) and Cameron Highlands tips. Compile from my first trip to Cameron Highlands  with my fiancee.

  We took a public bus from Kranji Mrt to Malaysia.After clearing Malaysia custom,continue walking straight all the way until you reach Bus 170 berth.This bus will take you to Larkin bus terminal where you can take buses to all parts of Malaysia. 

Coach ticket to KL 35rm. Journey is about 5 hours.
We confirm with the ticket seller that the coach will stop at Pudu Sentral bus terminal or Puduraya as coach to Cameron Highlands  is available there.

If the bus stop at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) you need to walk a distance to a connecting overhead bridge for a bus to Pudu Raya bus terminal.

Coach ticket to Cameron Highlands  35rm. Journey is about 4 hours.

The timing from Pudu Raya bus terminal to Cameron Highlands are 8.30am,9.30am,10.30am and 12.30pm.

You can buy your tickets to CH at  Pudu Sentral (Puduraya) counter 41 and 51.For bus schedule click HERE

The coach will stop at Tanah Rata bus terminal,Cameron Highlands. You can  buy a map at 4rm to find you find your way around.

For cheaper room and vegetarian food, i suggest you stay at Brinchan which is 5 km away from Tanah Rata.Vegetarian food are only available at Brinchan.

To get to Brinchan, you can take the local public bus which goes to many parts of Cameron Highlands. Walk towards the direction of starbuck and you see the local bus terminal.There are 2 local buses going to different parts of Cameron Highlands. Be sure to look out for Brinchan wording before boarding. The buses are old but functioning.

Tanah Rata to Brinchan is 2rm. The timing of the buses are 8.30am,10.30am,12.30pm,2.30pm,4.30pm. The last bus back leaving  Brinchan for Tanah Rata  is 6pm.

You can take a cab if you like. The rates are 6 to 8rm depending on the drivers.
Coach ticket back to KL and other parts of Malaysia are also available at this local bus terminal. My tour guide cum driver Mr Thiru bought our tickets back to KL at 30rm. The last coach back to KL is 5.30pm. The place to board the coach is the same place you drop when you reach Tanah Rata.

Do not have a heavy meal or you might vomit on the way down.Drinking soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi are useful if you suffer from motion sickness

For our vegetarian food. we took a bus to Brinchan. We drop opposite the fire station when we reach Brinchan. Then we walk down a slope and we see a vegetarian restaurant that only is open during the day.

Further down is Ho farm(Ladang organic Ho vegetables steam boat) serving both vege and non vege steam boat. According to them, they use different utensils for vege steam boat and the staff will bring a pail of hot water for you to wash your cultery. The price of the vege steam boat is 16rm per head. The vegetables serving are generous. Next to Ho farm is a provision shop that open at 5 plus in the evening. This shop also sell  vegetarian meat that you can buy to add on to your vege steam boat.

  A famous place for vegetable steamboat. Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat Restaurant is a very popular restaurant for vegetable steam boat.
Address:10, Bandar Baru, Brinchang Cameron Highlands.

Opposite the fire station, there are many hotels available for 50rm with toilet and wifi. For this first trip we stay at Daniel`s lodge at Tanah Rata. The room is 60rm with no toilet.

For Cameron tour, we choose a 4 hour tour. Price 25rm plus 5 rm entrance fee to butterfly and reptile farm.Other places we visited are strawberry park,bee farm,BOH tea plantation and buddhist temple. On 1st and 15 rd lunar months vegetarian food are available to the public. 

Pasar malam( Weekend market) are are only available at Brinchang  every Saturday and Sunday or every night during school holiday. Here you can find many stalls selling vegetables, strawberries and souvenir.
  1.  For cheaper souvenirs,you can buy from shops along the streets.
  2. Do not buy honey from street seller/hawker as most of the honey on the street are fake. If you want honey, buy from Bee Farm.
  3. If you visit the night market, do not buy Crystal Guava or so called Cameron's Apple. The Guava's skin was blended and covered with green colouring.
  4. If you buy Pearl Corn at Cameron Highland, you need to know that this corn is only suitable for grilled or steam. You cannot boil it as the corn will get hard. It is difficult to determine this kind of corn. Normally the size is not so big and not too long.
  5. Don't buy vegetable in packet. The packets look interesting and sometime it come with good offer such as 12 packet for 10rm. These vegetables are much cheaper in other places.
  6. Carrot, asparagus and mushroom are not not originally from Cameron Highland.
  7. If you choose to stay in apartment, you need to carefully check the price with some owners. This is because, sometimes the owner put a lower price for guests, but the middle man will increase and mark up the price.
  8. The weather in Cameron can be very cold at night. During weekend and Public holiday,school holiday, it is best to stay in hotels around town centre for you can walk to attractions without having to stuck in the traffic for hours.Town can be very crowded during holiday period. 
  9. If you intend to visit  during peak season,you need to book accommodation at least one month in advance season because rooms are usually fully booked. I recommend that  you avoid main public holiday such as New Year, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali or weekend which is connected with public holiday. The peak season all should consider advoiding is during short school break on March and August as it is considered as peak season and most of room for rent, hotel and apartment will be  fully booked.
  10. Do bring an umbrella or raincoat as rain is unpredictable.Be ready and you will not not caught by surprise rain.
If you are driving to Cameron Highlands click HERE

The best time to travel to Cameron Highlands is during the off peak season. Calendar of Malaysia public holiday,school holiday and Singapore school holiday. Note that Cameron Highlands is in the state of Pahang.

You can contact Mr Thiru at tel:019 565 6383. Email goldenh@tm.net.mythirucameron@yahoo.com if you need his asistance.
 He can also arrange to pick you up at KL and Ipoh airports.

It is much cheaper to take train ride in Johore bahru. The Malaysia railway(KTM ) is connected to Malaysia Custom. From Woodlands(SIN) to JB custom is 5 minutes by train ride.

  New train scheduled from 1 july 2013.

Ticket 34rm(2nd class seat) 
Top up 6rm and you get upper deck bed to sleep. Lower deck 46rm.

Morning schedule Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 0830 arrival 1605
                              KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 0800 arrival 1440

Day schedule Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 1600 arrival 2245
                                          KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 1400 arrival 2130

Night schedule  Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 2330 arrival 0650
                        KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 2300  arrival 0655

KTM train  schedule click HERE

Singapore to Cameron Highlands directly

To save time and trouble, you can take a bus from golden mile tower to Brinchan, Cameron Highlands.The bus leave at 10.30pm daily. You can purchase at Konsortium Express. $55 per person.
 The journey is about 8 - 9 hours and the bus have drop off points during the trip at Ringlet, Lakehouse and the Brinchang Hotel and finally stopping at the Equatorial Hotel.

Larkin to Tapah,Tapah to  Cameron Highlands   
If you are on a budget,you can take a bus from Larkin terminal at 10.30pm daily. The ticket is 60rm. The bus will drop you off at Tapah which is 59km away from Cameron Highlands.
 We reach Tapah at about 5am and there is nothing to do as the first bus leaving for CH is 8.30am so the 3 of us check into a budget hotel at 40rm for few hours.

When you drop at Tapah. Cross the road and ask for direction at the Esso station for direction to KFC. Tapah bus station is located a bit further from the town's main road - it is about 100 meter from the main junction of the town where KFC is located.

  Look out for Regal Bus Co. Ltd. Sdn. Bhd. This is the only bus that serve the routes between Tapah and Tanah Rata in Cameron Highlands.
The first bus leaving Tapah for Tanah Rata is 8.30am. The journey on the long and winding road will take approximately 2 hours. The bus fare is about 8rm.