Cameron Highlands has other tea plantations but for first timers, BOH Sungai Palas Tea Plantation is top of the list.
Why is that so? And does it live up to the hype still?
Find out in this post as well as what you can expect on your visit here.
What We Like:
- Free entry, free spacious car park, free toilet access
- Clean, bright, and spacious visitor centre with friendly staff
- Many toilets
- Tours are regular
- Scenic drive in
- Nasi lemak is spicy and authentic
- Great views from the visitor center
What We Don’t Like
- Heavy traffic to reach the visitor centre
- Tours don’t show you much of the process or factory
- Food is pricey
- Scones are not great
- Nothing much to do besides eat, shop, and enjoy the views
About BOH Sungai Palas Tea Plantation
If you refer to the official BOH website, the spelling of the original plantation is Sungei Palas Tea Garden.
The plantation began in the 1950s under the watch of Tristan Russel who was chairman of BOH at the time.
Fast forward to 2007 and the visitor center (and café) was built to accommodate the growing interest in Cameron Highlands as more tourists came.
The attractive visitor center has a deck with commanding views of the plantation. Further expansion of the center in 2019 led to Tristan’s Terrace, which offers additional seating to the original cafe.
Besides a gift shop and tea sampling station, there are short tours to the tea factory which is beside the visitor center.
- Opening Hours: 8:30 am–4:30 pm (Closed on Mondays)
- Contact: +605-4962096
There’s a waiting area after the gift shop in the visitor center. Visitors can rest here while waiting for the next tour slot.
These are at hourly intervals. And it is short walk from the waiting area into the tea factory. At the start of the tour, the staff will give a brief overview of the process.
When we were here for the tours, the lady doing the tour spoke English, but it seemed like she was rushing through all she had to say.
To aid in her explanation, there was a display of tea leaves and what they look like after each process.
She didn’t pause through the briefing. Even when there was a noisy truck that parked next to us to unload bags of fresh tea leaves. We didn’t hear everything she said because of this. And the family in front of us complained of that too.
After the briefing, we got to go inside the tea factory. Even so, this is not a full tour of the factory.
We only get to see part of the process (e.g., rolling, drying, fermentation, etc), and only from behind heavily stained windows. The factory is dimly lit and full of tea dust. The factory smells strongly of tea (which is not a bad thing).
The staff member never offered to answer any questions. She just showed us where to go. After less than 10 minutes, we all exited the building.
Note: You cannot take photos or videos inside the tea factory.
Food At The BOH Sungai Palas Tea Centre
You can choose to sit at the original café or at the new Tristan’s Terrace. Either way, the food comes from the same central kitchen.
Pick up a pencil and chit from the entrance and start queuing at the counter after you’ve made up your mind on what to get.
We ordered one nasi lemak with rendang chicken, a chicken pie, and a scone set. We found the prices of the food to be high. It’s RM11+ for one scone with commercialized cream and jam!
For drinks, the tea was affordable under RM5 per cup. We got 1 cup of BOH tea and another of peppermint tea. Their drinks are using BOH products, and they are nice.
While we really liked the taste of the nasi lemak and rendang, the rice is a bit mushy and of an off-putting green hue. Still, we think this main is worth getting. Beware, it is quite spicy.
On the other hand, the chicken pie we ordered was small for the price, a little sweet but still palatable. They serve it warm too.
At the bottom of the list is the scone set. The scone was very un-scone like. The texture was more like a cake. And it didn’t seem like it just came out of the oven. You get individually packed portions of butter, strawberry jam, and cream. The jam is oddly not even local. And we doubt the butter is pure butter.
Just do yourself a favor and skip having scones here. There are different flavors of cheesecake you can try instead.
You can buy some ice cream and honey beverages that use BOH products beside the tea sampling station at one end of the visitor center.
Close to the tea sampling station, there is also a room off to the side. Inside are wooden benches and a screen playing video clips if you want to know more about BOH tea. This is a great idea if not for the fact that the audio is only in Malay.
The gift shop inside the visitor center is not very big, but the products are well presented. We will say that BOH tea has lovely packaging. They make great presents to gift friends and family.
Moreover, there are many different types of tea and beverages to choose from with no pushy sales assistants to bother you while you browse the shop.
In one corner of the gift shop is a small selection of tea infused beauty products too. The counter is at the exit of the gift shop. Both exits and entry points have turnstiles.
How To Drive To BOH Sungai Palas Tea Plantation
There’s only one way into the plantation. And that’s after a sharp turn opposite Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm. The one-way road takes you uphill past new development and some small farms (none that you can stop to visit).
As you approach the tea plantation, there are mirrors to show you oncoming traffic on the windy road. And there may be staff posted to control the traffic too.
The road is narrow all the way in, and without the staff to control the traffic, you may find yourself stuck on the way in or out if other cars are going the opposite way.
On weekends and public holidays, this traffic is worse. Especially if people stop along to the way to take photos of the plantation.
Closer to the visitor center, you can see quaint little houses for the workers on one side, and the tea plantation on the other side.
Eventually, you will come to a spacious visitor car park with toilets (free of charge). From the side of the car park, there is a path past a little school and the playing field next to it that leads up to the visitor center.
Mind that it’s a short but uphill walk to the visitor center. The wooden boardwalk is well maintained with railings.
Note: If you bypass the visitor car park, you can drive up to the visitor center. We recommend doing this if you have elderly in your group. Or anyone in a wheelchair because there are not ramps from the car park to the visitor center.
Besides driving here on your own, there are local services from Cameron Highlands that usually include a visit to this tea plantation together with mossy forest tours.
If you are starting from Ipoh, we recommend RayTheTour as you can include BOH Sungai Palas tea plantation as part of their private tours with customizable itinerary.
Contact RayTheTour on their WhatsApp.
Besides transport and possibly food, you don’t have to spend anything to visit BOH Sungai Palas Tea Plantation.
This along with the beauty of the visitor center and plantation are the main reasons why so many people want to visit this place. But it is our opinion that the place is too popular on weekends and public holidays.
So, if you think you will enjoy a less crowded scene, then pick an alternative tea plantation to visit. Like the more remote Fairlie Tea Plantation which is also under BOH and offers factory tours too.