Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur (KL) can be a tiring journey. Especially if you choose to drive up during a public holiday. Is it worth the trouble?

Yes! If you want to see a different sort of scenery from the rest of Malaysia:

Cameron Highlands is unique for its cooler daily temperatures, mossy forests, strawberries! And more!

So find out how you can go up to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur (KL) with this handy guide:

Table of Contents:

  1. Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands Distance
  2. Private Car To Cameron Highlands
  3. Self-drive To Cameron Highlands
  4. Bus To Cameron Highlands
  5. Train To Cameron Highlands
  6. Flight To Cameron Highlands
  7. Travel Tips
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands Distance

The total distance will be around 200km to 270km depending on the route you take to Cameron Highlands.

Estimated traveling time: 3 to 4 hours

Note: There are a total of 3 routes to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur.

2. Private Car From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

It’s expensive but also the most convenient way to get straight to Cameron Highlands!

Teahouse At Sungai Palas BOH Tea Estate
Teahouse At Sungai Palas BOH Tea Estate

Pros Of Private Car From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  • Door-to-door service from Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands
  • Don’t need to rely on public transport or drive

Cons Of Private From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  • Expensive for solo and couple travelers

You can get a private car service to Cameron Highlands from KLIA 1 or KLIA 2.

Another option is to get our private tour service (RayTheTour) from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands.

More details in Section 5 of this post.

3. Self-drive From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

If you have your own car, you can consider driving up to Cameron Highlands.

Driving Up To Cameron Highlands
Driving Up To Cameron Highlands

There are three routes to choose from:

Route 1: New Road via Simpang Pulai (Less Windy)

You can take the newer road up to Cameron Highlands.

Which is the best option available if you have passengers who are prone to car-sickness!

KL > Tapah > Simpang Pulai > Cameron Highlands

Google map: http://bit.ly/Route1fromKLtoCH

Duration: about 4 hours

Route 2: Original Road Through Tapah (Windy But Quicker)

Take the North-South Expressway. From there, you may use the Tapah toll exit 132.

The Tapah toll exit is the main entry point to Cameron highlands.

KL -> Tapah -> Cameron Highlands

Google map: http://bit.ly/Route2-KLtoCH

Duration: about 3 hours

By the way:

Lata Iskandar waterfall is on the way up and makes for a beautiful rest stop to stretch the limbs!

Lata Iskandar Waterfall at Cameron Highlands
Lata Iskandar Waterfall – photo credits to kamal.nor (Instagram)

This route is faster too!

Note: You will miss this waterfall if you go up using the newer road.

Route 3: Detour To Genting Highlands (Via Bentong)

It’s possible to visit Genting Highlands with a little detour using this route.

Bentong is worth going if you want to stop by a durian farm during durian season or to buy some really excellent ginger.

KL > Genting Highlands (detour) > Bentong > Sg. Koyan > Ringlet > Cameron Highlands

Google map: http://bit.ly/Route3-KLtoCH

Duration: about 4 hours (without Genting Highlands), approx. 5 hours (with Genting Highlands)

Pros Of Self-driving From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  • It’s your car so that means your rules on where and when you go and stop
  • You can go anywhere that you like in Cameron Highlands without having to rely on public transport

Cons Of Self-driving From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  • Somebody has to drive and that person will definitely have less energy to enjoy Cameron Highlands
  • Toll fees, petrol, etc
  • Some roads in Cameron Highlands require some maneuvering that should be left to experienced drivers

4. Bus From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

Most of the bus operators to Tanah Rata in Cameron Highlands depart from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan daily.

Bus Terminal Bersepadu Selatan
Bus Terminal Bersepadu Selatan

Note: The only bus station in Cameron Highlands is in Tanah Rata.

Bus Operators:

  • Unititi Express
  • CS Travel & Tours
  • Perak Transit
  • Pahang Lin Siong Motor (depart from Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur)
Bus Operators From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

Departure Time: From 8:30am to 5pm at almost hourly intervals

Destination: Tanah Rata Bus Terminal

Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes to around 5 hours

Price Range (One-way): Between RM22 to RM35

Tip: Pahang Lin Siong Motor is the cheapest!

Book your bus ticket here.

Pros Of Bus From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  1. Cheapest option
  2. Regular buses
  3. Comfortable
Tanah Rata Bus Terminal At Cameron Highlands
Tanah Rata Bus Terminal At Cameron Highlands

Cons Of Bus From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

  1. You have to make sure to catch the bus. Be at the departure point at least 30 minutes before the departure time.
  2. Tickets sell out fast as public holidays approach
  3. To get around Cameron Highlands, you will have to resort to public transport again
  4. Limited leg room if you’re around 6 feet

PS: You’ll be by-passing renown food capital, Ipoh!

See Section 5 on how you can include Ipoh into your trip!

Ipoh city
Ipoh city – photo credits to kee_jc (Instagram)

5. Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands By Train

There is no direct train (ETS) from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands.

KTM ETS To Ipoh

Step 1: ETS Train From Kuala Lumpur To Ipoh

Many years ago, Tapah Road used to be the main stop for travelers heading up to Cameron Highlands:

But now, passengers will alight at Ipoh Railway Station instead since its easier to get transport to Cameron Highlands from here.

Duration (Kuala Lumpur to Tapah Rd.): 1 hour 50 minutes

Duration (Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh): 2.5 to 3 hours

Price range: RM25-46

Departure point: KL Sentral

Bus schedule: 7am to 11.30pm (hourly intervals)

Book a train ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh.

What’s good in Ipoh?

Top 10 Things To Do In Ipoh

There’re a lot things to do in Ipoh than you would think, we didn’t even mention Ipoh Old Town or Concubine Lane for this list!

  1. Eat Ipoh food
  2. Drink authentic Ipoh white coffee
  3. Visit Ipoh cave temples
Ipoh city viewed from the top of Perak Cave Temple
Ipoh city viewed from the top of Perak Cave Temple – photo credits to marangaa93 (Instagram)
  1. Check out one of Perak’s theme parks including Sunway Lost World of Tambun
  2. Step into Ipoh’s past – visit galleries, museums and more!
  3. Indulge in the vibrant Ipoh cafe culture
  4. Visit a recreational park like Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village
Qing Xin Ling lake
Qing Xin Ling lake – photo credits to williamthow8829 (Instagram)
  1. Go on a day trip out of Ipoh – Taiping, Bukit Merah and Kuala Sepetang
  2. Tour an agarwood tea plantation (HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley in Gopeng)
Vistor Centre Viewed From The HOGA Tree Plantation
Vistor Centre Viewed From The HOGA Tree Plantation
  1. Try caving in Gua Tempurung

If you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur, you should definitely take the opportunity to stay in Ipoh for a while before going up to Cameron Highlands!

Suggested Route: Kuala Lumpur > Ipoh > Cameron Highlands > Kuala Lumpur

Step 2: Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

Ipoh is closer to Cameron Highlands than Kuala Lumpur!

Once you reach Ipoh, you have the following options to get from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands:

  • Take a Grab or taxi to Ipoh bus terminal (Amanjaya) to board a bus for Cameron Highlands – 20 minutes’ drive to the bus terminal
  • Hire a taxi – there are always taxis outside the airport
  • Rent a car at the airport

Or take it one step further by going for a private tour:

Pros Of Taking A Private Tour From Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

  1. Direct journey straight from your doorstep to your destination
  2. You get a personal guide as well as a driver!
  3. Customize your itinerary if you wish
  4. You don’t have to drive or deal with toll fees, petrol costs and parking.
  5. Enough space for all your travel group mates as well as your luggage
  6. Comfortable and well-maintained cars
  7. Safe as the drivers are familiar with the routes
  8. No time wasted in waiting for the bus or other passengers
  9. As a bonus, you might as well engage the same tour to show you around Ipoh as well!

The tour service we’re recommending here is RayTheTour.

If you’re interested, send us a message through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Cons Of Taking A Private Tour From Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

  • Expensive for a solo traveler or couple

Read more: How To Get To Cameron Highlands From Penang

6. Flight From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands

Don’t get too excited:

There are no direct flights to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur.

In fact, you can’t even take a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh!

7. Travel Tips To Cameron Highlands

Before you go and book your tickets,

You might want to read up on the following to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Cameron Highlands trip or stay in Cameron Highlands:

7.1. Best Time To Visit Cameron Highlands

It rains throughout the year in Cameron Highlands.

With the exception of:

September to November when the monsoon season kicks in.

getting up to Cameron Highlands from Ipoh
Windy roads are part of getting up to Cameron Highlands

But if you like colder temperatures, then you can brave the rain and go during December and February.

Another factor that might improve your experience:

Off-peak season or peak season?

Generally, you should avoid going on weekends, school holidays or any long public holidays like:

  • Hari Raya
  • Chinese New Year

7.2. How Many Days Do You Need To Explore Cameron Highlands

While it’s completely possible to see the best of Cameron Highlands and go back on the same day:

You’re better off staying at least 2 days to soak up the beautiful surroundings.

And making the most of your trip doesn’t mean you have to constantly bounce from one attraction to the next!

Strawberries grow well in Cameron Highlands
Strawberries grow well in Cameron Highlands – photo credits to clarissasy03 (Instagram)

Read more: 4 Best Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation

Which brings us to the next topic:

7.3. What To Do In Cameron Highlands

No-brainer activities that are family-friendly usually involve short visits to the many farms and gardens scattered all over Camerons.

Must-do items include a trip to a tea plantation and strawberry farm! And the mossy forest of Gunung Brinchang!

Early Morning Mossy Forest at Cameron Highlands
Early Morning Mossy Forest at Cameron Highlands

A good hike or two is an excellent way to spend the day, burn some calories and appreciate the natural beauty of Cameron Highlands!

And when you get hungry, you can have your fill of a satisfying steamboat dinner!

Steamboat Ferm Nyonya
Steamboat Ferm Nyonya – photo credits to iamreena (Instagram)

For Malaysians, a novelty of being up in Cameron Highlands is to pretend we’re overseas in a colder climate.

Hence, the occasional British-themed cafes and hotels.

Nightlife is admittedly lacking in Cameron Highlands but there are some pubs to catch up on sports or meet fellow travelers.

If you happen to be at Cameron Highlands on a Friday or Saturday night, be sure to check out the Brinchang Night Market too.

Brinchang Night Market
Brinchang Night Market – photo credits to maia_bow (Instagram)

Besides what’s been mentioned here, there are still other things to do in Cameron Highlands! 

7.4. Getting Around Cameron Highlands

Public transport (the local bus) is not widespread and often times, unreliable.

It’s easier to find taxis and Grab cars in the bigger townships like Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

Locals tend to have their own cars too.

Hitchhiking?

Uncommon but not impossible. Malaysians just aren’t very accustomed to this sort of behavior.

Decorative Windmill At Agro Technology Park MARDI Cameron Highlands
Decorative Windmill At Agro Technology Park MARDI Cameron Highlands – photo credits to p_d_x_x (Instagram)

Read more:

8. FAQ For KL To Cameron Highlands

Q1: What is the distance between Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur?

A1: About 210km. It takes 3 hours using the old road (via Tapah) or ~4 hours (via Bentong).

Q2: How do I get to Cameron Highlands from klia2 using public transport?

A2: Take the Star Shuttle at the klia2 airport to Puduraya Bus Terminal. Or the Skybus to go to KL Sentral. From there, you can take a bus to Cameron Highlands.

Q3: Where is the closest city to Cameron Highlands?

A3: Cameron Highlands is ~90km from Ipoh. A 2-hour drive with no traffic.

Q4: What are the best things to do at Cameron Highlands?

A4: Boh Tea Plantation, a rose garden, strawberry farm, Time Tunnel Museum, Orang Asli Villages, Sam Poh Temple, Gunung Brinchang and jungle-trekking.

Q5: Best way to get around Cameron Highlands?

A5: Rent a scooter from a hostel, take the public bus or hire a private driver/tour service.

Read more: How To Get To Penang Island From Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Conclusion

Cameron Highlands is worth the journey from Kuala Lumpur. You’ll find that many Malaysians will even go to Cameron Highlands more than once!

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