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:
Find out how you can go up to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur (KL) with this handy guide:
Table of Contents:
- Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands Distance
- Private Car To Cameron Highlands
- Self-drive To Cameron Highlands
- Bus To Cameron Highlands
- Train To Cameron Highlands
- Flight To Cameron Highlands
- Travel Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
The total driving distance will be around 200km to 270km depending on the route or mode of transportation 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 this is also the most convenient way to get straight to Cameron Highlands if you don’t happen to have your own car or a friend you can carpool with.
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
3. Self-drive From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands
If you have your own car, you can consider driving up to Cameron Highlands. This is what most locals choose to do.
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! However, this is also arguably the most popular route and hence, can be congested during weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
KL > 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! The immediate surroundings of the waterfall is unfortunately often the victim of litterbugs.
That said, this route is faster than the newer alternative (Simpang Pulai) albeit your passengers will likely feel dizzy.
Read more on other waterfalls in Cameron Highlands.
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.
Note: The only bus station in Cameron Highlands is in Tanah Rata.
- Unititi Express
- CS Travel & Tours
Departure Time: From 8:15am to 5pm at almost hourly intervals
Destination: Tanah Rata Bus Terminal (Terminal Freesia)
Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes to around 5 hours
Price Range (One-way): Between RM36 to RM38
Book your bus ticket here.
Pros Of Bus From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands
- Cheapest option
- Fairly regular bus intervals
Cons Of Bus From Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands
- You have to make sure to catch the bus. Be at the departure point at least 30 minutes before the departure time.
- Tickets sell out fast as public holidays approach
- To get around Cameron Highlands, you will have to resort to public transport again
- 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!
5. Kuala Lumpur To Cameron Highlands By Train
There is no direct train (ETS) from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands. What you can do instead, is to take the train from Kuala Lumpur and get off at either Tapah (the stop is called Tapah Road) or 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 of things to do in Ipoh than you would think, we didn’t even mention Ipoh Old Town or Concubine Lane for this list!
- Eat Ipoh food
- Drink authentic Ipoh white coffee
- Visit Ipoh cave temples
- Check out one of Perak’s theme parks including Sunway Lost World of Tambun
- Step into Ipoh’s past – visit galleries, museums and more!
- Indulge in the vibrant Ipoh cafe culture
- Visit a recreational park like Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village
- Go on a day trip out of Ipoh – Taiping, Bukit Merah and Kuala Sepetang
- Tour an agarwood tea plantation (HOGA Gaharu Tea Valley in Gopeng)
- 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 or try an e-hailing service – 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
- Direct journey straight from your doorstep to your destination
- You get a personal guide as well as a driver!
- Customize your itinerary if you wish
- You don’t have to drive or deal with toll fees, petrol costs and parking
- Enough space for all your travel group mates as well as your luggage
- Comfortable and well-maintained cars
- Safe as the drivers are familiar with the routes
- No time wasted in waiting for the bus or other passengers
- As a bonus, you might as well engage the same tour service to show you around Ipoh as well!
The tour service we’re recommending here is RayTheTour.
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:
Don’t get too excited as 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,
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:
It rains throughout the year in Cameron Highlands. But September to November usually sees heavier rainfall.
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
Otherwise, you’ll have to tolerate getting stuck in the jam (especially around Kea Farm Market area) for longer than you’d like.
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 to Ipoh or KL) on the same day:
You’re better off staying at least 2 days to soak up the beautiful surroundings and to enjoy the cooler climate up there.
And you can make the most of your trip since you don’t have to constantly rush from one attraction to the next too.
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 involve short visits to the many farms and gardens scattered all over Camerons.
Must-do items for all visitors include a trip to a tea plantation and strawberry farm! And if there’s time, you can visit the mossy forest of Gunung Brinchang.
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!
For Malaysians, being up in Cameron Highlands where it is cooler gives us reason to pretend we’re overseas.
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 (or during the school holidays), be sure to check out the Brinchang Night Market too.
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. Or just unavailable if there are too many visitors! Locals themselves, tend to have their own cars.
It is, however, easier for tourists to find taxis and Grab cars in the bigger townships like Tanah Rata and Brinchang.
Hitchhiking? This is an uncommon in Malaysia but not impossible. Malaysians just aren’t very accustomed to this sort of behavior.
- Kea Farm Market At Cameron Highlands: All Covered Including Food & What To Buy
- Lavender Garden – Must-see Lavender Farm In Cameron Highlands
- Butterfly Farm Cameron Highlands: Everything About This Farm + Review
8. FAQ For KL To Cameron Highlands
Q1: What is the driving 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. This is a 2-hour drive with no traffic.
Q4: What are the best things to do at Cameron Highlands?
A4: Visit a tea plantation, rose garden, strawberry farm, the Time Tunnel Museum, Orang Asli Villages, Sam Poh Temple, Gunung Brinchang or go jungle-trekking.
Q5: Best way to get around Cameron Highlands?
A5: Rent a scooter from your hostel, take the public bus, hire a taxi, try your luck with e-hailing, or hire a private driver/tour service (for larger groups).
Read more: How To Get To Penang Island From Kuala Lumpur (KL)
Cameron Highlands is a popular day trip or weekend getaway destination with Malaysians living in the city. Hence, the route to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur is very well-travelled.
And while most Malaysians prefer to drive there themselves, there are some reliable options that you can use if you don’t have your own car.
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