The Cameron Highlands

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The Cameron Highland is one of the Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations. Not part of Perak but Pahang, but they can only be reached through Perak. The road to the Highlands branches off the main trunk highway 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Ipoh (capital city of Perak state). It shoots off toward the hills and for 90 kilometers (56 miles) winds and twists its way to the top. As cool air funnels down the mountain pass, the temperature drops. Palms and banana trees give way to deep jungle growth. Coniferous trees appear, fern line the road and clusters of bamboo add the touch of a Chinese scroll painting.

The Cameron Highlands are actually spread out over three districts. For the newcomer it can be a little confusing, and at first somewhat disappointing, especially when after 48 kilometers (28 miles), you arrive at Ringlet, the first district and a rather ugly little settlement. Better push on! Four kilometers (2.5 miles) later comes the pretty Sultan Abu Bakar Lake, a man made body of water formed by the damming of the Bertam River, and extensively covered with lush green plants. Perched on a bluff above the lake is The Lakehouse hotel, a Tudor style building with sweeping views of the surrounding valley. Pay a visit to the vegetables and fruit farms, Strawberry Farm, Bee Farm, Butterfly Garden and the Flower Garden. For shopping advice, visit the tourist souvenir shops or the night market.