The Nest Road Trip: Cameron Highlands (I)

Recently, we took a break from KL’s vibrant city life and went on a weekend retreat to Cameron Highlands. The Highlands are located some 220km north of Kuala Lumpur in the state of Pahang and deserve their name – after all you find yourself in refreshing 1,500 – 2,000 meters altitude.

The Camerons are named after William Cameron who discovered the area in 1885 during a mapping expedition. But even though the potential of the Highlands was understood early, the actual development of Cameron Highlands as a resort and farming area only started in the 1920s. Today, Cameron Highlands are famous for their extensive tea plantations, fruit and vegetable farms, highland rain forests, scenic nature and mild climate.

The latter is one of the first things you notice when you arrive in Tanah Rata, the administrative centre of the region. With daytime temperatures of around 24C and cooling 15C during the night, the weather is perfect not only for busy urbanites like us but also for visitors of Malaysia who like to take a break from the hot climate of the “Lowlands” (to be continued).

How to get there. Reaching Cameron Highlands is easy. Busses from KL to Tanah Rata leave daily from Pudu Sentral bus terminal. The journey takes 4.5 hours and costs some RM 35 (one way). If you plan to go to Taman Negara or further north to Penang, it is convenient to combine these destinations with a stop-over in the Highlands. Bus companies and tour operators offer transfers in both directions. When you stay with us at The Nest, we will be happy to assist you in planning your trip to Cameron Highlands and Taman Negara.

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Kanching Rainforest Waterfall

Even hard-core urbanites need their occasional escape from the city. One of the great aspects of KL is that escapes into beautiful nature are possible without having to plan long ahead. We went to Kanching Rainforest Waterfall between Gombak and Rawang which is only some 30 minutes north of Kuala Lumpur.

At the car park we were greeted by a family of monkeys who did a routine check on us (bananas, anybody?) but who otherwise didn’t bother to give us any special attention. After we had passed a picnic area with water pools, we entered the forest and followed the jungle trek along the river. Old trees, giant leafs and a huge variety of plants everywhere. Are we really just on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur?

Eventually we reached our destination and could not wait to get into our swimming trunks which we had brought for the best part of our outing – an all-body rainforest waterfall SPA treatment with compliments from Mother Nature. You have got to experience this amazing “therapy” to see what it does. Within a few minutes your entire body/mind system is recharged and energized – better than anything we have ever had in a real SPA.

After a chill-out in one of the natural pools next to the waterfall, we changed back to dry clothes and eventually found ourselves at the small restaurant next to the park entrance where great local food was waiting for us.

Kanching Rainforest Waterfall can best be reached by car or taxi. This forest reserve is close to Batu Caves which is why a combined visit can be a great idea.

TIP: if possible, visit Kanching on weekdays. Go there in the morning, if you want to have the forest for yourself.