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 ::THE INDEPENDENT SERIES:: Islands of Malaysia|Singapore Guides|Island of Java|Magical Bali|Swiss Travel|National Parks
PERAK - PAHANG > TAPAH - RINGLET
 

Cameron Highlands Resorts
Merlin Inn
Ye Olde Smokehouse
Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Attractions
Old Route: Tapah-Ringlet
New Route: Ipoh-Kg. Raja
Sg Palas Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Centre
Brinchang Tea Valley
Mt Brinchang
Strawberry Farm
Kea's Farm
Cameron Golf Course
Bharat Tea Plantation
Brinchang Town
Tanah Rata Town
Ringlet Town
Sultan Abu Bakar Lake

 
 
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LOCATION:
From Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bharu or Singapore, this route is accessible from the North South Expressway (NSE or PLUS Highway). At Tapah toll exit, take a left turn that will immediately bring you into this road. Journeys from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bharu or Singapore are estimated to be 2-, 6- and 6 1/2-hours respectively.

The Tapah toll exit is also accessible for visitors driving from northern cities (Ipoh, Penang, etc) although it is recommended for them to use the newly-opened Simpang Pulai-Kg Raja route which is much closer for southbound travelers from the north.

DESCRIPTION:
This route was first opened by the British colonial administration when the Cameron valley was first discovered. The highland retreat was proven to be popular amongst the British settlers who wanted to escape the searing heat of tropical Malayan lowlands at that time. Over the years, the road had been upgraded - by that I mean widening, resurfacing and straightening at some parts of the route. In general, the road can still be considered winding and narrow. In fact, at most parts, it is somewhat dangerous to overtake the vehicles in front of you. For me, it is based on your luck as well. If your timing couldn't be more wrong, you will end up tailgating big lorries or passenger buses that are heading to the highland towns.

The overall length of the Tapah-Cameron route is about 70 kilometres or slightly more. The road signs will mostly point toward then town of Tanah Rata which takes about 1-1/2 hours of driving although you will officially enter Cameron Highlands at Ringlet which is about less than 50 kilometres from Tapah.

The road can best be described as scenic. There are actually various sights that are worthy for a quick stopover, such as the Kuala Woh Recreational Forest (13 kilometres from Tapah, offers jungle tracks, suspended-bridge nature walk and natural hot springs), Lata Iskandar (25 kilometres from Tapah, offering multi-tiered cascading waterfalls right by the road side) and numerous vista points where views of the Titiwangsa Range can be considered breathtaking especially during a clear weather. The sights of lush green tropical forests along the road are also quite mesmerizing and soothing, to say the least. It is nice to see that despite the frequent road upgrades and repairs, the virgin forests are mostly still preserved in their original states.

Another interesting feature of this route is the occasional settlements of the Senoi tribe (commonly being referred to as Orang Asli which means the "original people"). While little could differentiate them with typical Malays of the lowlands, their way of living can be considered somewhat unique. Some of the Senoi  people work in the highland plantations while most of them still dwell along the foothills of the area in traditional lifestyles. Often you will pass along unique rumbia huts by the roadside at which the Senoi people sell local handicrafts. You may also see children and women of the tribe walking along the jungle road, sometimes for a few kilometres, though occasionally motorcycles have made their introduction into the Senoi existence.

There are plenty of Senoi huts along the way where you can make a quick stop to purchase local handicrafts, fresh jungle fruits and bottled pure honey.

MY VERDICT:
Mostly scenic for its lush vegetation. The journey may take long depending on your luck. Do exercise caution. The sights of the Senoi tribe is quite exotic.

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