Many of the vegetables supplied in Malaysia and to Singapore are grown in Cameron Highlands. The cool climate weather makes it not only ideal for growing tea, but also the many varieties of vegetables. it is not surprsing one can find many vegetable markets selling farm produce.
Traveling around Cameron Highlands, you will be able to see many farms located in various places. In order to maximize the land usage, some of the farms are carved right on to the steep hillside. Many are terraced neatly on the hillsides and it makes for an interesting view. Some farmers has shifted their agriculture to organic farming to provide for a growing niche of health concious consumers who don’t mind paying extra for eating safer organic vegetable products.
You would be surprise at some of the locations where farms are set up! If you are going up the steep road to Mt Brinchang, you will spot a few farms set up by the road side!
One of the popular tourist spots are the numerous vegetable markets selling the local farm produce. Most notable is the Kea Farm vegetable markets located about a few kilometers north of Brinchang. Sticking out like a beacon right in the middle of it all is the Equatorial Hotel Cameron Highlands.
When you arrive at Kea Farm, you will find the whole area is just one big vegetable market garden! From end to end probably stretches about a kilometer long if you include the main road to the road leading into the Rose Center!
Besides vegetables, there are locally grown flowers like roses and dried flowers, colorfully grafted cactuses, and potted plants, which you can find in the market.
As you walk along the market, the vegetable sellers will called out to promote their vegetables and entice you with their offers. Many of the veggies are pack in plastic bags, and they give offers like say 5 bags for a certain amount of dollars.
Here’s a tip, as you go on deeper along the road towards the Rose Center, the prices tend to get cheaper.
However, if you do fancy buying some Cameronian teas, I would suggest you buy them directly from Boh plantation of Bharat tea shop or even the retail shops located in the towns (or even the retail supermarket back at Kuala Lumpur). The market mark up the tea prices much too high that it can go as high as twice the prices of the retail shops!
So do make a mental note as you check the prices before making your purchases.
If you don’t mind the distance, you could go all the way down to Tringkap. There is smaller market located here set up right next to another rose orchard called the Rose Valley. Because it is further away and a rather smaller market, here the veggies and flowers are cheaper than those found at Kea Farm.
Raju Hill Strawberry Farm
Opposite the Copthorn Hotel Cameron Highlands, there is a Strawberry Farm shop called the Raju Hill Strawberry Farm. Here you can buy freshly made Strawberry Jam and Strawberries. The shop is sits right next to jungle. Just the right place to have some strawberries, sipping your highland tea which can get from the shop, and enjoy the greenery. You can also pop in the strawberry orchard and have a look at how the strawberries are grown. Unfortunately they don’t allow the picking of the strawberries.
One thing about Strawberries in Cameron Highlands, they are not as sweet as those grown overseas. Thus some sugary powders are added to make it sweeter taste!
Of course if you do fancy picking your own strawberries just for the fun of it, there is one located at Kea Farm. Because if located at front end of the road, do expect the prices to be higher.
There other places for picking strawberries, so if picking strawberries is in your list of agenda of things to do in Cameron Highlands, there isn’t a shortage of orchards to cater for this activity.
While at Kea Farm Market, right at the turning from the main road is café and restaurant called the Strawberry View. If you take the tables at the balcony, you will have magnificent view of Kea Farm valley! The fare served here is basically Chinese and simple western food.
Cameron Pasar Malam or Night Market
When the sun goes down, the market may close shop for the day. But that’s not the end of it yet! On Friday and Saturday nights, the Brinchang night market comes alive! I was informed that during the Malaysian school term breaks, the night market will be open every night.
It use to be located in Brinchang town (in front of police station), but it has now been shifted to a new location in Golden Hills. With ample parking space in front of Golden Hills apartment.
Night markets, also affectionately known as “Pasar Malam” in the local language are quite popular not just in Cameron Highlands but also in many places in Malaysia.
Apart from the usual vegetables, fruits, flowers, you could find souvenirs and not to forget, the aroma of freshly cook tidbits, you just can’t resist buying some of the mouth watering cakes, corns, potato balls, just to mention a few.
This night market is a must visit!
And finally, a brief mention, is the row of market stalls located right across the The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands next to the Sultan Abu Bakar lake. This locale is more likely to cater for the guest staying at the hotel. For last minute buying on the way down, well still can have a look-see. Though pricing wise it is not as attractive as the ones mentioned earlier on.