For those who want to brave the cold night and rough it out in the great outdoor adventure travel of Cameron Highlands, come rain or shine and stay out in the open, lying down on your sleeping bag looking out to the sky and trying to figure out which star belongs to which constellation. Yes, there are camping spots in Cameron Highlands.
There are two camping sites. The Sungai Pauh Camp site is located at the Forestry Department (Pejabat Hutan) and the other at the peak of Gunung Brinchang. The Forestry Department is located behind the Cameron Highlands golf course. Take the turning from the main road at either the Smokehouse or the road around the golf course. Running around the golf course there is a road branching off to Kem Slim and All Souls Church. Don’t use the Kem Slim road because that is the military base unless of course you plan to enlist in the Army and serve in Cameron Highlands. A short distance away from the church is the Forestry Department.
You may enter the compounds of the Forestry Department as it is open to the public and find yourself a parking lot there if you are driving.
There are two jungle walking trails that start from here. The easy to walk jungle path number 4 aka the Parit Trail and the more challenging Path 6 that leads all the way to Gunung Beremban. The path 6 is also the direction you should take to go to the camping site, which is about 200 meters from the Forestry Department.
|Errata! I just noticed there is a discrepancy between the map I’m holding and the sign board on the forestry department ground. The map says path 6 starts from Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation and leads up to Gunung Jasar, while the signboard at the Forestry Department says the path 6 goes up to Gunung Beremban starting from Forestry Department. So which numbering is correct? Beats me…|
On a low season day, you can usually just go in there and pitch a tent without any advance booking. The forest ranger will make their rounds and you just pay the RM3 per person fee for camping when they come around. This fee is on per camping session basis, ie you can stay there as long as you want! But I doubt you will camp there for a whole month or year just to make full use of the fee!
On a peak day, you will need to make advance booking. Call the forestry department at +605-4911384 to make your campsite booking.
Are you afraid of the dark? Fear not! You can get power supply by paying RM10 per night to run all your electrical appliance that you plan to bring along to the campsite. Suggestions? Maybe bring along your radio, portable TV, electric kettle, microwave oven, laptop… Wait! Isn’t this supposed to be a back to basics nature experience foregoing all the comforts of home?
Sungai Pauh Camp Site
At the Sungai Pauh Camp Site, they have bathroom facilities so you can do your business and clean yourself up, but no hot shower. Brr… it will be a very cold, cold bath! Maybe you may want to skip taking a shower and smell a little?
They have BBQ facility so you can organize a group of friends and have a merry BBQ party and enjoy the friendship and camaraderie of a get together outing.
Looking for more challenging outing for a real outdoor adventure? Then try the other camp site in Gunung Brinchang, the highest peak in Cameron Highlands. Unlike the camp site at the Forestry Department, there are no amenities here. No power supply, no water supply, no bathroom (unless you consider the environment as your public bathroom!), best of all no fees! Yep, no forest ranger is going to come checking on you to collect camping fee.
You can travel up there by car as it is one of the few mountains accessible by road. In fact at 2032 meters, Gunung Brinchang is the highest peak that is accessible by road in Malaysia. If you have the strength and stamina, you could of course trudge up the road on foot carrying all your camping equipment along with you. And if that too is a piece of cake for you, then try doing a real outdoor adventure travel by blazing up a trail by trekking in the jungle using path number 1 starting from Brinchang town.
Freezing Cold Weather, 5 degrees in the morning
You ought to be freezing in your butt if you do camp way up there in the great outdoors, so do bring along plenty of warm clothing and a portable stove to make that nice hot cup of tea to warm up your body. And last but not least, do keep the environment clean. That’s right, don’t leave behind any rubbish and keep the environment in a pristine condition as much as possible. Perhaps do a good duty by collecting any litter that was left behind by un-civic minded trippers before you. Already by camping there, you have caused some damaged to the environment whether unwittingly or otherwise, so do a little bit of good in return and help save the environment however small your contribution may be. In so doing, there may be hope yet to help preserve what little of our natural resources.
And finally a brief mention since we are talking about camping sites, there is one located at the bottom of Cameron Highlands. It is located at the Kuala Woh Recreational Forest, about 13km from Tapah town. You can see the sign board indicating the way to it as you travel along the road to and from Cameron Highlands using the Tapah way. It won’t be as cold since it is not situated in the highlands. But from my experience, camping out in the open even in the lowlands can get really cold in the early mornings.
This recreational forest has quite bit of interesting things to do too, like jungle walking trails through the lush tropical forest, and a 30 meter long suspended bridge that spans the width of Batang Padang River which you can get beautiful views of the surrounding area from close to the canopy. Sounds good, maybe I will give a try one day and explore the area.
So for more details about the camp site at the Forestry Department please call the Pejabat Hutan Daerah Raub dan Cameron Highland at +605-4911384 or write to them using snail mail to this address:
Pejabat Hutan Renj
39000 Tanah Rata
Pahang Darul Makmur