The Cameron Highlands (Malay: Tanah Tinggi Cameron, Chinese: 金马崙高原, Tamil: கேமரன் மலை) isMalaysia’s most extensive hill station. It occupies an area of 712 square kilometres (275 sq mi). To the north, its boundary touches that of Kelantan; to the west, it shares part of its border with Perak.
Situated at the northwestern tip of Pahang, the “Camerons” is approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Ipoh, roughly 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Kuala Lumpur or about 355 kilometres (221 mi) from Kuantan, the capital ofPahang. It is the smallest constituency in Pahang.
Discovered by Sir William Cameron in 1885, the outpost consists of three districts, namely Ringlet (5,165 hectares), Tanah Rata (2,081 hectares) and Ulu Telom (63,981 hectares). Its eight sub-districts are Ringlet,Tanah Rata (the administrative centre), Brinchang, the Bertam Valley, Kea Farm, Tringkap, Kuala Terla andKampung Raja. All are nestled at elevations ranging from 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level.
The mean annual temperature of the retreat is about 18 °C (64 °F). During the day, the temperature seldom rises over 25 °C (77 °F); at night, it can drop to as low as 9 °C (48 °F) at the higher reaches.
Developed in the 1930s, the tableland is one of the oldest tourist spots in Malaysia. Apart from its tea estates, the plateau is also noted for its cool weather, orchards, nurseries, farmlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mossy forest, golf course, hotels, places of worship, bungalows, Land Rovers, museum and its aborigines (Orang Asli).
The Cameron Highlands can be accessed by road via Tapah, Simpang Pulai, Gua Musang or Sungai Koyan.Tapah and Simpang Pulai are the two approaches from Perak. Gua Musang and Sungai Koyan are the entryways from Kelantan and Pahang, respectively.
The highlands developed successfully until the outbreak of World War II where the Japanese invasion in 1941 forced the British troops and civilians out of the highlands. The Japanese continued to administer the area since they saw the highlands farms as a vital food source for their troops. When the Japanese troops retreated from Malaya in 1945, the British gradually returned to the highlands until the independence of Malaya from the British in 1957.