When planning a family trip in Malaysia, there are two highland retreats that always come to mind: Cameron Highlands or Genting Highlands. While both destinations have cool weather and scenic nature views, each has its own pros and cons for family vacays. If you can only plan one family trip this year, we weigh everything, from affordable accommodations to the shopping experience, to help you decide!
- The road to Cameron Highlands are winding, narrow and has plenty of sharp bends, so drive carefully if you're travelling with your family.
- Duration: 3 hours drive' from Kuala Lumpur
- #HHWT Tip: For family members who are prone to car sickness, take medication before your road trip and bring a plastic bag - just in case!
- Pros: You have the comfort and freedom t to explore Cameron Highlands, especially when you're travelling with kids and the elderly
- Cons: You need to be extra careful when driving along the winding roads, and finding a parking spot at the streets markets and attractions in Cameron Highlands can be stressful.
- To reach Cameron Highlands, take the bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to Tanah Rata Bus Station (Terminal Freesia).
- Average bus fare: RM22.40-RM38 per adult (one-way)
- Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
- #HHWT Tip: We recommend buying online tickets in advance via Bus Online Ticket or Red Bus.
- Pros: You don't have to get behind the wheels and navigate the winding roads
- Cons: Most attractions are far from each other, and you need to rely on Grab or taxis to get around, which is inconvenient if you're travelling with kids and the elderly
- The road to Genting Highlands are steep and winding, so you need to be careful!
- It's best to depart in the morning to avoid getting stuck in traffic heading to Genting Highlands
- Parking bays are available at Awana Sky Central (situated mid-hill), and you can take a cable car ride to the top too.
- Duration: 1 hour 10 mins
- Pros: You can depart as early as you want and skip the peak-hour traffic.
- Cons: You don't get to ride the Awana SkyWay cable car unless you park at Awana Sky Central. Besides that, all attractions, theme parks, and hotels in Genting Highlands are within walking distance, so you don't need a car to move around.
- Genting Highlands has their own Express Bus service that departs from Pudu Sentral, KL Sentral, 1 Utama, Terminal PUTRA LRT Gombak to Awana Sky Central.
- Average fare (for Express Bus & SkyWay): RM12.70-RM14.20 per person (one-way)
- Duration (bus ride): 1 hour
- From Awana Sky Central, you need to take a 15-minute Awana SkyWay cable car to reach Genting Highlands.
- Pros: The bus fare is affordable and you can enjoy the scenic cable car ride
- Cons: The queue at Awana Sky Central can be notoriously long during the weekends and peak season because tour buses would stop at the same location.
Credit: The Lakehouse, Cameron Highlands on Facebook
Credit: Resorts World Genting on Facebook
- Cameron Highlands has many family-friendly accommodations, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts
- Famous for Tudor-style country houses and cottages such as The Lakehouse, The Smokehouse Hotel, and Sunlight Suite
- Find affordable hotels and guesthouses around Brinchang area such as Copthorne Cameron Highlands, Kea Garden Guesthouse Cameron Highlands and Snooze Cameron Highlands
- Average room rates: RM75-RM550 per night
- Pros: Affordable rates for family rooms as well as unique country houses and cottages to stay in
- Cons : Although most family-friendly accommodations are situated in Brinchang, where most attractions are located, you still need to drive out because some of them are not within walking distance from the hotel
- #HHWT Tip: Check out these amazing accommodations in Cameron Highlands for a cool mountain retreat!
- Genting Highlands has 6 different hotels, ranging from affordable to luxury
- However, only 3 hotels are open during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO): First World Hotel, Genting Grand and Crockfords.
- Average room rates: RM80 per night (First World Hotel) - RM800 per night (Crockfords)
- Pros: All hotels, attractions and restaurants are within walking distance, so you don't have to worry about finding a strategically located hotel
- Cons: Limited accommodation options during RMCO
Credit: Restoran Fauzi Bistro - Brinchang on Facebook
Credit: Papparich on Facebook
- Perfect for the whole family, you can find many Muslim-owned eateries around Brinchang area, ranging from delicious seafood steamboat to hearty Malay cuisine
- Recommendations for Muslim-owned eateries in Cameron Highlands: Restoran Fauzi Bistro (tom yam steamboat), Pak Nil's Food Court (nasi ayam percik and burgers), and The 200 Seeds Cafe - Abang Strawberry (nasi lemak strawberry)
- Average price of main dishes: RM10-RM18 per person
- Pros : Food is generally affordable, and there are more Muslim-owned eateries and local steamboat restaurants
- Cons: Lack of international fast-food chains and restaurants
- Genting Highlands has a range of international fast-food chains and halal-certified restaurants such as Pizza Hut, Marrybrown, Subway, and Texas Chicken.
- It also has Medan Selera, the largest halal dining space located at SkyAvenue, serving local cuisines such as nasi kandar ayam goreng berempah, nasi biryani, and lamb curry chicken shawarma
- However, dining in Genting Highlands is expensive especially if you're eating in a large group
- Average price of main dishes: RM22-RM32 per person
- Pros: More variety of international fast-food chains and restaurants
- Cons: Expensive food
If you prefer a laid-back family trip, Cameron Highlands has plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy a leisure day with your loved ones.
Things to do in Cameron Highlands:
If your family prefers a day of fun and excitement, Genting Highlands
- Pick fresh strawberries at Big Red Strawberry Farm
- Enjoy scones with strawberry jam at BOH Tea Garden
- Visit the Cameron Lavender Garden
- Shop for street food at Brinchang Night Market
- Explore the mysterious Mossy Forest
- Take photos at the Cameron Highlands Butterfly Garden
is famous for its indoor theme parks, winter wonderland, and amazing arcades.
Things to do in Genting Highlands:
- Cameron Highlands is great for leisure shoppers who enjoy browsing for fresh produce and flowers at morning markets
- Best things to buy in Cameron Highlands: Fresh strawberries, fruits, vegetables, flowers and tea leaves
- Where to shop in Cameron Highlands: Brinchang Night Market, Kea Farm Cameron Highlands, and BOH Tea Plantation.
- Pros: Great for anyone who enjoys leisure shopping at street markets and morning markets. Most produce are affordably-priced too
- Cons: Lack of bustling shopping malls
- Genting Highlands is a shopping paradise filled with international and designer brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Cotton On, and more.
- Best things to buy in Genting Highlands: Branded apparels, handbags and shoes
- Where to shop in Genting Highlands: Genting Highlands Premium Outlets, SkyAvenue, First World Plaza and Awana SkyCentral
- #HHWT Tip : Shop at Genting Highlands Premium Outlets to get designer goods with up to 65% discount
- Pros: Great for anyone who loves shopping for branded apparels and handbags
- Cons: It can be too hectic or crowded for anyone who prefers laid-back shopping, and shopping here can burn a hole in your wallet
Whether you prefer a laid-back family trip in Cameron Highlands or a fun getaway in Genting Highlands, you'll always have the best time at these family-friendly retreats. Do you prefer one over the other? Let's vote and see if everyone agrees!