How To Get To Cameron Highlands From Kuala Tahan
There are basically two different ways of getting to the Cameron Highlands from Kuala Tahan, the small town just outside of the Taman Negara National Park. The first method is probably the same way you got into town, and that is by taking a shuttle operated by one of the local tour agencies. This is the more expensive way to go, but it does get you there the fastest and you don’t have to make any transfers. The second way to get to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Tahan is by taking local bus. There is not a direct local bus connecting the two places though. So, it is a little more complicated to go this way, but it will cost about half as much as the shuttle in the end. After having recently gone the public transit route and discussing it with several other people that did the same, I would like to provide some instructions to assist you on your journey.
NOTE: If you are traveling solo, the local route will not be cheaper because as of October 2017 there is a taxi ride involved that will make the total cost surpass that of the shuttle unless you are able to split it with one or more people.
Taking The Shuttle Bus From Kuala Tahan To Cameron Highlands
Taking the shuttle bus out of Taman Negara is obviously the easiest option. However, you probably aren’t reading this post if that is the route you plan on taking. A seat on the shuttle bus can be booked at any of the travel/tour agencies around Kuala Tahan and is operated by the Hans Travel Company. The cost of taking the shuttle direct to the Cameron Highlands is 85 MYR per person. The journey takes approximately 4.5-5 hrs. The van departs Kuala Tahan at 8:30am and arrives in Cameron Highlands at around 1:00 pm.
Taking The Local Bus From Kuala Tahan To Cameron Highlands
So, as I eluded to previously, this journey is not a direct route. There is no local bus going direct from Kuala Tahan to Cameron Highlands. This trip is actually broken up into 4 separate rides, which is perhaps why most locals will say you can’t do it. However, it was easy as pie and cheaper than the shuttle and only took a couple extra hours. So, without further adieu, here are the instructions for taking local transport from Kuala Tahan to the Cameron Highlands.
Step 1: Take the local bus from Kuala Tahan to Jeruntut
The local bus to Jeruntut departs from Kuala Tahan at 10 am. It is rumored that there is an earlier 7:30 am bus, but the locals and bus operators told me that this does not exist. There is a marked bus stop for the local bus, but it cannot park there so if you can you should go to the next street over where there is a bus parking lot and load there. If you tell any local close by “local bus” they will make sure you are in the right place. It takes about 1.5 hrs to get to Jeruntut and it only costs 7 MYR.
Step 2: Take a taxi from Jeruntut to either Kuala Lipis or Benta
It was also rumored that there would be a bus going from Jeruntut to the next town. However, when we made the journey we were assured that there was not. The bus will arrive at the Jeruntut bus station where there are taxis waiting. There is a price board up that the drivers will reference for your fee. However, it all depends on your negotiating skills if you can get it cheaper. We weren’t so lucky, but some friends of ours were. The next town you are going to go to will be either Benta or Kuala Lipis. We went to Kuala Lipis and the cost was 70 MYR. We were lucky enough to have found two other people trying to do the same thing before we left Taman Negera which means we were able to split that cab fare 4 ways. The taxi ride from Jeruntut to Kuala Lipis took 45 minutes.
Step 3: Take the bus from Kuala Lipis (or Benta) to Raub
Whether you went to Benta or Kuala Lipis, this next step is going to be the same. You are going to get on the local bus headed to the town of Raub. As I stated before, we went to Kuala Lipis via taxi and the driver dropped us off at the correct bus terminal when we told him what we were doing. The bus for Raub left at 1:00 pm and cost 5.20 MYR. The ride from Kuala Lipis to Raub took one hour. We had some friends who went the Benta route and they reported back about the same price and time frame. I don’t know which is better. We were just told to go to Lipis by the previous bus driver.
Step 4: Take the bus from Raub to Cameron Highlands
When you arrive at the bus station in Raub you will have to go to the ticket booth and buy your last ticket to your final destination. The bus from Raub to Cameron highlands left at 3:00 pm and cost 12.30 MYR. The ride was 2.5 hrs long. There is a place to eat some real food right next to the bus station as well as a 7/11 if you need any snacks or anything for the last leg of the journey. We had about an hour to kill before the bus arrived so we steppe over and had some mie goreng and tea tarik.
So there you have it. If you are planing on travelling to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Tahan / Taman Negara, those are your two options. If you are travelling solo and don’t think you can find a buddy to split cab fare with you in Jeruntut, then it will be cheaper for you to just take the shuttle at 85 MYR. However, if you are a couple or a group of 2-4 people, you can make this trip substantially cheaper for everyone by taking the local transport. When it was all said and done it cost us a total 42 MYR each and the journey took about 7.5 hrs.