Visitors on a Penang to Cameron Highlands tour come for the cooler climate, as well as the uncanny resemblance to the English countryside. With green rolling hills and stunning tea plantations, Cameron Highlands is bustling with travelers who are craving for a relaxing tea among the highlands, and perhaps a nice hike!
If you’re wondering how to go to Cameron Highlands from Penang, the process isn’t as straightforward. Cameron Highlands is approximately a four-hour drive from Penang.
Below, I describe exactly how to get to Cameron Highlands from Penang whether you are looking for a bus from Penang to Cameron Highlands, wondering whether to take a Penang to Cameron Highlands train, hire a taxi, or have a drive from Penang to Cameron Highlands by car.
I also describe the reverse journey from Cameron Highlands to Penang.
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Map: From Penang To Cameron Highlands
The following map will show you the route that you need to take from Penang to Cameron Highlands.
Usually, it would take you around 3.75hrs to 5 hrs drive depending on your speed. The road from Penang to Cameron Highlands distance is approximately 251km.
Keep in mind that the road is not a straight line. Once you reach the highlands, roads tend to be winding, which may add to the overall time to the journey.
BEST OPTION: How To Get From Penang To Cameron Highlands
If you have a car, or you’re planning to take a taxi, this is usually the fastest option to get to your destination. It’s ideal if you have a lot of places and attractions to visit.
However, if you’re traveling alone, this can be expensive. As an alternative, taking the bus is a more budget-friendly option.
Option 1: Penang To Cameron Highlands Bus
Taking the bus to Cameron Highlands from Penang is one of the most popular traveler routes in the country. If you want to travel Penang to Cameron Highlands by bus, there are many bus lines that ply daily, like Billion Stars and Unititi Express.
The bus fare is around RM35 and arrives at the Tanah Rata terminal in Tanah Rata, the biggest town in Cameron Highlands. Buses run either in the early morning or at noon, with some leaving as early as 7:30 am. Multiple bus departures are scheduled throughout the day, and they may run twice daily if concentrated at certain times.
Because trips going to Penang and Cameron Highlands are limited, you should purchase your bus tickets in advance to secure your seat.
There are also express buses that leave from Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal or Komtar and will have a stopover at Ipoh taking on passengers before continuing the journey to Cameron Highlands. Once you arrive, you can easily get a taxi that would take you to your pre-booked resort or accommodation.
The advantage of buses is that they’re a more affordable option. Add to the fact that riding a bus takes you directly to Cameron Highlands, and this seems to be convenient for a lot of budget-travelers. A potential drawback, however, is that delays could happen, and taking the bus is usually longer ‒ about 5 hours of travel time.
Alternatively, you can also take the car-ferry from Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal to Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal. This takes approximately 20 mins, and it cost RM5. Hourly trips are available.
Then, catch the bus at Butterworth Bus Terminal going to Tanah Rata Terminal. Travel time takes about 4.5 hours. Trips run twice daily and tickets cost RM39.
Option 2: Penang To Cameron Highlands By Car
If you have your own car, or you’re planning to rent a private vehicle, you can easily make the trip for about 3.75hrs via Simpang Pulai exit. At Simpang Pulai, take the 185 up to the mountains, then the 59 to Tanah Rata. The distance from Penang to Cameron Highlands is 251 km.
The advantage of having your own private vehicle is that there are a lot of places to stop along the route. I suggest you visit or make a short side trip to other breathtaking places like Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar, and Taiping.
If you’re traveling as a group, this usually is an ideal option. You’ll have a more flexible itinerary, and you can customize it if you want to. However, if you’re a solo traveler, this is, of course, more expensive.
Option 3: Penang To Cameron Highlands Train
Not in a hurry? Take the car ferry, and then the train. This is a great option if you want to take your time traveling, and witness a lot of interesting spots to visit along the way.
Ride the ferry from the Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal that goes directly to Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal. This will take about 20 minutes and costs RM5. Hourly trips are available.
Once you arrive, the train station is already quite close to where the ferry drops in Butterworth. Take the train from Butterworth to Kampar. The train leaves every four hours and is a two-hour long journey. The cost is around RM30.
From Kampar, take a taxi going to Cameron Highlands District. Travel time is approximately one hour and will cost RM200.
The drawback of this option is that there could be delays in your overall travel time, the taxi is expensive and this isn’t advisable if you’re sticking with a more rigid itinerary.
Option 4: Penang To Cameron Highlands By Taxi
If you don’t have a car or take public transport, you can book a taxi or a Grab going to your destination. The distance is about 250 km. This would take you about 3.75hrs travel time and will cost you a bit more, around RM600.
Taking the taxi could be advantageous especially if you have a lot of luggage with you, and you don’t want to drive on unfamiliar terrain or find parking once you get there. Your journey will also be more comfortable as you don’t have to share the ride with strangers as you would on a bus or train.
However, if you’re traveling solo, this will cost a lot of money. As a cheaper and more-budget friendly alternative, you can travel from Penang to Cameron Highlands via bus.
Cameron Highlands to Penang
If you’re wondering how to get from Cameron Highlands to Penang, take the same transportation we’ve listed for your reverse journey. When taking a trip from Cameron Highlands to Penang, all you need to do is to do the tips we’ve listed above in reverse. The distance from Cameron Highlands to Penang is 251 km.
To take the bus from Cameron Highlands to Penang, head to Tana Rata Terminal. This will take you directly to your destination. The whole journey will take between 4-5 hours, as there are bus stopovers along the way.
You can also travel Cameron Highlands to Penang via train or drive a car, book a taxi or Grab for a hassle-free Cameron Highlands Penang transport.
Penang is considered as one of Malaysia’s top tourist destinations, offering a blend of history, culture, and interesting attractions, with breathtaking scenery and stunning beaches. For a change of scenery and cooler weather, a popular stop among travelers is Cameron Highlands.
When touring Penang or Cameron Highlands (or vice-versa,) the quickest way to arrive at your destination is if you have your own car. To cut costs, you can take the bus. But whatever transportation you choose, whether it’s driving a car, taking the bus, or catching a train, I hope that you have found this guide helpful in your upcoming trips and future travels!
Click here to read our full guide to things to do in Cameron Highlands. You can also find our full Cameron Highlands travel guide here. You can also find out guide for how to get from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands here.
Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.