This route was suggested to me by another traveller I met in Indonesia so I didn’t really know what to expect. I honestly didn’t know much about the Cameron Highlands before coming here. All I knew was that there was a lot of green, strawberries and tea. And that you could hike. That’s it. After arriving here, I learnt that there are many trails you can chose from ranging in difficulties and length.. but that information on these trails is hard to find!
I did a bit of research and from other blog posts I read that some trails were poorly marked, had some scary stray dogs and some even had people who would rob you on the trails. This news made me a bit more hesitant on hiking alone than I was before. I love hiking but I HATE hiking alone. Every time I have tried before, I always turn around because I get in my head and freak myself out. This time though I was determined. I had already seen glimpses of the beautiful tea plantation views on my bus ride in to Cameron Highlands so I was determined to fight through these fears and explore by hiking solo.
Before I left, I double checked with my hostel to make sure the trail I was going on would be okay by myself and to let them know where I was going and when I’d be back. She told me it was a bit difficult at parts and would take about 5 hours but would be fine. So I packed my bag with some water and snacks and excitedly headed out to hike trail 10 & trail 6. Before you go make sure you either have a map or that you download maps.me (its free!!) to you phone. This app will locate where you are and has the trails so it’s easy to follow and will make sure you don’t get lost.
Trail 10 starts from town and is essentially just a climb up a mountain in the forest. It was moderately difficult and I worked up a good sweat doing it. I’m a decently good hiker but I did have to take a break or two on my way up! The trail was easy enough to follow and every once in a while there would be little signs or flags in the trees with “trail 10” or “no.10”.
Once at the top there was a bit of a clearing where you could enjoy the view before either going down the other side of trail 10 – or start going down trail 6. From here trail 6 is almost completely downhill. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s easy though – because it most definitely is not! The first 1/3 of the trail 6 from trail 10 was the hardest part of the whole hike. You’ll start trail 6 and seriously question whether or not you’re even on a trail. That’s because you are chest deep (sometimes over my head deep) in the jungle and are following the most narrow path while making your way through the leaves and dodging lizards (and pretending there’s no spiders or snakes). I thought I faced most of my fears by continuing through the forest in trail 10 climbing and hiking alone with all the weird noises and complete solitude. Heck no. This by far had my heart in my throat or stomach. It was not pleasant for me. But I just kept going telling myself it would get better (and also not wanting to turn around). I had to keep my elbows up in front of me to break through the greens and avoid not getting the “non existent spiders” in my face.
You might get distracted if you have a fear of creepy crawlers like I do, and forget that you’re actually climbing down a very narrow and very steep path. There are parts that are a bit slippery so make sure you have good shoes on. Luckily there was a rope at parts too that would help you get down without falling. I kept telling myself it would get better and to keep going, and to my very happy surprise, it finally did!!
I don’t mean to freak you out about trail 6, because the thing is, you really should still do it. Just be prepared that you’re going to be going through tall jungle – wear longer pants so that you’re covered. After making it through the first part you will be so rewarded by the beautiful view and being immersed in the tea plantation farms. You’ll end up walking for the last mile or so on a small road used by the farmers. You’ll pass a few cute villages with smiling, friendly people. I only passed one person who made me a little scared that he was going to try to take my things. And thinking back – I’m not sure if that’s because I read that I should be wary or if his behaviour really was strange. Either way, nothing happened other than one man wanting to take photos of me hiking and then some more of us together, which of course I didn’t mind. He then also offered to take a pic of me too which was great because the ones I had tried to take by myself earlier were definitely not so cute!
There were definitely parts of this hike that I wanted to turn around, and wished I was not doing it solo. In the end though I enjoyed this hike so much and would fully recommend it to anyone wether you’re hiking in groups or by yourself.
The trail ends about 3km away from the city at the tea houses and look out points. I started walking towards the city and within 10 minutes had someone stop on their motorcycle and offer a ride.
Perfect excuse to treat yourself to a hot tea afterwards and relax. I was told the hike would take about 5 hours but I ended it just after 2 and then with taking pictures and getting back the whole thing just took about 3 hours.