Friday, May 30, 2008

Fraser's Hill

Fraser's Cool Hill Station Retreat

Fraser's Hill, located 1,524m above sea-level on the Titiwangsa mountain range in the State of Pahang in the heart of Peninsula Malaysia is another tourist attraction reachable by car from Kuala Lumpur within two hours or so.

Discovered and subsequently named after Scottish pioneer Louis James Fraser in the late 1890s this hill resort has been described as an engineering marvel of the British when they started the idyllic township in the clouds that had been likened to 'mini' England.

Fraser's Hill lies about 107km north of Kuala Lumpur. For many years, the only way up the hill resort is through a one-lane 9km road known as the Gap. Traffic was regulated hourly, with uphill and downhill traffic designated to alternate hours.

Realising the importance of the hill station resort, the authorities built a new road in 2001. The entrance of this new road lies on the west site of the foothills of Fraser's Hill and it is used for traffic going up the hill. Unfortunately, this road is again closed because of a minor landslide a year ago. To date, it is not known if it will be reopened again.

The old road, which is on the East side lies about half a kilometre away and is only used by traffic going down Fraser's Hill in days of old will now have to cater to twin-tidal traffic flow.

When driving up, be advised that thick mist sometimes envelop the road when the weather gets colder such as after rain. For those who are not accustomed to the winding terrain, motion sickness may result. Usually, this can be remedied by switching off the car's air conditioning and taking in the refreshing cool mountain air.

Getting there:
One way to get to Fraser's Hill is by road via Pahang side - by about110km from Kuala Lumpur. Head towards the Karak Highway and the towards Bentong and then Tranum. There are signboards indicating the road to Fraser's Hill. Just follow them and you will get to the entrance at the foothills of Fraser's Hill.

If you decide to approach Fraser's Hill from Selangor side, use the North-South Expressway and exit at the Tanjung Malim toll plaza and ehad for Kuala Kubu Baru and follow the signboards indicating the direction towards Fraser's Hill.

Another way is to use the new Ulu Yam road towards Kuala Kubu Baru. However, you can only access this road from the Batu Dam in Selayang at Batu Caves. This road is a bit tricky although it is a much shorter way to get to Kuala Kubu Baru and subsequently Fraser's Hill.

Note: To check out the road conditions before heading for Fraser's hill, you can call the Fraser's Hill police station at 09-3622222 to inquire. Other numbers you can check out is the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation at 09-517 1623/4.

Things to do:
Fraser's Hill is most popular as a bird watcher's paradise and haven for nature lovers. It is believed to be the home and stop-over point for over 270 species of local and migratory birds as well as a treasure trove of Malaysian highland fauna.

The cool temperature fluctuates between 26 degrees and 15 degrees (night) Celsius, making Fraser's Hill a refreshing addition to the tropical holidays in Malaysia (which was why the British called it 'mini' England in the past).

The town centre is the heart of Fraser's Hill with its offering of souvenir shops and eateries. Most of the economic activities are concentrated here.

Apart from bird watching, you can also discover the many marked trails located all over the hill resort - getting a proper guide is advised for the newcomer, however.

Photography opportunities abound at the town centre and the object of attraction is none other than the quaint edifices surrounding the equally popular clock tower.

An information centre is also located here where you can get a walking map of Fraser's Hill for exploration later. There is also a large inn overlooking the town centre for budget travellers.

Where to stay:

Accommodation comprises the many apartments and resorts offering accommodation between RM80 to RM200 a night per room. For up-market accommodation, try the quaint and exclusive bungalows priced from RM300 a night.

1 comment:

Mohammad Hafiz said...

Hi, is there a taxi service going up to Fraser's Hill from KL citycentre? Thank you.