YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Fraser's Hill

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 16:10, 1 April 2008 by Woodstock (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 801029 by 220.255.7.216 (Talk))
Jump to: navigation, search
Fraser's Hill

Default Banner.jpg

Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser) is a colonial-era hill station in Pahang state, Peninsular Malaysia.

Clock tower and post office

Understand

Fraser's Hill is named after Louis James Fraser, a Scotsman who prospected for gold in Australia but eventually struck tin here instead in the 1890s. Employing Chinese miners to do the hard work for him and earning his keep by operating mule trains down the mountain, Fraser set up opium and gambling dens to increase his profits, which may have had something to do with his subsequent mysterious disappearance. The tin ran out in 1913, but the lush valley within was rediscovered as a colonial hill resort that, thanks to its 1524m elevation, enjoys considerably cooler temperatures than Kuala Lumpur. By 1922 a road had been cut through the mountains to the valley, which soon sprouted bungalows and even one of Malaya's first golf courses.

Not much has changed since, and Fraser's Hill retains a wonderfully weird mixed-up character, where locals eat curries off banana leaves in a English cottage next to a golf course while the call to prayer sounds from the mosque.

Orientation

Orienting yourself in Fraser's Hill is easy enough: the entrance via the Gap is at the southwest corner of the valley and the "center" as such is at the intersection of Jalan Genting and Jalan Lady Guillemard, with the much-photographed clock tower marking the spot. Most restaurants and shops are clustered here, while the golf course takes up the bottom of the valley and bungalows and swanky residences dot the hills all around.

Get in

By road

Fraser's Hill is located 105 km north of Kuala Lumpur, around 2 hours by car. For a long time, access to Fraser's Hill was possible only via a 8-km one-lane road known as the The Gap, used by uphill and downhill traffic in turns. However, a new road was completed in 2001, and while promptly closed for repairs it is, as of March 2006, open once again. Now all downward traffic uses the new road, while the old Gap road is designated for upward traffic, with no time restrictions round the clock.

For road conditions from Kuala Kubu Bahru (KKB) or Raub to Fraser's Hill, contact the police station in Fraser's Hill +609 3622222.

By taxi

Apart from car, the easiest way is by using taxi from Kuala Lumpur. Normal KL taxis can't do the trip, but you can arrange one from the Puduraya bus station, or call up Selangor Radio Taxi (tel. 03-2936213) or Comfort Taxi (tel. 03-7330495). You can expect to be quoted around RM200 for a one-way transfer, but this can be negotiated down, even more so for a return trip.

By bus

There is no more bus service to Fraser's Hill whether from Kuala Kubu Bahru or Raub. You will have to catch a taxi from these two places or directly from Kuala Lumpur to get to Fraser's Hill. From Kuala Kubu Bahru, taxis cost about RM60. See the respective pages on how to get there or for connections from there.

Get around

For getting around Fraser's Hill, your own car is the best option. However there is no petrol station up in Fraser's Hill so remember to fill your tank before going uphill. Should you get caught without sufficient petrol in Fraser's Hill, ask the locals and they may sell some petrol to you in 1 litre bottles.

Most distances are, however, walkable if you're not in hurry and don't mind going up/downhill or taking the trails through the jungle.

See

Fraser's Hill is famed worldwide as a birdwatching destination, with over 250 species recorded. Winners during the annual Bird Race have spotted as many as 70 species within 24 hours!

  • Fraser's Hill Nature Education Centre, Jalan Genting, [1]. On the second floor of the Sports Complex, this WWF-affiliated center has some lacklustre displays about flora and fauna in the area, but the staff are quite helpful and visiting is free (donations welcome).
  • Jeriau Waterfalls, 5 km (30 min drive) from the town centre and then a 15-min walk. The falls are 6 meters high and fall into a shallow pool suitable for bathing. The area is equipped with restrooms and shelters for picnics. No public transport.

Do

Royal Fraser's Hill Golf Club

The top sporty activities on Fraser's Hill are hiking and golf.

Hiking

There are eight signposted trails around Fraser's Hill, although some have been closed at least temporarily after a well-publicized incident in 2005 when three young boys got lost in the jungle. Watch out for leeches.

  • Hemmant Trail. An easy 20-minute trail along the north side of the golf course.
  • Bishop's Trail. Effectively a continuation of the Hemmant Trail, this is a slightly more challenging half-hour track through the jungle. Slippery when wet.
  • Pine Tree Trail. A challenging 6-kilometer trail up and down hills to the eponymous Pine Tree Hill, and you'll have to return the way you came to boot. This is a full-day hike that will take 7-8 hours at a moderate pace.

Golf

  • Fraser's Hill Golf and Country Club, tel. +60-9-3622777. 18 holes. Green fees RM100/120 weekdays/weekends. As of April 2007, the access road leading to the course is blocked with a no entry sign, but can still be reached by foot. The entire complex appears abandoned. The last punch card entry discovered inside the guard house was dated November 2006, suggesting that it has been defunct for quite some time.
  • Royal Fraser's Hill Golf Club. (All day 9 hole - Walking course) A short but very tight course. Open daily 8 AM to 7 PM, green fees RM30/40 weekdays/weekends (whole day). Carry fee RM10. Golf sets available for rent at the Sports Complex.

Tennis

  • With such a delightful climate, Fraser's Hill ought to be perfect for tennis. Unfortunately, the courts have been neglected. Both Pines Resorts and SilverPark have courts, but they have fallen into disrepair. There are two public courts on the Pines Road (next to the Pahang Instana), but they are barely playable. The courts are filthy, so be prepared to discard your balls after a few plays (they turn from yellow to black).

Buy

While you can get your fill of Fraser's Hill T-shirts and fridge magnets from the souvenir shops around the clock tower, the most useful local fashion accessory in these parts is a pair of leech socks. Baggy stockings of unbleached cotton worn over your pants, these not only prevent unwanted blood transfusions, but also double as handy Christmas decorations if you paint on a reindeer or two. RM16 from the Nature Education Centre.

  • Kraftangan & Cenderamata Bukit Fraser,a souvenir shop at the Sports Complex. T-shirts (RM19.90 to 35.90), fridge magnets, accessories (3 For RM10), and local souvenirs. Open on weekends/holidays only.

Eat

  • Arzed, Puncak Inn (at clock tower) serves local food and drinks ( RM4.50 - 6.50 )
  • Food Court, Jalan Genting (just south of the mosque; uphill from clock tower). This is actually just a small cluster of hawker stalls serving up cheap and tasty local food. Most meals under RM5. Too many flies!
  • Hillview Restaurant, Puncak Inn (at clock tower) serves Chinese and Western food. Tasty and relatively good value; Chinese meal for four at RM60 (September 2006).

Drink

Nightlife in Fraser's Hill is basically nonexistent, but the Smokehouse can serve you a pint of Guinness.

Sleep

Most visitors come during the weekend, so it's not unusual for rates to be discounted as much as 50% on weekdays.

Mid-range

  • Jelai Highlands Resort, Jalan Ampang, tel. +60-9-3622600. This aging resort looks more appealing from afar than up close, but it's comparatively economical and functional. Standard (twin) room RM90/100, double (queen) room RM100/120 weekdays/weekends.
  • Sri Peninjau, Jalan Girdle, tel. +609 3622500 or email: [email protected], 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments located 3.5 kms from the town centre. Peak seasons at RM80 - 120 nett and off peak RM60 - 90 nett. Ideal location for birding.
  • Fraser's Silverpark Resort, (brisk 10 minute walk to the town centre), +60-9-3622888 (). More an apartment complex than a resort, there are 1/2/3-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes and balconies available. Poorly kept and the rooms (especially the bathroom) are quite rundown and dirty.

Splurge

The best way to splurge on Fraser's Hill is to rent a private bungalow. Rates vary widely, from under RM300/day for a small, crumbling bungalow to RM1500/day for a top-of-the-line outfit complete with housekeeper. All bungalow have multiple bedrooms and can easily fit 4 or more people. Book directly with the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation, tel. +60-9-3622044.

  • Ye Olde Smokehouse, Jalan Jeriau, tel. +60-9-3622226, fax +60-9-3622035, [2]. This Tudor-style house is the best choice for a spot of colonial swank. Rooms from RM280+, including English breakfast. Avoid ground floor rooms -- you won't be able to sleep from the noise of the guests above walking around. Breakfast is great, but dinner is overpriced.

Contact

Start your visit by dropping into the Fraser's Hill Tourist Information Centre on Jalan Genting, to your left past the top gate of the Gap. They hand out a useful (albeit scaleless) map and can advise on trails and such.

Stay safe

The trails are fairly well marked but not trivial, so register your intentions with the Tourist Information Centre if you plan on tackling the longer ones. Watch out for muddy trails after rain and take precautions against leeches.

Be careful not to leave anything of value in your car or trunk of value when you are visiting places like the waterfall, as there have been cases of cars being burgled.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!