Bukit Fraser (Fraser's Hill)

I like to visit Cameron Highlands. Travelling there almost every year, sometimes it is good to visit other highlands and other places. Each highland has its own charm and activities. In the case of Bukit Fraser, it is a smaller highland in comparison with Cameron Highlands or Genting Highlands. You might call it the smaller cousin of Cameron Highlands as it hasn't got so many things to do, but nevertheless still have its own charm. Though it doesn't has the extensive farms and tea plantation it does have the tranquillity of an English countryside with its colonial bungalows, lush greenery and fresh cool air.

Fraser's Hill is named after Louis James Fraser, a Scotsman who made his fortune from tin mines when he discovered the availability in the vicinity of Bukit Fraser. The Scotsman has a colourful past; he tried to increase his profits by setting up gambling dens and opium house which could have contributed to his mysterious disappearance. Nevertheless, the valleys and the hills was named after him, and was revived as a hill resort for the British who wish to have a cool respite from the unending heat of the tropics. A road was constructed in 1922 which helped some progress of Fraser's Hill. With the easier access, bungalows were constructed and even one of the first golf courses in Malaysia was build.

  Bird's eye view of Bukit Fraser town center. Who's watching who now?

Pretty nothing much has changed since the last many years and not much development could be seen about Fraser's Hill. There was some mention in the dailies about further development of Bukit Fraser to bring in more tourists; this will remain to be seen.

Fraser's Hill is really a very quiet place. Much more quiet than Cameron Highlands. If doing nothing and just pure relaxation is your cup of tea, this is definitely the place for you to take a break. No farms and markets to buy your vegetables, no tea plantation to visit, no bee apiaries, giant nurseries, etc. This place is just pure relaxation. You could though still go for jungle nature walks, book a round at the greens and tee off if you are a golf enthusiast, jog around the place, or play tennis in the tennis courts. There are still a few places to go if you really need to do something. However, most people find Fraser's Hill too quiet for their taste. But hey, a getaway is supposed to be relaxing, ain't it?

The Mist, nope not the ominous Stephen King's Mist but rather the harmless variety.

At 1524m elevation, the highland is really cool and mist comes by quite often obscuring the view. The moist cotton like covering makes one feel like you are in the 'heavenlies' though it makes driving around a bit dangerous. Switch on your car headlights, and honk often!

Bukit Fraser is a favourite place for bird watching. It is famed worldwide as a bird watching destination. It seems it has about 250 species of birds. Bird watching is not for me though, walking noisily about; I guess the bird would have thought of me as a bull in a china shop, keeping an eye on me just in case I become like cat on the prowl looking for bird meal. I'll leave it to the bird watchers to spot the flying friends; I can't imagine sitting quietly with a pair of binoculars in hand and bird guidebook trying to figure out what kind of bird I am looking at. Nah, I'll be happy to see that the birds and animals if I ever do spot any and would really be glad that they are thriving from the lack of development of Fraser's Hill. It seems a good bird watcher could easily spot 70 species within 24 hours! Nope, spotting birds is not my hobby. Going for holiday travel and blogging on my Cameron-Highlands-Destination.com website is my hobby. Yeah!

At one time, Fraser's Hill was the preferred highland destination rather than Cameron Highlands, as it was closer to Kuala Lumpur, and there was no NKVE expressway for a speedy drive to Cameron Highlands. However with the over development of Cameron Highlands, there is now heavy congestion during the peak period during school term holiday breaks especially when it coincide with public holidays and Singapore school term breaks as well. The results? A traffic jam nightmare. In some cases, some accommodation also experience water shortages as the public water supply department could not cope with the increase of tourist arrival. Trying to get away from the maddening crowd and end up in another one? Perhaps, Fraser's Hill will look poise as an alternative highland destination. Only time will tell whether it will be so.

Posted on 20-May-2008

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