After having lunch in Damansara last weekend, my husband asked me, “where to next?” Instead of saying “home”, I said, “anywhere but here.” He replied, OK. Let’s go to Fraser’s Hill.” So, off we went.
Road to Kuala Kubu.
We took the Kuala Kubu Bahru route— E1, Route 1, Route 55 and Route 56—to reach Fraser’s Hill. We stopped by at Kuala Kubu Bahru town to buy USB phone cable; one of the things that we should have a spare in the car during spontaneous trip like this. Lucky our car has USB port, so charging is easy. The phone dubs as GPS.
Kuala Kubu Bahru town.
We drove across Sungai Selangor, passed by Selangor Dam and Chiling Fall and later found ourselves surrounded by thick forest of Selangor and Pahang. We wound down our side screens to smell the refreshing cool air filled with scent of trees and soil and perhaps Streptomyces too.
Aerial view of Sungai Selangor seen from the bridge on Route 55. Did you know that On 6 October 1951, Sir Henry Gurney was shot to death by the Communist guerillas on Route 55 while on his way to Fraser’s Hill for a meeting?
View on Route 56.
After driving for about an hour from Kuala Kubu Bahru, we reached Fraser’s Hill.
Yassin and his cousin, Wanda.
It was a bit gloomy when we reached here and temperature was around 17°C, just nice to go for a walk around the hill—thanks to its 1524 m elevation. First place we visited was the clock tower, the British-looking little stone building covered with creeper vines. This most photographed clock tower was designed by Malaysian Landscape Architect Z. Jaal for Frasers Hill Development Corporation in 1989.
So…, what’s Fraser got to do with this hill station situated in Pahang? Who is Fraser? I bet the history is familiar to some of you but I love to write about it again as you might missed some of the facts that I found while doing my reading online and offline.
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. In 1900s, he went missing but only few years later, a big search for him was conducted by Bishop Ferguson Davie of Singapore. It was an unsuccessful search and some believed that his opium and gambling business got something to do with his disappearance (read: murder). I could not help but think that maybe he was attacked and eaten by tiger. Or, fell down from a ravine.
Anyway…Bishop Ferguson Davie, on the other hand discovered a perfect hill resort and suggested to the authorities to develop the area. 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. Since then, Fraser’s Hill retains a wonderfully weird mixed-up character, where locals eat curries off banana leaves in an English cottage next to a golf course while the call to prayer sounds from the mosque.
A colonial building converted into a bar and restaurant. A Scottish one. To commemorate Fraser, I suppose.
Ok, enough with the history.
After the clock tower we visited Allan’s Water; an old dam which was converted into a lake. The dam was formerly served as a reservoir supplying fresh water to Fraser’s Hill. Since it was no longer used, it is converted to a recreational lake, providing boating and picnic activities for visitors. The name Allan’s Water was a tribute to Mr J. H. Allan, an assistant engineer who surveyed the area and mooted the idea of building a dam there.
We did not went on the boat but we walked along the trail at the right side of the lake. It was here that a LEECH decided to make me a victim. Tolong!! I was screaming like crazy but my husband and son laughed at me. While my niece was comforting me saying to just let it fall by itself, I took a twig and get it OFF me. Crazy la, such a scary experience. LOL.
After Allan’s Water, we visited a flower nursery next to it. Previously, it was a flower garden but had been closed down for four years previously. A new owner took up the space and the nursery has been opened for almost 10 months now. It is still in its stage of adding more plants but one thing for sure, they have a mini strawberry farm here. We got to taste it and it was sweet! Unlike those sour strawberries I bought from supermarket. My husband bought a pot to care for. The nursery worker told us that a pot of strawberry plant can make up about 50 more and he later taught us how to go about it.
Later we just wandered around the hill taking pictures. We passed by some of the nature trails; namely Bishop Trail, Mager Trail, Kindersley Trail but as we were not ready for long trails, we skipped the idea. Trail’s length are ranging from 500m (Abu Suradi Trail) to 5km (Pine Tree Trail). While passing by the latter, I saw that it was sealed with no-entry tape, almost certain that it was closed for the day or perhaps for good. Do check with the information counter at Puncak Inn near the Clock Tower if you wish to go on one of the trails.
Before we get home, I captured some photos of flowers. I’ll cover more about flowers found in Fraser’s Hill in another post. we did drop by Smokehouse for coffee/tea but too bad that it was just closing for the day. It was around 6pm. But I did take some pictures.