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Fraser's Hill

 

The Gap

Update on The Gap.. 2012, Unfortunately a tender given out to the local government project to upgrade and restore The Gap resthouse has stalled and work has not resumed. The resthouse is now in a state of disrepair and much of its fine fittings have been removed. We hope the government will look into repairing the building soon.

 

At the foot of Fraser's Hill is the Gap - a colonial resthouse and one of the remaining few in Malaysia. A short rest at the Gap Resthouse is a welcomed relief..for those who suffer greatly from motion sickness.. A chance to stretch your legs, take big gulps of fresh air and smaller gulps of coffee at the restaurant does wonders. One of the last remaining Resthouses built during the heydays of good old fashioned, unhurried travelling, the Resthouse is a well preserved relic of colonial architecture.

The reputation of this resthouse in the early years surpassed itself. Henri Fauconnier, a reknown novelist even mentioned the Gap resthouse in his 1930's prize winning novel, 'The Soul of Malaya'. The novel describes its characters as arriving at the Gap one evening for dinner to a display of splendour."A resplendent table had been prepared; all the government crockery and silver with the bull's head crest, the whole stock of bottles arrayed like skittles on the sideboard...cocks, ducks, a suckling pig were laid before us." The extensive menu has sadly now reduced to a limited menu of orders of fried noodles, fried rice and eggs.

on the way to the gap, this almost insignificant plaque indicates the spot where Sir Henry Gurney was gunned down by local communists during his tour of duty.

Bird watchers prefer to walk up the hill in their own time. However, one has to be really careful walking along the road especially round hairpin bends as there are no pedestrian tracks.

Bird watching

One of the main attractions at Fraser's Hill is bird watching. There are a great variety of birds residing in the area and because Fraser's has been gazetted a protected area for a while now, the birds have become more approachable. Quite often birds like the silver-eared mesia would go about happily foraging in a shrub just a few feet from humans. The long-tailed sibia too are extremely common and tend to move in groups of 6 or more, they are often seen hopping across from branch to branch rather than flying. They're curious birds and may come down to investigate the scene. The fire-tufted barbet can be seen picking on the fruits of the palm tree just by the corner of the children's skating rink. This is the place of many memories for many. The childhood memories of 30years ago, whirling round and round what seemed to be an enormous rink then, only returning to the cottage for tea and scones with delicious homemade strawberry jam and rich clotted cream, feeding the ponies and trekking through old jungle trails. On returning, the nostalgia overwhelmed. The place has lost none of its charms. The paddock with ponies for hire are still around, although these ponies don't seem as happy as the ones then. There are public tennis courts now, a bit of paddling is possible on Allan's water- a pond at the edge of the hill, and an archery field is set up to entertain the public. Another private golf course sits some distance away from the village (approx.9km from town) close to the Jeriau Waterfall. A new road has just been completed, cutting through parts of the forest, causing minor landslides in isolated areas. Realising that developing areas along slopes has been the cause of many unfortunate disasters, the government has imposed a moratorium on such developments.

Once a year, visitors from around the world descend upon the village for the Annual International Bird Race. No, it's not a pigeon race, nothing of that sort! It's a race to spot as many bird species as possible within the hill top area in a given time. Sometimes, watching these participating individuals can be rather entertaining and comical. Ever seen birdwatchers hanging out of car windows, trying to spot birds, moving at speeds of 50km/hr? (Speed of 40km/hr is an accepted standard at Fraser's).

At last count, 254 bird species were found on these hills, either having taken up residence or passing through. Although we happened to have arrived, by chance at Fraser's during the Bird race weekend, we were happy just to amble and not get flustered with the idea of a 'race'. Even without participating in the race, we managed to spot numerous varieties seldom seen in the lowlands.

Every road we took, we saw birds. Two streathed spiderhunters were found hovering on a flowering tree opposite the entrance to Ye Olde Smokehouse. A Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush was perched at the entrance to Bishop's trail, one of the many nature trails snaking into and around the residential areas. A white-throated fantail hopped about the bushes close to the Temerloh chalets where we stayed on my first trip back to Fraser's (as we affectionately call this hill station) after a 10year absence. The hexagonal shaped chalets were built as extensions to the existing Temerloh bungalow, originally known as Wray Bungalow. They sit on a slope facing a vast open valley and offer a glorious view.

 

FHNEC (Fraser's Hill Nature Education Centre) and Nature Trails

The Cottage lies just behind the Surau or Mosque and a small foodcourt

Since the light was fast fading and evening setting in, we were advised to take the Henmant trail, just to the back of the cottage.

Along this short trail lies the remains of a tiny communications centre built by the Japanese Army during the Second World War. The high hills were a strategic location to set up a communications centre . This gave them wide radio coverage of the lowlands below. Under the dense canopy of the forest, it was difficult for the Allies to detect them. About 8m from the little cubby-hole where the centre was, is a small vault where the Japanese soldiers stored important documents, sensitive materials and artillery. At the end of the trail, we reached the 9-hole golf course situated in the middle of the town. Few people actually realise this but the golf course used to be the site of Fraser's old tin mine. This is exactly where the miners bored, shifted, loaded and washed tonnes of sand for tin ore! Just over a hundred years ago. The trail took us some 30minutes to complete. With some energy left to, we signed up for a night trek on the Abu Suradi Trail. A fee of RM5 each for the guided trek seemed reasonable. Little did we know that we were to join some 40 teenagers on a school excursion for the trek. Despite the endless chatter of the school party we did get to hear the Scops Owl calling in the distance. A Japanese couple we met on the same excursion had been in Fraser's for 2 weeks. Having fallen in love with the place on their first visit the previous year,they had come this time for 3 weeks to indulge themselves in bird watching, trekking and just soaking in the atmosphere. FHNEC had been taking good care of them and taking them on trails, identifying weird and wonderful fauna and flora. Take a look at the list of birds found at Fraser's, below.

FHNEC is a good place to start for anyone interested in nature. It is a joint project between the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation and WWF Malaysia (World Wildlife Fund), the office is managed by young and enthusiastic staff members of the WWF education division. They are extremely helpful and can arrange treks for you. Carell, the education officer stationed at the centre can give you a good run down of the place. She can also give you a preview of the education centre at Cameron Highlands. The centre has leaflets to take away with you as guides to the various nature trails around. For more information on the trails especially the much-needed directions to the trails, you can also visit WWF Malaysia at www.wwfmalaysia.org/ There are lots of leeches along the trails so bring a can of 'baygon' to spray your shoes with but if you feel that this is not environmentally friendly then you could always opt for the leech socks which are available at the centre.

PLEASE note that the centre has moved to the golf course building.

Tours for short treks are only conducted for groups of minimum 6 - 10 persons and arrangements must be made with FHNEC in advance.

Opening times for FHNEC is
9.30am - 5.30pm (Wednesday - Sunday )
Closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays
Tel: +6 09 - 362 2517 for nature walk itinerary and bookings. fax: +6 09 - 362 2716 or email: ccarell@wwf.org.my

For more on the birdlist and FHNEC; click to the FHNEC website

  • crested honey buzzard, black eagle

  • little cuckoo-dove, imperial pigeon

  • red-billed malkoha, nightjar

  • fork tailed swift, little swift

  • red-headed trogon, great hornbill

  • fire-tufted barbet, speckled piculet, greater yellow nape

  • long tailed broadbill, white throated fantail

  • lesser racket tailed drongo

  • green magpie, oriental magpie-robin, white tailed robin, black & crimson oriole

  • large cuckoo-shrike, brown shrike

  • Malayan whistling thrush, grey-chinned minivet

  • Little pied flycatcher, rufous-brown flycatcher, grey-headed canary-flycatcher

  • Blue nuthatch

  • Barn swallow, pacific swallow, striated (red-rumped) swallow - Yellow-vented bulbul, black & white bulbul, mountain bulbul, ochraceous bulbul

  • Mountain tailorbird

  • Arctic warbler, chestnut-crowned warbler, eastern-crowned warbler

  • Chestnut capped laughing thrush, chestnut crowned laughing thrush

  • pygmy wren babbler, golden babbler, grey-throated babbler

  • silver eared mesia, white-eared shrike-babbler, black-eared shrike-babbler

  • blue winged minla, mountain fulvetta, long-tailed sibia

  • mountain fulvetta, orange-bellied leafbird

  • sultan tit, tree sparrow

  • fire-breasted flowerpecker

  • blue-throated sunbird, streaked spiderhunter

click on image below for a larger version of the map

where to eat at Frasers...

 

Accommodation and Packages to Pahang ~ Janda Baik, Cameron Highlands, Taman Negara, Kenong Rimba Reserve, Fraser's Hill, Cherating, Pulau Tioman, Kuantan, Tasik Bera and Surroundings

Accommodation:

Bentong

| Caravan Serai Private Exclusive Villas | Tras Mutiara Hotel Bentong |

Cameron Highlands

Tanah Rata ~ | Budget Inns - Seah Ming Hotel | Orient Hotel | Kavy Hotel | Daniel's Lodge | Twin Pine Chalet | Cameronian Inn | Hillview Inn | Hotel BB Inn | Father's Guesthouse | Motels - Rumah Rehat Sri Pahang | The Cool Point Hotel | Shahzan Inn | 3 star hotels - | Casa De La Rosa | Century Pines Resort | Hotel De La Ferns | 4 star hotels - | Strawberry Park Resort | Heritage Hotel | 5 star hotels - | Cameron Highlands Resort | Colonial-styled homes & Inns - | Ye Olde Smokehouse | The Hilltop Bungalow | Bala's Holiday Chalet | Apartment - TM Resort |

Ringlet ~ | Colonial-styled homes & Inns - The Lakehouse | The MNS Chalet & Longhouse |

Brinchang ~ | 5 star hotels - Equatorial Hotel | 3 star hotels - Rosa Passadena | 2 star hotels - Rainbow Hotel | Apartment Hotels - Star Regency Hotel & Apartments |

Fraser's Hill

| FHDC Bungalows | Puncak Inn | Fraser's Hill Bungalows | Jelai Highland Resort | Fraser's Silverpark Resort | Shahzan Inn | Fraser's Pine Resort | The Gap Resthouse | Ye Olde Smokehouse |

Janda Baik

| Cherengin Hills Convention & Spa Resort | Seri Pengantin Resort | Suria Hill Country House | Wadi Samrah Janda Baik |

Jerantut

| Wau Hotel & Cafe | Felda Residence Tekam |

Kuala Lipis

| Appu's Hotel Lipis | Centrepoint Hotel | Hotel London | Hotel Jelai | Rumah Persinggahan Kuala Lipis (Kuala Lipis Resthouse) | Rumah Rehat Tanjung Lipis | Lipis Inn |

Temerloh

| Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Taman Negara Kuala Tahan

| Nusa Holiday Village | Tembeling River View Chalet | Woodland Resort | Rainforest Resort |

Taman Negara Merapoh

| Park accommodation |

Cherating

| Eastern Pavilion Cherating | Holiday Villa Cherating | Impiana Resort Cherating | Legend Cherating Resort | Residence Inn | Sanctuary Resort | Suria Cherating Beach Resort |

Pulau Tioman

| Salang | Salang Hut | Ella's Place | Salang Indah | Salang Beach Resort | Salang Pusaka Resort | Salang Sayang Tioman Resort |

Panuba Beach | Panuba Inn Resort |

ABC | Bamboo Hill Chalets | ABC(Air Batang Chalet) | Nazri's Beach Cabanas | Tioman House | Johan's Resort | Mawar Beach Chalets | My Friend Place | Nazri's Place |

Tekek | Peladang Inn | Pesona Island Resort | Babura Seaview Resort | Swiss Cottage Resort |

Genting | Japamala Resort | Minang Cove Resort |

Paya | Paya Beach Resort | Tioman Paya Resort |

Juara | Manana | Bushman |

Dive Packages Salang/ABC | B&J Tioman Dive Centre |

Kuantan

5 star | Hyatt Regency |

4 star | Seasons View Hotel | Swiss Garden Hotel & Spa | The Zenith Hotel |

3 star | Grand Continental Kuantan | Vistana Kuantan | Hotel Sentral Kuantan | Duta Sands Beach Resort | Duta Village Beach Resort | Mega View Hotel |

2 star | Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Boutique Guesthouse | Riverside Boutique Guesthouse |

Beach Resort | Black Stone Resort |

Bukit Gambang

| Bukit Gambang Resort City |

Rompin

| Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Tasik Bera

| Tasik Bera Resort |

Tasik Chini

| Tasik Chini Resort | Rajan Jones Guest House |

Trips and Packages:

Kuala Gandah Elephant Centre

| Elephant Sanctuary Day Tour |

Taman Negara ~ Kuala Tahan

| Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Kuala Lumpur | 2 days 1 night Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Holiday Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Explorer Package at Mutiara Taman Negara Resort | Fullboard Adventure Camping Trail Mutiara Taman Negara Packages |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Fullboard Package at ex-Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package ex - Jerantut |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort & Elephant Centre ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Fullboard Package |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Singapore | 5 days 4 nights Fullboard Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Kuala Lumpur | 2 days 1 night Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Full Board package | 3d ays & 2 nights Fullboard Nusa Holiday Village Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Full Board Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Nusa Holiday Village Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Full Board Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Full Board Package |

Local Village Resort & Elephant Centre ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Fullboard Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Singapore | 5 days 4 nights Full Board Package |

Taman Negara Inner Jungle ex Jerantut /ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Taman Negara Inner Jungle Adventure | 4 Days 3 Nights Taman Negara Inner Jungle Adventure |

Mountain Trekking | 9 Days 8 Nights Gunung Tahan via Kuala Tahan Trekking Package |

Taman Negara ~ Merapoh

| Mountain Trekking | 5 days 4 nights Gunung Tahan via Merapoh Trekking Package |

Combination Trips

Nature/ Highland/ Island

| 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Nature & Island Trip | 9 Days 8 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Highland, Nature & Island Trip | 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Animals , Nature & Island Trip |

 

Malaysia Highlands

Peninsula Malaysia Hills & Mountains

| Cameron Highlands | Bukit Chini | Fraser's Hill | Maxwell Hill | Bukit Jerai | Gunung Tahan | Penang Hill |

Sabah and Sarawak, Borneo Highlands & Mountains

| Mount Kinabalu | Kelabit Highlands (Bario) |