Monday 17 November 2014

Fraser's Hill - Introduction


A trip to Fraser’s Hill was planned only a month in advance before the actual trip, however having done some research of the area a long time ago, the booking was quite straight forward with everything pre-booked online. My Parents and our two non-birding family friends Uncle Caesar and Auntie Georgiana make up the five of us, as not all of us were birdwatchers, the trip was designed to fit both bird watching and leisure itinerary.

Having been on the “to go” list for a long time, Fraser’s Hill boasts as one of the prime sites for higher altitude species in Peninsular Malaysia, such as Mountain Peacock Pheasants, Rusty-naped Pitta and Cutia (Now extremely rare on Fraser’s); all difficult to see. Other target species includes; Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue Nuthatch, Malayan Partridge and Black Laughingthrush etc.

The site is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur, with great infrastructures and a variety of accommodations to choose from. Most visitors stay for three to four days before moving onto other sites like Taman Negara, however a six to seven days stay is recommended if you only plan to bird at Fraser’s.


A remnant from the British Colonial era, the hill station was first set up as a tin-ore trading post by Scottish pioneer Louis James Fraser in 1890s. After his mysterious disappearance and the depletion of the tin mine, the site was left abandoned. J. Ferguson-Davie rediscovered the site; then Bishop of Singapore, whom reported the site, was perfect for setting up a hill station where people can retreat from the heat of the lowlands. Construction of the Gap Road started in 1919 and the hill station was opened to public by 1922.

Town Centre

The town kept much of its former colonial charms with much of the historical buildings intact and preserved. There’s an English Pub near the town centre and further up hill you will find Ye Olde Smokehouse, a perfectly preserved British countryside house that’s been converted into a boutique hotel. For these reasons, the site is very popular amongst local tourists and visitors; the town is therefore packed on weekends, but remains quiet during the week.

Ye Olde Smokehouse

Temperature up here stays constant throughout the year, 24˚c during the day and 19˚c at night. With drier Southwest Monsoons from late May to September, and the wet season from November to March brought by the Northeast Monsoons. Expect rain from all seasons, with clear mornings and wet afternoons. Waterproof gears are therefore essential. Best birding times of the year will be from March to June, when the season is dryer and birds breeding at their peaks.

Getting Around

The hill station is well covered with tarmac roads, with extensive trail system. Birding can be done via driving or walking along the roads, as well as hiking the trails. Some of the trails however are quite narrow and treacherous and may not be suitable for all. Birds can literally turn up anywhere, the best tactics will be drive along the roads and listen out for birds, and you will run into bird waves sooner or later. Another easy route is the Telecom Loop, which is a stretch of flat tarmac road that runs for 4km, easy for both walking and driving. The New Gap Road and Old Gap Road also proofed to be productive; you can either drive along it or walk down the stretch of road, however as a one-way system you can’t drive back the way you came. Most places are of walking distance but driving will make your life much easier. Public transport is nonexistence at Fraser’s; the public bus that used to run up the hill had long seized service. The only way up the hill is by taxi or driving.

Accommodation & Food
There are wide choices of accommodation to choose from, from hotels to private bungalows, prices varies from budget to expensive. We chose to stay at Shahzann Inn, a hotel close to the town centre, room’s rates are reasonable. Most important of all the rooms are very clean. There is no Wifi in the rooms, only Wifi in the main lobby, however can be very slow. It’s by no means luxurious but very adequate for any visitor’s needs. The area outside Shahzann Inn proved quite birdy, with plenty of birds to see even by sitting outside the restaurant area, the bird feeders didn’t attract a huge amount of birds but you get the odd bird that pecks at the fruits once a while.

Shahzann Inn restaurant area

There’s a restaurant on the ground floor that serves both western and asian cuisines, food there is good and prices are by no means unreasonable. For cheaper food alternatives you can eat at the food court just up the hill past the Mosque, there are also some souvenir shops up there.


There’s a bank and a small shop at the hotel, which is convenient for exchanging money and getting snacks or drinks.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, ken here. I saw 1 of blog same as this intro fraser hill but is mandarin ver. Anyway just like those photo n well explained on it. TQ.