Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fraser's Hill

What an exciting but exhausting weekend it has been. The first trip I've had with some of my friends & colleagues in a long time. Sulyn booked the Wavertree bungalow and ten of us planned to drive there in 3 cars on Saturday. Quite a simple plan actually... We were to meet at Setapak for breakfast and would start the journey at about 10 am. Well.. things pretty much went according to plan till' it started raining on the Karak Highway. It was still a pretty pleasant drive and within an 1.5 hours, we were in Raub following the signboards to the new path up Fraser's Hill at GAP... which was when we hit the first obstacle.

There was a boulder that fell onto a bridge thus the road was impassable to traffic... since mid March. Unfortunately, none of us knew. Well... it was supposedly all over the mainstream newspapers but since the recent general elections, I had stopped reading mainstream newspapers so... I take it so had everyone else. But anyway, the road was closed and we had no choice but to use the other route known to us... Through Tanjung Malim and Kuala Kubu Bharu. There was supposedly another route through Genting Highlands but none of us were familiar with it so what the heck...

After deciding to try the other route we started driving back along the Karak Highway to MRR2 then it started raining heavily. Just before the Karak rest area where I lost control of my car after driving into a puddle... Groan... All I could do was try to steer the car into the side railing rather than to end up in the path of other vehicles... Fortunately, I regained control shortly after... Thank God everyone was alright.
Anyway, after stopping to check on the car and finding no major damage other than dents... well... it could have been worse... sooooo... Well.. thank God the drive was pretty uneventful after that. There was some confusion as to which route to take after exiting at Tanjung Malim but after sorting that out, we eventually got to the Gap where we queued with other cars while waiting for our turn to drive up the 8km, winding, one-way road up to Fraser's Hill.

A trip that was supposed to take about 2.5 hours became a day long drive from one side of the Central range to the other side.. phew... But oh well, it was well worth it.

The last time I had been to Fraser's Hill was when I was very young... Not more than 10 I think and I went with my family and some family friends from Singapore. Not much that I can remember from then except for a pony ride but from what I can see, I believe things have not changed much since then. Tudor cottages, chalets or bungalows are available for rent. Ours came with meals as well and very big, clean and spacious rooms... and a fireplace as well.

Fraser's Hill is named after a Scottish pioneer by the name of James Fraser and consists of seven hills. Fraser's Hill is quite popular with locals and foreign tourists due to its greenery, fresh air and flower gardens. Bird watching is a very popular activity here and ornithologists 'flock' to Fraser's Hill for the annual bird race. There are also activities such as horseback riding and archery.

If you're looking for a nice place to enjoy nature and cool air, it's definitely worth going to. Check out the conditions of the road as the route to Gap is well known for landslides and erm.. misplaced boulders.

Oh well, car's with the workshop now... a hefty RM 2,100 price tag to get it back in shape and have it re-painted. Sigh.. imagine where I could've flown to... My last trip to Vietnam for 10 days cost me only RM 1,000.

Alright... Where to next??!!

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