Fraser’s Hill is a highland resort destination nestled among the mountains of Pahang, about two hours away from Kuala Lumpur. Locally known as Bukit Fraser, this cooling holiday retreat is popular for its nature activities and cooling climate, attracting not just locals escaping the city heat, but visitors from Singapore and other international locations. It is also one of the last hill stations of Malaysia, an imprint left behind by former British colonial masters. Fraser’s Hill has its roots in the 1890s, when the tin ore trade was bustling. After a failed gold mining venture in Australia, Scottish prospector Louis James Fraser arrived to explore the remote Titiwangsa mountains of Pahang.
One day, he came across rich tin ore deposits embedded in several ridgetops, hidden by a thick drape of mossy forest. Opening up a mine, Fraser hired Chinese labourers and used mules to transport tin ore down a steep mountain track (Gap road today) to Raub town for trade. Eventually, Fraser himself moved up the hill and operated several gambling and opium dens, for the miners to find entertainment after work. Sometime around 1915, he vanished just as the tin deposits dried up and everyone moved away. Fraser's Hill became overgrown as nature reclaimed the mined land while Fraser himself became somewhat of an enigma, as his mysterious disappearance has not been solved till this day. In 1917, the bishop of Singapore rediscovered Fraser's Hill on a hunt for the man. His suggestions for the area to be developed into a hill station were brought to fruition by authorities. The rest of ensuing history are minor details to describe the growth of this nature resort destination to present day, with its collection of refurbished colonial bungalows and luxury resorts for visitors to stay.
Location & Travel Tips
Fraser's Hill can be found in the central region of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang. It lies about two hours north of Kuala Lumpur and 400km away from Singapore in the south. Bukit Fraser has an average altitude of 1,200 meters high but its highest point rises at 1,500 meters at the Telekoms loop. Meanwhile, the base of the Gap road is about 800 meters in height. This nature resort destination is one of several highland tourist resorts located along the vast Titiwangsa Mountain range, which is covered with lush rainforests and green valleys. The entirety of Fraser's Hill is a protected nature reserve and gazetted wildlife sanctuary.
Visitors and tourists can visit Fraser's Hill throughout the year, with but expect heavy mist and ocassional rainfall most times. Being high up in the mountains, moisture and cool are predominant features of the climate in these parts. Generally, the months with the least rainfall fall between April till September, during the lapse in the monsoon season. This would be the best time to travel if you dislike wet surroundings, but the weather can still be unpredicatable. It is also recommended to go during off peak seasons, which are months that have no major public or school holidays, in order to enjoy cheap accommodation in hotels and smaller crowds. Temperatures usually range between 22 - 28°C during the day and 16°C to 20°C at night; with more rain, the environment becomes cold and misty. Ensure you have sufficent clothing if you're susceptible to chill. Also, prepare to get wet and muddy if you plan to junge trek.