Saturday, August 4, 2007

A rock named Fraser’s Hill

Fraser’s Hill August 2007

About two weeks ago I signed up for a special getaway organized by Bing and friends (read: Toastmasters). As usual, when it came down to our resident bird watcher, you can be assured of two things – One: It will be a nature trip and two: It will be fun!

Woke up that morning at about 6 AM due to last minute packing. Despite our best effort, my brother and me arrived at KDU (meeting point) at 7 AM plus. Everyone else was already there waiting for us. So, we quickly ditched our car and hopped into one of the other cars that were already prepped to go up the rock which renowned gambler, Louis James Fraser discovered about a hundred years back.

The weather was still cold up there. It was a real change from the sweltering heat of Kuala Lumpur. Suddenly you felt the sun on your skin but the sting was gone.

Large will be probably an inadequate word to describe our rooms. We could have fitted the entire team in one of the apartments. Another Bing trademark – cheap but quality accommodation.

Our first adventure was hiking through the woods. The plan was to traverse three trails but we only managed two. The first trail was the harder one with more leeches for us to marvel at. The second one was a pleasant trail which was more of a walk then a serious jungle hike. We finished off the hiking at a local favorite which served strawberry juice as one of its specialty items.

After the hikes, it was time for a short nap. The more adventurous went down to the lake.

Evening came up and we headed to the main hotel dining for a barbeque. In the cold, there was nothing more welcomed than the succulent taste of fried meat. No local birds were harmed in the preparation though.

After dinner, we headed off to our Vice President of Public Relations Johnson’s room for some games. From the games we played, I learned that Comoros was a small country somewhere in Africa, Waitangi is the closest thing you get to Independence Day in New Zealand and Toastmaster Joanne makes an excellent undercover detective.

The next day started off with a light breakfast at the hotel and off we went to the waterfalls. The waterfall’s Feng Shui seem to be disturbed by construction but it did have a happy gurgling sound about it.

Lunch was a Malaysian favorite – Ramli Burgers and fried corn. We impatiently waited for tea as the promise of fine scones loomed. We then headed off to the famous Smokehouse. It was serene cottage converted to a hotel and restaurant. Each set of scones which comprised of 2 scones and a cup of tea cost a whooping RM 20. However, after tasting such fine English cuisine, I will encourage anyone who has not tried it before to experience it at least once. After tea, it was a quick drive back to Kuala Lumpur. Exhausted, I cannot remember much of the drive except that Toastmaster Gan’s MyVi had a surprisingly comfortable backseat.
Overall, the trip was wonderful. It reminded me on what we were missing out in Kuala Lumpur. Peaceful environment, starry skies and green hills. Fraser’s Hill is an amazing getaway for the weary souls of the modern life.

By, Vijay Balasegaram

P.S Some additional photos take by our resident photographer Johnson Yike

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