Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bukit Frazer

Its is not much more than 300 Km in total, but the entire loop takes the better part of a day, if you take time to take in the sights. Many miles of twisties are on offer, that will bring you across the Titiwangsa Range and back and also bring your average speed down to something ridiculously low. But it is miles of smiles!

Frazer Hill is a classical, albeit tiny hill station in the best of the former British colonial tradition. A small insular world on top of a high hill, in which the Britis sought a retreat from heat of the plains and the presence of others. Frazer's, unlike many Hill stations, did not owe its origin to medical establishments providing a healthy environment. No cool and bracing air that was believed to have curative powers, caused it to be built. Instead it was set up for more mundane reasons: as a trading post, mining area and some say, a safe heaven to run an opium and gambling den from.

Whatever the case might have been, with temperatures between 17 and 25C year round, and winding roads through the forest leading up to its summit, this is a trip to make. Needless to say the tarmac is pretty well maintained, and the surface won’t spring too many nasty surprises, mid-corner. Its is not a track though, and not a track surface either, so keep your right hand under control. With many cut hillsides, there is always a danger of landslides and stuff that fell on the road from up above. Depending on what speed you chose to negotiate the turns, it will take a little under 2 hours to reach the Gap from KL.


From KL, follow the old North South Road, Federal Road 1 out of KL in the direction of Ipoh, turn right at K Kubu Bahahru onto Federal Road 55 to the “Gap” across the Titiwangasa Range between Gunung Huku Semanguk (elevation 1394 meters) and Bkt Pokok Pine (1456 meters). In the middle is Frazer’s Hill, on of those typical but small English colonial hill stations. Something the old colonials knew how to create: creature comforts, cool climates, trees, shade, birds and general relaxing atmosphere. Frazers Hill is no exception Beyond the Gap, continue east on the N55, until you reach the Federal Road 8.. As you reach this road, turn right and follow it in a southerly direction until it reaches the main East West Expressway, the E8 : Turn right onto the E8, and it will lead you back to KL, on what by itself is a memorable ride. The six lanes are a nice reprieve by then..

The road past Kuala Kubu Bahru runs along a white water river and as you reach the foot of the hills, the forest closes in, the road narrows and starts to wind nicely. It continues to do so for dozens of miles, and the turns are simply made for a middle class machine. They beg for the bike to be flicked from one side onto the next, and back and so on, etc. The first time the road levels out and widens is near the Selangor Dam. The views over the lake are a good excuse for taking a breather, and there is a little center built by the development authority that you can visit. It is is air-conditioned and provides shade. It depicts KL’s drinking water issues, and what is being done about it. It is also at pains to explain how environmental damage was mitigated and original inhabitants that found their land flooded were settled. Classical textbook stuff and well presented. Amazingly there is no coffee shop or restaurant there. An exception for Asia, if ever there was one.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a beautiful place. Nice blog with all information needed! Thank you I read your full blog and it was very informative, and helped me a lot. Travel Agency in India