Friday, August 7

My Secret Malaysia

Just two hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Fraser (named after a long departed Scottish prospector) is surely one of the most unlikely travel destinations in Asia. With its cream teas, Toby Jugs and mock-Tudor bungalows, this colonial hill station would look more at home in an episode of Midsomer Murders than on a normal travel itinerary of Malaysia. There’s even a red post box in the village square. A time-consuming bus service from the city keeps most visitors away. And apart from a golf course there’s not much to do – except sip tea and pretend the sun never set on the British Empire; the resort is popular with wealthy Singaporeans who love Jane Austen and scones and jam, while the lush forest teems with eager young ornithologists; there are over 270 bird species here. Frasers Hill is whimsical, charming, pointless and slightly batty. I hope it never changes.

This story originally appeared in Underrated Travel Destinations (Sydney Morning Herald, July 29 2015)

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