Where you REALLY should be on a lazy Saturday afternoon


These days, the only places parents would go with their children on weekends would be the shopping mall. No kidding! Where to eat, Dad? Shopping mall. Mum, I wanna watch a movie – shopping mall. Shopping for groceries – shopping mall. That’s the Malaysian mindset – air-conditioned, happening place. And they don’t get bored.

I’d get bored. And that’s why I headed for Kuala Kubu Baru & Fraser’s Hill.

I drove to Kuala Kubu Baru last thursday afternoon. To go there, head for Rawang. Follow the signboard and drive on till you reach Ampang Pecah. Enter Ampang Pecah on your right and you’re in Kuala Kubu Baru. Total journey time: 35 minutes. Total cost for toll is RM1.60 if you use the LDP. Once in Kuala Kubu Baru, you can taste the sort of food that bespeaks of quality and value. And after that – head for Fraser’s Hill to escape the heat and the crowd. And what’s best is:

Total cost inclusive of accommodation & food = RM200. Believe me – you’d spend much more than that for an afternoon in a shopping mall. Yes – you went shopping, buying things you don’t need.

In Kuala Kubu Baru & Fraser’s Hill – you get to be one with nature, give a priceless education to your children and most all – enjoy peace-of-mind.

KUALA KUBU BARU
This is an old town. Very quiet & quaint. You could literally cover the town just by walking. What I like about Kuala Kubu Baru is its old world charm. The shopowners here emphasize very much on personalised service. Take for instance the restaurant where I went for lunch. The owners, Mr & Mrs Lim are second generation Hainanese caretakers and caterers.

Mr & Mrs Lim, owners of the Sun Sun Nam Cheong Hailam Restaurant
Even our Prime Minister has graced this coffee shop during the 2010 Selangor by-election.

Ask for the signature Hailam Mee. Then go for the “roti bakar” for desserts. Don’t forget the “kopi-o”. You won’t regret it and what’s more, you’ll fill your stomachs for under RM20!

Homemade, homebaked quality breads, cakes & pastries

The Teng Wun Bakery & Confectionery is where you’ll get to savour delicious homemade & homebaked pastries. They are famous for their cupcakes. Make sure you get a few if you are here. Ahhh… the egg tarts are to die for!

You won’t want to spend much time in Kuala Kubu Baru. If you plan to head for Fraser’s Hill, make sure you give at least 35 minutes lead time in order to arrive at the Gap to go to Fraser’s Hill.

Going up times: Odd hours & going down times – Even hours. If you are going to Fraser’s Hill with your family, pay attention to the sharp corners. The normal driving time to arrive at the Gap would be between 35 to 45 minutes. I could do it in 25 minutes but I don’t recommend it if you are with your family. And most of all – if you are SANE!

THE GAP
If you missed the going up times, park your car here and just enjoy the scenery. The air is cool and you can even have tea at the Gap Resthouse. It’s a great respite for those who suffer from motion sickness… great to get out of the car and stretch your legs!

The suspension bridge at the Gap
Great place for birdwatching & for snapping breathtaking photos!

Righto! The gates has opened and it’s time to ascend to Fraser’s Hill. This time, traffic is one way only as the roads are rather steep & winding. You should be there in 20 minutes. Go slow & enjoy the wonderful scenery. Please don’t stop here to take pictures. It’s dangerous because it’s a one-way system from the Gap to the town centre.

FRASER’S HILL
You’re here already! Get out from your car take take in the cool, crisp mountain air! My first visit here was somewhere in 1987 and I never seem to get tired of Fraser’s Hill. I’ve come up here alone and enjoyed the jungle treks very much!

ACCOMMODATION

Fraser's Hill Town Centre... the Little England in Malaysia
PUNCAK INN - affordable, clean and best off all - recently refurbished.

There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation. There’s the Shahzan Inn (formerly the Merlin), Pines Resort and Silverpark – amongst others. For me – I’d like a clean room with hot water (the nights can get very chilly!) and a comfy bed for a good night’s sleep.

I opted for Puncak Inn. Right smack in the heart of the town, opposite the famous Clock Tower landmark.

Standard rooms starts at RM90 on weekdays and RM120 on weekends. There are family & superior rooms, and even Studio apartments. These are slightly pricier but no complants if you want a deserving peaceful holiday.

Puncak Inn used to be so run down when I visited Fraser’s Hill way back in the 80s. Nobody in the right mind would stay there, no matter how cheap.

But things changed and so did the management. It’s spanking clean. The beds are so comfortable, there’s also a TV there and hot water. What I loved was the high pressured hot water, unlike elsewhere in Fraser’s where the hot water is trickling. Imagine showering on a cold, cold night. Ahhh – yes, there’s WiFi too, and pretty fast too considering the fact that there are not many people clogging up the network there.

WHAT TO DO HERE
Nothing. Yep – absolutely nothing! That’s for me and applies to me only. I’d go for nature walks, happily snapping at the flora & fauna and at birds. Otherwise I’d go have scones at the Smokehouse and enjoy the wonderful scenery there. I’ve tried reading a book there but it was an exercise in futility as I kept dozing off to the lulling whispers of the pine trees and soft chirping of birds.

Fraser's Hill - a step closer to nature & sanity!
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