Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fraser's Hill, Malaysia

It's been a long time since I was last in Fraser's Hill, up in the highlands in Malaysia, but I was able to remedy that last week. I was there for a retreat, and have to say there could hardly be a more ideal spot for an activity like this. It is quiet and secluded, and invites a quiet mind geared towards solitude. The accommodations (I stayed in the Methodist House) are simple but comfortable, and the food is home-cooked. Nature is around you at every moment, offering views that can overwhelm the senses.

At certain times of the day, especially if it is rainy (like it was during my stay), the mists float across the valleys, hiding one peak from another. This gives you a feeling of mystery and magic, making the place appear like a regular Shangri-La. (The difficulty in getting up the hill might bring that enchanted place to mind too — do take note of the times that the road is open if you plan to make the trip: odd hours for going up, and even hours for coming down.) The spot is just so idyllic and captivating — the perfect place for cleansing jaded urban sensibilities. While the rain made it a little cooler than those of us who live in the tropics might like, it also helped keep a feeling of freshness in the air, to go along with the mystique it created.

The jungle that covers the hills and valleys of Bukit Fraser is thick, and rich in wildlife. The morning that we set out to return home, a whole family of monkeys came to visit right behind our lodge. They were all together up in the top of one tree, and filed past us, taking turns to leap to the branches of an adjacent tree. There must have been a dozen or so monkeys, and they each took their turn to hop across the space between the trees, putting on quite a show for us.
The whole group of participants in the retreat stood watching and enjoying the monkeys. Though it is not unusual to see monkeys, even in the very urbanized neighborhood where I live, these were of a different breed, and were obviously used to a very different lifestyle than their pampered relatives from the city. It was fun watching them in their homeland, especially as they came to the fruit trees just below the lodge and sat down for a late breakfast.

The scenery at Fraser's Hill can be quite amazing. If you are looking for a good retreat setting, it is hard to beat this one.

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Jacqueline said...


do you still have the contact number of the Methodist House? Thanks.

shawn trelly said...
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