Fraser's Hill - Day 1, Part 1 - Reaching the top
I am sure many of the readers were aware that I spent the last weekend in Fraser's Hill. We stayed at the Smokehouse, an English Tudor house built back in the 1930s. We stayed for a couple of nights, driving up there on the Sunday Morning. We were joined by my in-laws and their driver, plus one of Anita's nephew. We set off early as we wanted the catch the 11am slot driving up from the Gap. The Gap is situated 9 km downhill from Fraser's Hill proper and as the name suggest, it was a small gap of road snaking up the hill, allowing a single file of traffic. The condition of the road was reasonable, but if you are prone to bee sea or in this case roadsick, beware. It will induce nausea. Irfan, my younger boy vomited driving up the Gap. Our two maids were given some medications to cope with the drive.
From our house in Gombak, we took the Federal Route 1 through Rawang, driving up a further 20 minutes turning past the town of Kuala Kubu Baharu. From then on, it took another 60 minutes before we reached the Gap when the road got considerably narrower and windier. We reached the Gap with plenty of time, enough for a 15 minutes stretching. There was a restaurant at the traffic waiting area but unfortunately it was closed for renovation at the time. There are comfortable restroom facilities there and a few stalls selling food and drinks.
The traffic up through the Gap is controlled by a set of lights. The traffic going up starts at odd hours, 11am in my case for 40 minutes. At the even hours, the lights here turns red, and only downhill traffic were allowed, again for 40 minutes. They were allowed around 20 minutes transit time. I think the system starts everyday at 7am until late evening. With the incident we had, with Irfan puking and all, we made it safely up to the town in around 20 minutes. The first thing that greeted us was a small roundabout around a cute clock tower. The town center was charming with a small post office, a police station and a couple of inns - Shahzan and Puncak Inn. There was also a new sports complex being build overlooking the Golf Course.
Since it was too early to check in still, we stopped for lunch at Puncak Inn. It was a newly refurbished hotel offering basic rooms. There is a coffee house where we had some food. While waiting for our orders, we explored the surrounding area, took some pictures. My boys ran around at a small park as the weather was cool even at midday. There were also a couple of small gift shops.
The Smokehouse is located further up the hill, along the road to the famous Jerlau Waterfall. It took about 5 minutes to drive up from the clock tower, past a mosque, the town council building, turning left uphill pass a second roundabout. That will take us past a small row of food stall - a must visit if you are visiting on a budget. We will then pass a children playground and a health center on the left. About 400 meters further, the Smokehouse will emerge on the left around a sharp bend.
* continued in Part II here *
A lot have changed since as far as The Gap was concerned. A new route was opened, for the traffic coming downhill just round the corner from The Gap. Now, one does not have to wait for the traffic flow coming up or returning down as the routes were now opened both ways. Therefore, The Gap was practically gone. There were no more traffic waiting to go up the hill, and hence no shops there anymore. Some of the charm was definitely lost, although the fact that parallel routes were opened splet convenience for road users.