Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A typical English village

It was a bit odd to be 'sold' the idea of Fraser's Hill as a typical English village. For one, it was built by a Scotsman. For two - it's in Malaysia.

This lovely little town, with its stone-built bungalows, clock tower and tall Scots Pines is quite charming. It is also surrounded by Malaysian rainforest, with native pines, lianas and beautiful orchids.

Though we were out of the haze in the city – rainforest is exactly that. Rain. Forest. And rainforests are full of lovely flowers and bugs. Lots of mosquitos, beetles and leeches.

Fraser’s Hill is renowned for its birds and is a major site for some rare and special species. However, being in a group of more than 20 people, bird watching wasn’t very easy.

On the first day we went for a two hour hike through the forest. The Bishop’s Trail was rough in places, but no one slipped or fell, and though we exited a bit muddy, everyone enjoyed the hike tremendously. Our guide stopped to check a camera trap which was set low on the path to track mammals. She had an extensive knowledge of the fauna and flora of the forest, showing us unusual plants, many of which are unique to the area.

When we returned from the trail we had ‘environmental games’ (which I won’t go into in detail, but it did involve me pretending to be an eagle for half an hour) and then a group supper in the Bungalow.

The group was made up of people aged 20-55, from the UK (me), New Zealand (Mike), Korea, Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Japan. Our supper was cooked by Mr Tan, a Chinese Malaysian who was one of the ‘old school’, cooking scones and tea cakes, roast chicken and the most amazing curries. During supper we told stories, sang songs, and talked.

It was a wonderful time and I have made new friends, learned many things, and walked in a rainforest! 

All my photos except the one of me and the tree, taken by another member of the group. 

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