Fraser’s Hill Valentine’s Part II: Strawberry farm, Allan’s Water boat paddling, Restoran Nine Thy Eight KKB seafood dinner and a Valentine’s Day present

I’m not sure who Aida Daniya is but she (?) seems to have taken over Fraser’s Hill with a vengeance. Not only does she have a picturesque tea house, said restaurant overlooks a beautiful garden and there’s also a strawberry nursery named after her. We walked down to the garden after lunch at Aida Daniya Tea House – there are well tended flowers and plenty of spots to take the perfect Instagram photo.

Wake up and smell the flowers! Background: I pretended to be possessed by a female ghost on the drive up. I let her come out to play.

My Mandy was very proud of this photo. 💁‍♀️

I tried to recreate her pose. Unsuccessfully. 💁‍♂️

We tried doing this trendy shot at Sekinchan but failed to get a good photo. This is a better attempt.

The flowers here are exceedingly beautiful – it must be the cool weather here. 🌸 The unforgiving sun down the hill tends to wilt flowers.

We headed over to Fraser’s Hill Strawberry Garden (now renamed Aida Daniya Strawberry Garden) but it was unfortunately closed. Luckily the gate was partially open so we took the opportunity to do a little breaking and entering.

The F&B outlets were closed but the nursery was visible. One strawberry fell down from its vine so I thought it’ll be permissible to consume the strawberry instead of allowing it to rot. I did feel mildly guilty about doing so but hey, it’s not like I plucked the damn thing from its creeper. That would delve into morally questionable territory, perhaps even theft by consumption.

It’s not very delicious but grown locally. 🍓

We also went to Allan’s Water. This is a place run by Tourism Malaysia where you can feed fishes and rent paddle boats for RM 8/15 minutes.

We went on a working weekday so there was no one paddling, just a family feeding the fishes. 🐠

The river section you can use is quite large, but blocked at two ends with strategically placed logs and obstructions so you can’t go too far.

It’s far enough to give you a sense of space and privacy though.

I found it very peaceful and the weather at Fraser’s Hill is perfect for this type of activity. The temperature was in the high teens all morning so you don’t sweat. There’s also a cool breeze going on that makes you feel like you’re in a different (colder) country.

My only complaint was that the life vests provided smells really bad. They probably haven’t been washed in years! It stinks to high heaven. Aside from that, paddling in the water under the mild sun and cool weather with my Mandy was perfect.

We decided to head down for our seafood dinner after so we drove to the Fraser’s Hill Clock Tower for some final photos…

…before making the 1 hour journey to Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB).

We saw a family of monkeys (baboons?) on the windy road down. There was a male who got quite inquisitive and kept trying to look into our stopped car. I think he might have stolen my girlfriend’s handbag had she wound down the window. He looks like that type of monkey. 🐒

Our Valentine’s Day dinner was at Restoran Nine Thy Eight at KKB. Mandy loves crabs and I like Chinese food so a Chinese seafood restaurant was the perfect place to go. This is a sleepy restaurant that serves primarily locals and the occasional out-of-state people heading to Genting or Fraser’s Hill. The owner is very friendly and was happy to recommend several of their signature dishes.

This is Crab Porridge (RM 61.60) which is their flagship specialty. 🦀 It uses a whole crab cooked in very flavorsome porridge topped with some crunchy bits. We hesitated before ordering this coz Mandy likes other ways of cooking crab but she finally decided to give this one a try. It’s what this restaurant is famous for after all.

Here’s what it looks like after it’s been mixed. I’m not a big fan of porridge. I usually find porridge too mild but Restoran Nine Thy Eight does an excellent version of crab porridge. The congee is so flavorful and thick! It’s packed with savory and crab goodness. I finished the lion’s share of this porridge despite not generally liking congee. Delicious!

I also ordered another specialty of theirs – Catfish Steamed with Soy Sauce and Half Boiled Egg (RM 26). 🐟 How unique! I’ve never seen soft boiled egg paired with Chinese style steamed fish. It’s really good! The creamy egg yolk adds richness and mouthfeel to the soft and tender catfish meat. I wish this place was nearer so I can eat this every day. That’s the highest compliment I can give this dish. I want to smash 3 platters of this in a single sitting!

Tofu Cooked with Broccoli and Mushroom (RM 16). 🥦 We ordered this just to fulfil our vegetable quota. It tasted mediocre in comparison to the two other excellent dishes. It probably isn’t bad by in another setting but we’ve just had two superlative dishes so this seemed to pale as a result.

The bill came up to RM 120 for the food and drinks. I ordered a large beer and Mandy had carrot juice. Restoran Nine Thy Eight does their signature dishes very well. I highly recommend it and will be back if I pass by the area again. I’ll like to try their other flagship dishes. The prices are very reasonable too.

We got back home at around 10:30 pm and I presented my girlfriend her Valentine’s Day gift. I noticed her looking at a Swarovski pendant last month and skilfully brought her to Sunway Pyramid to look at other jewellery to see what kind she likes. It wasn’t very subtle but I got to know her tastes and preferences.

I bought her this gold necklace to go with…

…a golden M from Wah Chan’s official Disney Mickey Mouse collection.

This is what the pendant and chain looks like combined. It cost around 1.2k for everything. The M was supposed to stand for Mickey but here it stands for Mandy. It’s a coincidence they both have the same initial.

Happy Valentine’s Day Mandy! I love you. 💕

Fraser’s Hill Valentine’s Part I: Aida Daniya Tea House, steamboat dinner, a gruesome night drive up

I wanted to surprise my girlfriend with a trip to Pulau Ketam (which was our first trip together) on Valentine’s Day, but I thought going again so soon would be diminish the magic. I decided on Fraser’s Hill instead – a cool hilltop destination about 2.5 hours from KL. She’s never been there before and I booked a nice AirBNB on the top floor of Silverpark Resort with amazing views to spend the night.

She has her off day on Thursday (which coincidentally is 14th February) and I won’t start work until the 18th so it’s perfect for a weekday getaway without massive crowds of people. Indeed, Fraser’s Hill was almost deserted. It was also rainy and misty on the way up and I entertained (scared?) Mandy with ghost stories and pretended to be possessed by a female ghost. She was not amused. 😨

I planned this trip a month back and sent her a Powerpoint presentation to detail what I have planned for Valentine’s. Haha. What a corporate thing to do. It came complete with an itinerary, which we managed to complete!

I also arranged for flowers to be delivered to her workplace. I got her 12 roses.

She finished work at 6:30 pm and I flew in from Pontianak at 3 pm and I timed it so I just had enough time to buy ingredients for a steamboat dinner and pick her up from work. It was 10:30 pm by the time we checked into our apartment at Fraser’s Hill.

The place is very nice. It’s a studio unit with two queen beds…

Two balconies – this is the one facing down the hill (too misty to see anything unfortunately but the view is great on a clear day)

And this is the one facing inwards.

There’s also a full kitchen and I decided to cook her a steamboat dinner since it was so late when we got there.

Here’s the spread for the night! I got pork slices, two types of fishballs, bacon, soft tofu, assorted seafood, sausages, broccoli, eggs and mushrooms.

I used a tom yam – chicken stock base with Shaoxing wine and fish sauce. Unfortunately, I spilled the Shaoxing wine and fish sauce all over the back car cushion on the way up. It smells so bad now. I need to get it cleaned.

I also brought up some Mi Sedaap noodles I got from my recent Pontianak trip to enjoy with the steamboat. This is a new type of Mi Sedaap soup noodles with real egg. Only available in Indonesia.

My babe surprised me with a cheesecake that she made herself! She labored over this a few days ago coz she was thinking of what to get me. This is the first cake she has ever baked.

It’s really delicious! I would have said it’s yummy even if it’s not coz she made it for me, but honestly, this tasted great! It’s been contributing to my expanding waistline coz I’ve been eating it everyday since.

The next day we headed over to Aida Daniya Tea House for lunch after checking out. This place has amazing views and a comfortable balcony where you can enjoy the cool breeze and see the beautiful flowers growing at the cultivated park beneath.

This is the view we had sitting at the tables outside.

I ordered a double cappuccino (RM 15) as my morning coffee…

…and we got another couple to take a photo of us at the balcony.

We also ordered their English cream tea for two (RM 38)…

…which came with scones, clotted cream, jam and a selection of cakes and pies. The highlight was the orange cake, the pie and the other cakes were forgettable and the scones weren’t the best.

We also had something called an Irish Chicken (RM 25) which is a gruesome creation of a deep fried chicken roll slathered with mashed potatoes. It doesn’t taste half bad but it didn’t taste good either. The bill came up to RM 85.80. You pay for the scenic views and the nice ambiance, not so much the food. The food was quite mediocre but I enjoyed the quiet and cool surroundings. Recommended if you want a nice place to chill in Fraser’s Hill but manage your expectations on the food.

I love you my Mandy! <3

Part II of our Fraser’s Hill trip coming soon!

11 photos from the Fraser’s Hill trip

frasers trip

The obligatory shot at the iconic Fraser’s Hill clock tower. I got a very unwilling dude who was just chilling there to take it for me. Heh.

silverpark

We stayed at Fraser’s Silverpark Resort – had a booking for a studio but got upgraded to a two bedroom suite.

frasers hill balcony

It has a balcony and…

frasers hill morning

…a great view of nature! :)

frasers hill silverpark

The resort is poorly maintained with temperamental hot water but it was relatively clean.

bug

Plenty of interesting insects you’ll be hard pressed to find in the city too.

frasers fog

Fraser’s Hill is colder than I remembered it to be – it was rather chilly and foggy when we were there. I loved the weather!

jura 16

A bottle of Jura 16 y/o single malt and you’re set for the night. There’s nothing much to do here except chill at night. That’s part of the appeal. :)

hah

Hah! smirk

fiona me

Here’s a shot of me and Fiona!

frasers hill smokehouse

Wanted to have English tea at Ye Olde Smokehouse before we drove down but unfortunately they don’t serve scones until 3 pm. Nevertheless, it was a great trip up! :)

Fraser’s Hill travel report

frasers clock tower

It took me this long to finally write the full Fraser’s Hill trip report (not that kind of trip) but I swear to God, I’m going to get it done today! Fraser’s Hill has a very interesting history behind it. It was named after a Scotsman who had dealings with opium but after falling off the face of the Earth it was turned into a colonial hill resort.

ye olde smokehouse frasers hill

There are basically three hill resorts within reasonable driving distance in Klang Valley. The most popular one would be Genting Highlands, where fortunes are won or lost at a roll of a dice (as the saying goes). I got rather bored of the place, I can’t remember how often I’m been to the Amusement Park alone. Also, I’m still sore about the RM 35k loss. hmph

Cameron Highlands is more family friendly with it’s strawberry plucking and tea plantations but I’ve been there about a year or so back and found it crowded and over commercialized while I’ve never been to Fraser’s Hill.

(or so I thought)

charles suite

My dad told me that we went to Fraser’s Hill on one of our family vacations when I was a kid and even stayed at the same place – Ye Olde Smokehouse!

bed

I had doubts about Ye Old Smokehouse at Fraser’s Hill due to reports about noise (true), ants (didn’t see any) and general non-maintenance (not sure about this one). I found the place nice, rustic with an old English charm. The room we got is spacious, with a living room, a large bed and even a fake electric fireplace.

fireplace

Charming!

There is not much to do in Fraser’s Hill – it’s a chill out place for sure, but make sure you:

1. Visit the Fraser’s Hill Clock Tower
2. Take a dip in the freezing Jeriau Waterfalls
3. Have Devonshire tea

tea frasers

It’s primarily a destination for people into hiking and bird-watching. We managed to see several (old) Caucasian people with binoculars and books titled “Species of birds” at the resort we stayed at.

ye old smokehouse frasers hill

I went there primarily to chill and get some R&R. We went up quite late and Ye Old Smokehouse was kind enough to let us check out very late too (5 pm). You’ll need your own car and food is quite limited around Fraser’s Hill. We ate at Puncak Restaurant where the food courts are.

restauran puncak

The food is alright but nothing to write home about. Be careful of the puzzling entrance to the food courts!

frasers breakfast

Ye Olde Smokehouse serves a complimentary breakfast which is pretty good. However the best part of the trip for me is soaking in the tub for hours and hours until our skin shrivelled while talking, drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes with my friend.

manual censorship

I don’t think Dr M would approve though. smirk

suites

The reports about Ye Olde Smokehouse not having soundproofing is true. We woke up the second day hearing soft conversations and spoons being dropped in the dining room. Imagine how many families we kept awake with our excessively loud and raucous lovemaking at 3 am in the morning! FOL. smirk

frasers panoramic

Fraser’s Hill is awesome if you want a place that isn’t crowded or over commercialized – a cool, relaxing weekend break in an old English style hilltop resort. Go there if you want to get away from the stress in the city and take in the cool weather and slow pace of life.

Jeriau Waterfalls @ Fraser’s Hill

jeriau waterfalls

Jeriau Waterfalls is an incredible experience – imagine the cold hill resort temperature combined with the wind chill factor and a natural waterfall that isn’t heated (obviously). Intense. I couldn’t stop shivering. :)

jeriau waterfalls runoff

It’s on the GPS but don’t follow that – ask your resort concierge instead. I brought my Sony Cyber-shot TX-5 along coz it’s waterproof. It’s just a 15 minute drive from Ye Olde Smokehouse where we stayed and the GPS will attempt to take you down a road that you shouldn’t access. It’s a feeder road.

jeriau waterfall

Stop at the Jeriau Waterfalls gate (there are lots of cars parked so you won’t miss it) and it’s a 5 minute walk to the falls. Wikitravel says it’ a 15 minute walk but by my account it’s 5 minutes and we stopped to take interesting photos…

jeriau waterfalls house

…like this hut which has an ecosystem of itself on top of the roof. My travel companion spotted this one. Perhaps the company was good so it seemed shorter so YMMV (pun intended) but be careful coz some spots are slippery. >.<

jeriau waterfalls path

Jeriau Waterfalls is fucking cold. There is no other adjective to describe it. It’s as cold as a frigid bitch brimming with hatred, carrying enough emotional baggage that would cause even AirAsia to decline her wishes to pay 100 times the excess baggage fee.

Did I put you off? smirk

Don’t be, coz it’s worth the trip. Sure, the water isn’t clean. FML I swallowed a mouthful of water and I nearly puked. The spray from the waterfall, the wind chill and the mist at Fraser’s Hill – it’s unforgettable.

jeriau waterfalls frasers

It’s tonic for the soul!

jeriau waterfall me

Yup, I just had to do the traditional sixthseal.com pose. I can’t help myself, my psychiatrist says I need therapy. smirk

Devonshire tea and Welsh rarebit @ Ye Olde Smokehouse

me at ye olde smokehouse having devonshire tea

A rather dignified looking gentleman who looks remarkably like me having a civilized tea session at Ye Olde Smokehouse, Fraser’s Hill.

menu

It is almost certainly a sin (or at least it should be if it’s not) to go up to a British colonial hillside resort and not have Devonshire tea. The cool highlands breeze caressing your senses as you enjoy the scenic misty view while eating hot scones with clotted cream. Divine!

devonshire tea frasers hill

*record scratching sound*

Of course, it goes without saying that your food gets cold REALLY FAST. *potong stim

devonshire tea

My friend went for the Devonshire tea, which comes with scones, strawberry preserve and clotted cream. It’s RM 18 for the entire set.

tea

I was craving for something savory so I opted for the Elegant Highland Rarebit (RM 20), a fancy name for Welsh rarebit. The Welsh rarebit is served with a side of fries and my monthly quota of vegetables. I really liked it as it used real streaky bacon instead of that beef bacon nonsense.

welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit is usually made with beer or ale, but I don’t know if they do that over here since I couldn’t detect it. However, this concoction of bacon and hot melted cheese on top of toasted bread tasted delicious!

cream

All photos taken using the Sony Cyber-shot TX-5.

Fraser’s Hill – nothing like a nice little accident to make your day!

Incident report:

car damage

We were driving down to get some dinner at Hillview Restaurant at Puncak Inn (recommended by Wikitravel for their good hot soup) when we passed by the Fraser’s Hill food court. I made a sudden decision to go there instead and drove into the what I thought was the entrance.

diagram

Please refer to the diagram above. I actually drove half way in – both my front tires were down that cursed curb and I couldn’t reverse out despite a concerted attempt to do so. It was about a FOOT high. It just made a great deal of noise and smoke.

gas tank

Fuck it, you’re either in or you’re out so I drove all the way in, which resulted in a detachment of my rear left bumper. I can see a lot of indecent exposure in there – wires and something which I hope is not my gas tank (it’s on the same side).

driving

People were starting to gather around to look at the idiot who literally drove INTO the food court instead of using the entrance so I nonchalantly opened my door, walked up to them and asked – “Excuse me, how do I get out of here?”

foot long

A lady pointed me in the right direction and I’m glad to report that I didn’t need the car to be towed or anything – I just drove out of the pedestrian path, following it till it merges with the road, which luckily didn’t have a foot high curb on that side.

…and we ate at the very same food court, using the proper entrance this time. smirk