Fraser’s Hill is recognised globally as one of the most biologically diverse locations in one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries. The hill station is currently funded by the United Nations Development Programme which strongly endorses efforts to protect and conserve the flora and fauna on Bukit Fraser.
It really was a pleasure to walk outside in the garden of our hotel, and discover all sorts of wildlife tucked in every nook and cranny. We took J for a short walk around Allan’s Water, a reservoir that has been turned into a park near the town centre, and were fortunate to come across a family of kittens sleeping in a bush, as well as a number of Silver-eared Mesia hopping in the treetops, trilling their songs in the early morning light.
We also wandered down the Hemmant Trail, which is a very easy 1km trail that is located in a large grassy field behind the Genting Road Mosque, just across the road from the Abu Suradi trail that I talked about in my last post. This was a particular fun trail to bring J, because there were a couple of small wooden bridges over tiny trickling streams, which was great fun for him when we were crossing.
Warning: I would not suggest allowing toddlers to walk this trail by themselves as it has a few muddy patches where leeches lurk, but it should be okay for grownups – just make sure you wear covered shoes and socks, and bring some medicated oil (it makes a great leech repellant).
As J was only about 14 months old at the time, he was still pre-verbal, which meant that he was silent most of the time and only babbled soft words on occasion. This was the perfect time to bring him on bird-watching nature walks, as he would spend most of the walk observing quietly from the safety of his carrier. Additionally, his eyesight and gross motor skills were developed enough by this age to allow him to track fast moving creatures in the shadows of the rainforest, so he was often able to spot birds, squirrels and monkeys before we did and would start pointing at them to alert us to their presence! He was also mesmerised by simple things like flowers, leaves, moss and tree bark and we would let him touch and feel their different textures along the way.
After exploring the Hemmant Trail, we headed back to our hotel for lunch and a rest.
J woke up from his nap feeling all full of beans, so we took him downstairs and let him toddle around the garden of the hotel. This was a great opportunity for him to explore the outdoors in a safe environment. We let him roam around collect dried leaves and twigs and other treasures that he found intriguing.
Tip: Resist the urge to say ‘YUCK! THAT’S DIRTY!’ when your tot has picked up a leaf or flower off the ground to show you, or you will ruin his enthusiasm for exploration and discovery. Just grit your teeth and wash his hands off off later.
We wanted to visit the local strawberry farm and the Bird Interpretive center, but J was enjoying himself so much in the garden that we lost track of time. I guess we will have to make another trip to Fraser’s Hill at some point!