Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands?

If you are touring Malaysia and would like to visit a hill resort but do not have time for both, which one should you visit, Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands?

Fraser’s Hill is closer to Kuala Lumpur and therefore quicker to get to if time is an issue (2 hours compared to 4 hours for Cameron Highlands).

Both resorts are at a similar altitude (15oom) and enjoy a relatively cool climate (by simmering Malaysian standards).  Fraser’s Hill was the damper and colder of the two during  our visits but that may have been due to the time of year (August for Fraser’s compared to December for Cameron Highlands).

Both were named after Scots and were originally intended to be Raj-style hill stations with English style bungalows, rose gardens and so on. Fraser’s Hill retains more of that atmosphere due it being by far the sleepier of the two.

Both have golf courses (9 holes in Fraser’s) and both have hotels called Ye Olde Smokehouse. We stayed in that hotel in Fraser’s Hill. Nice if you are feeling nostalgic about England. They served traditional British fare, the rooms were spacious with 4 poster beds and there was a cozy bar (empty). A bit like an up-market Fawlty Towers in the tropics. No, that’s being a bit unfair. It is actually a smart hotel for a special occasion or a romantic getaway.

Manuel, get the Major his gin.

Both resorts have jungle trails. Leeches tried to attach themselves to our legs at Fraser’s whereas we didn’t encounter any at Cameron Highlands but that could have been due to the weather. Both resorts have waterfalls nearby.

Jeriau Waterfall, Fraser's Hill

Overall there was not a great deal to do at Fraser’s Hill. There was a definite off-season feel to the place with many establishments closed. Besides the hotel there were only one or two places to eat and just a couple of general stores were open. To be fair our visit was 16 months ago and I am aware there were plans to develop the place so perhaps things have changed since.

On the other hand there were plenty of attractions during our recent trip to Cameron Highlands and a much greater choice of restaurants, shops and accommodation. 

We had a nice time at Fraser’s Hill but I’m not in any great hurry to revisit. As they say, ‘Done that, been there and got the T-shirt’ (actually I didn’t get the T-shirt as there weren’t any on sale).

If I had to chose between the two I would suggest Cameron Highlands.

Ye Olde Smokehouse, Fraser's Hill