Set 1500m up in the forested Titiwangsa mountains, 75km northeast of KL, the collection of colonial bungalows comprising FRASER’S HILL was established after World War I as one of Malaysia’s earliest hill stations, a retreat for administrators seeking relief from the torrid lowland climate. Though less visited than the much larger Cameron Highlands to the north, Fraser’s Hill boasts excellent nature trails and superb birdwatching; some 250 species have been recorded here, and the Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race each June ( sees teams competing to clock up as many as possible within a day. Even if you don’t have the slightest interest in twitching, the hill remains a good getaway from the heat and hubbub of KL, and at weekends (when accommodation prices shoot up) it draws families from as far away as Singapore. Bear in mind that no public transport comes all the way up here.

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