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Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus ©Ian Montgomery Website

Pahang is the third largest state in Malaysia, after Sarawak and Sabah, occupying the huge Pahang River river basin. It is bordered to the north by Kelantan, to the west by Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, to the south by Johor and to the east by Terengganu and the South China Sea. Its state capital is Kuantan, and the royal seat is at Pekan. Other important towns include Jerantut, Kuala Lipis, Temerloh and the hill resorts of Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Bukit Tinggi and Fraser's Hill.

The physical geography can be broken into roughly three sections: the highlands, the rainforest, and the coastal areas.

Peninsular Malaysia straddles a rich quartz vein that is associated with the mountain range in the center. Rainforest covers much of the highlands, but it tends to be thinner, with more deciduous trees. Ferns are also extremely common, thanks mainly to the high humidity and fog that permeates the area.

The Cameron Highlands area in the west is home to extensive tea plantations. The area is the highest on the mainland, and the climate is temperate enough to have distinct temperature variations year round. The area is also known as a major supplier of legumes and vegetables to both Malaysia and Singapore.

Genting Highlands is known as Malaysia's playground. It is home to several hotels, a theme park and Malaysia's only casino. Genting Highlands was developed by Lim Goh Tong, who envisioned a hillside getaway destination for people wanting to get away from city hustle and bustle, and is conveniently situated 40 minutes from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, accessible by highway. The border of Genting Highlands straddles both the states of Pahang and Selangor.

The famous silk merchant and fashion designer Jim Thompson mysteriously disappeared in the area, and it was also home to the Communist guerrillas who fought the British during the 1950s.

Fraser's Hill was used as a British summer getaway to escape the tropical heat. It is distinctive that the road to and from Fraser's Hill is a single lane up the hill and traffic limited to a single direction at certain hours. It is now a small hamlet with British architectural buildings and also a holiday destination.

There is also a population of native Orang Asli who live in the area, although most have been relocated from the forests to other areas.

The north of the state is home to the country's largest national park, Taman Negara. This large primary rainforest is extensive, and is home to many rare or endangered animals, such as the tapir, kancil, tigers and leopards.

Rainforest covers 2/3 of the area of the state, and the peninsula's highest point, Gunung Tahan, is located within Taman Negara. Since the equator is so close, the rainforests in Malaysia are among the oldest in the world: roughly 130 million years old.

Two famous lakes are found in Pahang. Tasik Bera is a Ramsar site and is important for its rich freshwater peat environment, home to various flora and fauna. The Semelai Orang Asli live in the area and continue their traditional way of life, hunting, fishing and making use of their natural environment.

Tasik Cini is home to a legend whereby a dragon was believed to reside in the lake. Talks also abound about a lost city that sunk beneath the water. Famed for its lotus blooms, recently controversy has sparked with mismanaged tourism development resulting in the massive die off of trees, and recent findings of pollution in the water.

Coastal Areas
The largely mountainous state flattens out towards the coastline, and this is where the state capital Kuantan is located. There are also many islands offshore, including Pulau Tioman, with extensive coral reef systems. Fine stretches of beach are found from Kuantan heading to Terengganu.

A traditional fishing industry still exists along the coast. Keropok dried fish cakes are a welcome favourite among locals and traditional industry includes the mass processing of dried fish and seafood as well as the famed keropok lekor.

Top Sites

Fraser's Hill


Satellite View

Fraser's Hill is a preferred destination because a large number of species of mountain birds thrive comfortably in the most conductive habitats here, and at certain times of the year, migratory birds make their presence felt, although briefly. The avifauna here and in a few other higher altitude spots in Malaysia is very different from the surround9ing area and rather like that of similar altitudes in the Himalayas…



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Useful Reading

*Field Guides & Bird Song

For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Malaysia as a whole - please see the Malaysia page of Fatbirder

Birds of Fraser's Hill - An Illustrated Guide and Checklist

by Morten Strange Nature?s Niche 2006
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9810499302

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Taman Negara - An Illustrated Guide and Checklist

by M. Strange & D. Yong, 2006, Paperback, 120 pages Draco Publishing
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9810544413

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Abbreviations Key

Bukit Fraser Wildlife Reserve


Satellite View

The Reserve was established in 1922, comprising of steep area of 2,979 ha. Most of the area is above 1,000 metres in altitude…

Endau-Rompin National Park


Satellite View

The Endau-Rompin area covers the boundary between Johor and Pahang. Sprawling over an estimated area of almost nine hundred suqare kilometers, it is one of the few remaining lowland forests in Peninsular Malaysia.

Kenong Rimba Park


Satellite View

Located in the valley of the Sungai Kenong, the Kenong Rimba Park offers cave explorations, rock climbing, jungle trekking, and fishing. This is also the home of an aboriginal race called the Batak.

Taman Negara National Park


Satellite View

Taman Negara, the oldest national park in Peninsular Malaysia was established in 1939. Formerly known as the King George V National Park, this park houses one of the oldest rainforest in the world.

Tasik Bera


Satellite View

Tasik Bera (Lake Bera) is located in the centre of Peninsular Malaysia, in the southwestern corner of the state of Pahang. There are many similarities to its more famous sister lake Tasik Chini, which lies 50 km to the northeast; both are shallow, seasonal, riverine lake systems which empty into the Pahang River to the north…

Tasik Chini Wetlands


Satellite View

Over 200 bird species have been recorded here. The best birding is along the fringes of the lakes or smaller tributaries. There are also forested trails for birding in lowland forests. Between October and March, many migratory birds descend upon Tasik Chini…

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012 [11 November] - Bruce Wedderburn


…This was a short weekend trip to Fraser Hill (Bukit Fraser) which is situated just over 100 km north of Kuala Lumpur. Bukit Fraser includes seven peaks, with altitudes ranging between 1,200 and 1,500 meters above sea level, so it is a lot cooler than Kuala Lumpur. The area is one of the top birding sites in Malaysia and features on most birding trip reports. ..

2014 [11 November] - Danny Lau and Lau Jia Sheng - Tioman Island

Report PDF

...Being “southerners” of the Malay Peninsula, vagrants or stray dispersants are harder to come by. The simplest of reasoning is that the vagrants would need to travel further south to reach us than to the “northerners” of the Malay Peninsula. A

2015 [03 March] - Mike Nelson - Fraser's Hill

Report PDF

...The birds didn’t disappoint with great looks at some common but no less stunning birds like Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Black-and-Crimson Oriole, Orange-breasted Trogon and Orange-bellied Leafbird, along with a few range-restricted megas such as Malaysian Partridge and Malayan Laughingthrush.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Fraser's Hill Education Centre


Fraser's Hill Nature Education Centre (FHNEC) is a joint project of the Fraser's Hill Development Corporation (FHDC) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia. Established in 1997, the centre's main aim is to help raise the public awareness of highland forests, a major part of Malaysia's rich natural heritage…

Frasers Hill Pine Resort


Fraser`s Hill - Malaysia Lodging Accommodations - Hotels, Resorts, Bed and Breakfasts, Inns, Vacation Rentals, Motels, Lodges, Condos, Guest Ranches, Apartments, Cabins, Cottages, All-Suite Hotels in Fraser`s Hill - Malaysia by Best Lodgings. Make secure hotel, resort, b&b, inn, vacation rental, motel, lodge, condo, apartment, cabin, cottage, and all-suite hotel real-time online reservations at many of these lodgings to simplify your vacation travel.!

Mutiara Taman Negara


Welcome to Mutiara Taman Negara, a natural sanctuary overlooking the Tembeling and Tahan rivers, all embraced by lush greenery and meandering valleys. It`s an eco-resort with 108 chalets, bungalows and guest-houses. All built Malaysia-style, complete with natural timber for rustic charm…

Shahzan Inn


Shahzan Inn is located on an evergreen plateau where the cool, refreshing climate is so different from the tropical lowlands…


Birds of Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser)


Fraser's Hill is a perfect destination for bird watchers (in this blog I will use the term "birder"). Birders can start spotting birds from the Gap and all the way up to the hill station. We have heard some birders saying that Fraser's Hill is one of the best birding sites in Asia.

Photographers & Artists

Birds & DSLR Addict – Tabib


Birds Photography from my backyard at Raub, Malaysia…

Photographer - Paul Huang - Birds of Frasers Hill


Frasers Hill has often been called THE birding place in Malaysia. It is also the place that hosts an International Bird Race every year in June. I have visited Frasers Hill twice and it is all it claims to be. The terrain is diverse and therefore you will see lowland forest, submontane birds right up to Montane birds. Unlike other hill stations, Frasers Hill has been largely the same for many years now. Its is a perfect place for a quiet holiday laced with extraordinary birding. I hope any development plans for Frasers Hill will give priority to maintaning its pristine natural environment…