Bukit Tinggi (which means "High Hill" in Malay) is a relatively "new" highlands resort in Pahang compared to Fraser's Hill or Cameron Highlands.
But it is nevertheless popular like the other hill destinations of Pahang for its variety of rather unique theme offerings.
Developed by the Berjaya Group of companies, the resort there is now known as the Berjaya Hills Resort.
Bukit Tinggi, encompassing about 16,000 acres, and surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, is located about 48 km away, or less than an hour’s drive, from Kuala Lumpur via the Kuala Lumpur-Karak (or East-West ) Highway.
Unlike the visibly tall hotel structures of Genting Highlands high up on the hills, you cannot see the picturesque buildings of Bukit Tinggi from the highway, as it is hidden and clad by the rugged hills and green jungle from view.
But when you are at about 2,600 feet on the way up the hill, you can get a first glimpse of the castle-like colorful structure of Colmar Tropicale, quaintly nestling among the green pine trees of the lush terrain.
This highland resort has something for everyone in the family. Children will enjoy feeding and playing with rabbits and adults will enjoy sports activities, like bowling, or a game of golf there. And street performances will captivate everyone at the French-themed town.
Horse - Riding and Golf Course
You can enjoy a horse ride at the Stable to take in the scenic views or tee off at the Bukit Tinggi Golf and Country Club – the resort’s 18-hole international standard golf course.
There are also courts for tennis, badminton, squash, and facilities for snooker, table-tennis, gym, including a bowling center.
Rabbit Park and Deer Sanctuary
Children will find the Rabbit Park to be an irresistible attraction. Rabbits of all sizes run about and children can feed, touch and cuddle them. The big ones known as Flemish Rabbits are really huge. It is a good way to teach children about rabbits and to gently take care of them.
Children can also take a donkey ride there or try archery, and there is a deer sanctuary, with a few sambar deers, located just beside the Rabbit Park.
Colmar Tropicale Resort
Perhaps the main attraction at Bukit Tinggi is the Colmar Tropicale, a French-themed resort town, a replica of the original 18th century Colmar Village in Alsace, France.
When entering the castle-like building, we first walk across a wooden drawbridge, and we'll come to a high tower designed after the Riquewihr Tower in Alsace. There is a cuckoo clock at the top, where as the clock chimes every 15 minutes and on the hour, a wooden cuckoo comes out, thrilling the children especially.
Inside the Colmar Tropicale building, we come to find Colmar Square, a cobblestone courtyard, with colorful buildings resembling a rural French village, and with hotels and food outlets on either sides.
Further away there is a wishing well and fountain, as well as a viewing tower, where you can get a scenic view of the surrounding hills.
This delightful square enjoys immense popularity among visitors for its outdoor dining and exciting street performances.
Higher up at 3,500 feet above sea level is the Zen-inspired Japanese Village, where you can stroll along the landscaped Japanese Garden.
And if you feel like it, you can rejuvenate at the Tatami Spa or participate in a tea drinking ceremony at the authentic wooden Japanese Tea House.
This Japanese Village in the middle of a tropical forest is the work of a Japanese architect, Kaio Ariizumi.
Together with other experts he designed the landscape according to the ambiance of a typical Japanese village, with stoned lightings, pebbled streams and pools with koi fishes and varieties of Japanese flora.
The Japanese garden here is artistically crafted, with bonsai trees and bamboo plants, small bridge crossing with cobbled stones, pool and waterfalls – elements of nature typical of a Japanese traditional village.
Crossing the small bridge there is an authentic Japanese tea house, which is covered with Japanese tatami mat and door of paper with wooden frames.
Here, guests can browse the exhibit on Japanese handicrafts and participate in a Japanese-style tea drinking ceremony.
A Japanese restaurant (the Ryo Zan Tei) connects the garden to the Botanical Garden with its collection of colorful temperate flowers and fruits, and exotic tropical plants.
Night adventure activities, like a night walk and jungle trekking can be conducted at the Botanical Garden.
If you wish to stay at Bukit Tinggi, hotel and apartment accommodation can be found at the Bukit Tinggi Golf & Country Club, the Colmar Tropicale, the Meranti Park Suites, and the tastefully furnished Japanese-style Sakura and Ume Tatami Suites.
Visit the Pahang Hotels and Resorts Directory web-page for contact numbers and websites of hotels, resorts and other accommodation in the main towns of Pahang.
GETTING TO BUKIT TINGGI
The drive uphill to the Bukit Tinggi Resort (now known as Berjaya Hills Resort) is a pleasant one with well-paved tarmac roads although there are some precarious bends. Tall tropical trees and plants surround most of the route to the top.
From the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway, the turnoff to the Bukit Tinggi Resort is at the 48 km milestone, about a few kilometers down after the exit points to Janda Baik and the Selesa Hillhomes.
And if you're coming from Kuantan, take the same highway to Kuala Lumpur for a journey of about two and half hours.
I hope you've enjoyed Bukit Tinggi, one of the popular cool highlands resorts and destinations in Pahang. And while you are here in Pahang, do visit the other attractions in the delightful state.
As always, from me...