RAUB – A three-day and two-night excursion at Fraser’s Hill was organised by Student Experience, UTM International, UTM Skudai from 24th September 2020 till 26th September 2020 as a leisure and recreational activity to explore the beauty of nature in Malaysia and acted as a bonding event between international students and Malaysian locals.
The “Fraser’s Hill Trails Exploration” program was participated by 19 international students, one local student, and seven local staff from UTM International and UTM Security Division. The program was a great success with the participation of full-time international students from eight countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan and Ukraine.
Fraser’s Hill was a British colonial hill station that has not been ravaged by mass tourism and unchecked development, and its forests which are home to indigenous species have not been felled for illegal farm lands. The high land is a perfect location for leisure excursion especially in preparing students’ return to their hectic students’ life routine next semester.
The event began with a night walk along the Hemmant Trail. The stroll gave participants the opportunity to learn about the rainforest biodiversity and animal behaviours and thus, fostering a great sense of appreciation towards Mother Nature. The trail which passes through trees, ferns, and shrubs let the participants witnessed the nocturnal species that only come out at night. The participants enjoyed the night wandering experience which was accompanied by the sounds of the forest whilst watching the animals and plants from the rays of the moon.
There are seven trails to explore on Fraser’s Hill: Kindersley, Rompin, Mager, Abu Suradi, Hemmant, Bishop and Maxwell. However, only five trails were explored on the second day which are Mager, Abu Suradi, Hemmant, Bishop and Maxwell. Two groups of participants were formed for the tour and guided by two rangers. The trails journey took about 6.5km by distance.
The exploration of these trails helped to enrich their knowledge on the diversities of natural inhabitants such as the flora, fauna and herbal plants as well as get geographical information of this area. The uniqueness of the forests landscape as well as the endemic species available was worth exploring. Many activities were done along the trekking such as bird seeing, horse riding, archery, boating and flying fox.
Moreover, students were also given the opportunity to develop leadership, communication and some basic survival skills. The four hours trek and hike were the best way in fostering immediate trust, teamwork and networking among the participants despite their cultural and nationality differences.
The participants wish to have more of such nature bonding activities with more participants regardless of the wonderful presence of leeches and other unfamiliar creatures. Due to COVID-19 situation, it is a challenge to organise such event with a big number of participants. However, UTM International will keep looking forward to bring more edutourism events in the future.