Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)
Bukit Larut is Malaysia's oldest hill station and founded in 1884.
It' located just ten kilometres from quiet Taiping in Perak. Formerly
it was called Maxwell Hill. Bukit Larut is approximately 1250m above
sea level. It is located in the wettest part of the country, this
hill station experiences the highest rainfall in the country.
Bukit Larut is not nearly as developed as more
celebrated hill resorts such as the Cameron or Genting Highlands.
However, it preserves much more of the atmosphere of a colonial
hill station, with modest, welcoming bungalows, carefully cultivated
gardens, and a pervasive atmosphere of cool quietude.
Reaching the top of the hill requires a four-wheel drive jeep. Since
private vehicles are not allowed entry, the resort authority caters
to this service.
A land rover is available at the foot of the hill. It leaves every
hour from 7am to 6pm. A 30 minute drive up the steep hairpin bends
will bring you to the top. The narrow winding road was reportedly
built shortly after World War II and was completed in 1948.
The road up twist and turns through tropical virgin
jungle, and fresh green fragrance and cool air greeting you as you
ascend. In the past, coffee and tea were grown on an experimental
basis but seized to continue due to transport and logistic complexities.
Midway to the top is the Tea Garden House situated. That was once
part of an tea-estate. The view at this point is magnificent and
features the entire Taiping town as well as the Lake Gardens. Also
visible are the suburbs of Aulong and Simpang and the 19km stretch
of Taiping - Port Weld road.
At the summit you are treated to a spectacular
view of the West Coast of the peninsula. On a clear day, it is possible
to view the sweeping coastline stretching from Pangkor Island to
Visitors are usually enthusiastic about attempting an invigorating
climb to the Cottage, which incidentally happens to be the only
The hill is riddled with groves of evergreens and vibrantly colorful
flora and fauna. Nowhere in Malaysia will you witness a wide canvass
of roses, dahlias, daisies, pansies, petunias, lupines and marigold
abound in profusion. The cool climate also favours golden sunflowers,
reputedly the largest variety in the country. To top it all there
is a waterfall for cool fun.
Bird life here is plentiful. The best trail for bird watchers is
the Gunung Hijau Trail, which spirals up towards the summit of Gunung
Hijau, one of the peaks of the hills. The unspoilt mountain forest
is also home to smaller fauna such as gibbons and squirrels, while
its flora comprises species such as wild orchids, Mountain Giant
Fishtail Palm and many species of bracken-like ferns.
Besides leisurely strolls through verdant flower gardens or indulging
on relaxation spots, visitors also have the option of playing tennis,
1115 meters above sea level, just below the clouds.
Local rumour has it that there are several Sumatran tigers roaming
around in the dense jungle. Occasionally, they loiter on the resort
grounds but escape being sighted yet leaving only their footprints
Visitors can either stay at the Bukit Larut Resthouse or by making
reservation through the Superintendent of Bukit Larut, Taiping,
Tel: 05- 827243 / 827241.
A Land Rover service at the foot of the hill is available at hourly
intervals from 7.00am to 6.00pm daily. Fares are RM 2.50 for adults
and RM1.00 for children.