“It’s like spring in Switzerland,” said a foreign tourist of Bukit Larut, formerly known as Maxwell Hill, which towers above the heritage town of Taiping.

Bukit Larut was founded in 1884 by William Edward Maxwell, the British Assistant Resident of Perak. Standing at a height of 1,036m (3,398ft) above sea level, it is the oldest hill station in Malaysia covering an area of approximately 7241.46 hectares. Currently, it is under the administration of the Taiping Municipal Council.

To get to the top, you can either hike or opt for the Land Rover service provided for by the council. The perpetually green summit is enveloped in mist and, being in the wettest part of the country, rain is a permanent fixture. The daily median temperature, hovering around 18 degree Celsius, makes Bukit Larut a perfect holiday destination.

Accommodation consists of three British colonial-era bungalows, namely, Angkasa Bungalow which takes 16 guests, is priced at RM600 a night; Beringin Bungalow which fits 12, costs RM400 a night; while Tempinis Bungalow, priced at RM600 per night, can take 16 guests.

At the peak, the panoramic vista of Taiping, stretching out to the Straits of Malacca, is a sight to behold. Equally stunning is the view of Taiping at night when thousands of flickering lights come alive like scattered stars on earth.

There are over 250 species of local birds flying freely in the wild. The highlight is in the months of April and September when the hill becomes the home for flocks of popular migratory birds such as the Barred Eagle-owl and Great Hornbill.

Drop by the Rose Garden Café between 9am and 4pm for a delightful dining experience with a choice of both local and western cuisines to choose from.

For nature lovers, it is like heaven on Earth. Come and experience the ambience for yourself. You will not regret it.

Rosli Mansor