Bukit Larut which was formerly known as Maxwell Hill is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. It was established in 1884 by William Edward Maxwell, Assistant British Resident of Perak to cater for the needs of the colonial officials who need a break from the heat of the lowlands. At 1,250 m above sea level, Bukit Larut's daily temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C. Besides being the oldest hill, it also holds the record as the wettest place in Malaysia.
Gazetted as a permanent forest reserve in 1910, Maxwell Hill is one of the least developed hill resort in the country. There is no international standard hotel here and accommodation is basically bungalows and rest houses, some of which were built almost a century ago. This hill is also the smallest hill compared to the other hill resorts of Malaysia.
In a clear day, you will be able to see a panoramic view of the west coast of Malaysia from Penang down to Pangkor Island. Nature lovers will appreciate the daisies, tulips, pansies, marigold, roses, dahlias, petunias and sunflowers that are planted here.
As there are not much "theme park" type of facilities on this hill, most of the visitors who come here are bird-watchers and nature lovers. The undeveloped hill has enabled many species of birds, squirrels and gibbons to flourish here. As you go up the hill, you will be able to see the lush tropical rain forest with various flora and fauna that grow in abundance here. Remember to bring along your binocular and camera to capture the colourful birds that perch on the trees and the surrounding plants.
There are many jungle trails and one of the popular one is the Gunung Hijau trail. This trail leads you to the peak of Gunung Hijau at 1,449 m above sea level. Along the way, you will be able to see many species of birds, the vantage view of Taiping town, the exotic wild orchids, ferns and other flora and fauna.
Maxwell Hill is situated 9 km away from Taiping town and 290 km from the city of Kuala Lumpur. After arriving in Taiping town, go towards Taiping Lake Garden and follow the turning to Jalan Air Terjun towards the foot of the hill.
From the foot of the hill, the journey up to the summit was using four wheel drive managed by the government. The roads up the hill are steep and narrow with 72 sharp bends.
Unfortunately, the transport up and down the hill had been halted a few years ago due to landslides on the hill. No news when it will be up and running. However, you will still be able to hike up the hill.
The distance from the foothills to the peak is about 13km. If you hike, a round trip will take you 7-8 hours to complete. If you plan to go, it's always good to start early.
Here's the address of the office. Office is open from 7am to 5pm daily.
Bukit Larut Recreational Area Office
Perak Darul Ridzuan
Tel:+605 807 7241, +605 807 7243