Tulips at Maxwell Hill

January 29th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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After postponing visit to Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut) Taiping twice, we managed to squeeze in some time during Chinese New Year. A good thing too, since the tulips (imported from Holland) start to bloom during January/February. It seems that Maxwell Hill is only place in Malaysia we can view tulips. Not sure how true that is.

Some quick guide on getting there:

1. Take PLUS highway towards north (if coming fro Klang Valley). Exit at Changkat Jering (its about 40-60 minutes from Jelapang toll plaza in Ipoh).
2. From Toll exit, follow the signboard to Taiping town – about 15 minutes drive.
3. Once you are near to town area, keep an eye for brown signboards that highlight tourist attractions. The entrance to Maxwell Hill is behind the Taiping Lake, so as long as you reach the lake, should be fine.
4. You can go on day trip, but be advised that you should make booking for the jeep transport. Only the government jeeps are allowed to be used within the hill reserves. The price is RM6 round trip to the “stesen”, RM7 if you are going to the chalets.
5. If you plan to walk up, its a 13km uphill hike on tarred road, which can take between 2 to 4 hours depending on speed and stamina.

We left Klang Valley at 9.45am and reached the foothill at 1.15pm. It was raining. We got our jeep tickets (it was scheduled to leave at 2pm). Took a fast meal at one of the stalls (Gerai 2) outside the main entrance. I had roti bakar while Then took nasi lemak. She said it was delicious and packed another set!

At 2.10pm, we got on the jeep. The journey took approximately 20 minutes, on a narrow winding road. You can practically view the deep ravine below, while taking photos was impossible due to twists and turns along the journey. The driver dropped us at the entrance of the stairs leading to Cendana Hut. We checked in and I took a quick nap while Then went exploring.

There are few accommodations at the hill itself but I guess Cendana Hut is most suitable for small groups as others are all bungalows. Kids may get bored fast so two nights stay is MORE than enough. Cendana Hut offers rooms with (RM150) and without (RM80) attached baths. There’s a common area with Astro-enabled TV, DVD player, drinking water facility, … and that’s about it.

We went for a walk late in the afternoon. It was foggy due to rain in the afternoon. We visited the green house (which is just below the Cendana Hut cafe) to view the tulips. It was a bit disappointing because I was under the impression that it will be a tulip FARM, not tulips on a row of tables. Anyway, we can safely tick that off our list – see tulips in Maxwell Hill. Took more photos and after the fog cleared a bit, we could see from Taiping town all the way to the sea. Some people say even Penang island can be visible at times.

We stopped at the Cendana Hut cafe on the way back. I had fried mee hoon (a bit salty) and tea (quite watery). After a short break, I read a bit of Jeffrey Archer’s False Impressions.

Took dinner at the Cafe. I had fried rice while Then took fried kuay teow. Tasted quite OK, but the food cooled very fast due to the weather. We took some photos of night scenes of Taiping town from the cafe. It was very cold, so we went back in and watched TV for a while.

The next day, we walked to the Watch Tower and Bridge (about 10 minutes downhill from Cendana Hut). Took some pictures and then backtracked to the Hut again. From there, we walked up hil for about 2.5km (took us 50 minutes) to reach the peak. There is a TM telecommunication tower with “No Entry” sign, so we just took some photos from outside the area. The walk back was faster because its downhill. We reached the Hut in 30 minutes time. Had a late breakfast – I had roti bakar while Then had chicken burger. Both were quite OK.

After that, we packed and checked out at noon. Our jeep trip downhill was packed with fellow tourists. Many of the jeeps were full, and the drivers drove more carefully. We reach the ground entrance after 30 minutes, thus ending our trip to Maxwell Hill.

There’s nothing much to do at the hilltop. You can spend time walking, at playground, go birdwatching, snap photos, visit tulip house (RM1 off-peak, RM2 peak season), and eat at Bukit Larut Coffee House or Cendana Hut. I was warned that Bukit Larut Coffee House food is not tasty. Cendana Hut food pricing is slightly high, but there’s no alternative.

Most surprisingly, we saw many Chinese families throughout the trip. I mean, its first day of Chinese New Year and these folks are going trekking at Maxwell Hill or picnicking at Taiping Lake Gardens! What happened to the open houses? 🙂 According to the jeep driver, some of the regular visitors are locals who come daily to get water from the natural sources at Maxwell Hill. These group mix their own herbal drinks and enjoy it there itself!

Oh ya, contact info:

Booking Jeep: +605-8077241/3

Cendana Hut / Kamalodge (both under same company):

Tel : 05-806 6789, 05-807 6789, 05-806 8789 Fax : 05-807 5188
E-mail : kamal_z@streamyx.com / perdanamekar@hotmail.com

Some links:

Taiping Talk thread on Maxwell Hill

Taiping Kakis

Stevengoh shares his experience

NST Article

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5 comments

  1. Killer says:

    Actually I don’t think it is true that only Maxwell Hill has Tulips, I have seen them in Cameron Highlands (the Mardi Agrotech Research Station, a must visit place).

    Actually Maxwell Hill is a place for day-trip as it does not have much in the way of entertaintment or other facilities. It is good that it has not been invaded commercially but on the other hand the place can be a bit boring. But if one is looking for quite place for some R & R or to do some thinking / creative work, then it might fit the bill. It is certainly not for families with kids. It is very different from Cameron and even quieter than Fraser’s Hills.

    I would rather spend the day at Taiping with its fine Lake Gardens and Zoo. A quick hike up the Bkt Larut can be just a part of that trip.

    Personally I would rather head to Fraser’s Hills for a quiet time. It is much larger and feels more peaceful minus all the commercial elements. It also has more choices in terms of walks and hikes that one can take.

  2. extreme says:

    Very nice site man. The flower is wonderful. I didn’t even manage to see it when I was there in 1990s. Do swap links. taipingkakis.blogspot.com
    tks.

  3. Hoshi says:

    Questions :-
    1. Will the Tulips bloom in December?
    2. Do you feel safe having a ride in the jeep to go up?