It has been nearly 20 years since I last made my trip up to the near top of Maxwell Hill, or more widely known now as Bukit Larut.
I was glad I made the effort to come up to be reminded on how beautiful, serene and tranquil it was up here. (Despite having 2 jeeps that malfunctioned along the way, one overrided engine, while the other ran out of gas).
This hill was named after William Edward Maxwell in 1875, a distinguished Malay scholar, thus favoured him.among the locals.
According to historical texts, the British were looking for a hill retreat away from the tropical heat for its senior officers. Maxwell at that time was working nearby Larut area, and only then did he realise that the hill was just in front of him. Perfect for a hill retreat.
Apparently, the hill retreat was constructed the 1880s, however the road to the peak was a rough track. Visitors had a choice of walking, taking a pony trek, or be carried on a sedan-chair.
50 years down history, in 1945, Taiping was declared the administrative center for Perak and Indonesia by the Japanese in WW2, the head Japanese official made made Maxwell Hill his residency and forced prisoners of war to build the road up the hill. The roads were built with sweat, toil, tears and blood of these suffered souls.
Walking up this hill while reminded of this history did send a cold chill down my spines and now that everything seemed so quiet and peaceful up here made me think of this verse:
Matthew 24:35 NASB
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
There were plentiful of cicadas up here! Poor thing these fellas..migrating from faraway only to die here. The climate has definitely changed. We used to welcome these cicadas at home during CNY many years ago, but they stopped coming by. I was greatly surprised to find them up here in the hill instead.
Beautiful flowers blossoming and nectars picked by little bees!
The journey up here by jeep takes an approximate 30 minutes and the first ride starts at 8 pm, with an hour interval for the next ride. They will give us 2 hours up here to relax and chill before descending.
What could be more awesome than to have a mini picnic breakkie up here!
Hot french pressed coffee stored in the thermos, accompanied by home made almond biscuits and pineapple tarts with pastries from Japan!
All there enjoyed at a temperature of 20C.
Flown all the way from.Japan, the raisin cake. Stickiylicious yummylicious gooeylicious! I am not a huge fan of raisins but once a while, I am game for it. It did go well with my long black!
Tokyo banana!!!! I never had the giraffe version before so I was superbly excited to eat it. The fillings tasted a little bit like lotus paste, can’t make out what it really was and the packaging was all written in Japanese. Not bad! But i still preferred the original banana flavour.
Looking at this sign, standing here knowing I was a 1000m above sea level, I was truly amazed how people back in the 1880s managed to carve paths up here, especially through these jungle and building these colonial houses up here. Damn….. my utmost respect to these departed ones.
For those who want to stay up here overnight and have a quiet camp in, you can actually rent these chalets from RM200/night onwards. Do look up and observe the gorgeous moss grown on the roofs. They were untouched for over 100 years old and apparently someone bidded to buy the roof for RM10,000!
Bzzt bzzt bzzt bzzt! From Maxwell Hill 1036m above sea level!