Up in the hills 13km northeast of Taiping, BUKIT LARUT – known in colonial times as Maxwell Hill – is Malaysia’s smallest and oldest hill station. The climate is wonderfully cool, and on a clear day there are spectacular views down to the west coast. This is the wettest place in Malaysia, however, so the top is often atmospherically shrouded in cloud. A scattering of elderly bungalows offer accommodation, but for many visitors the stiff walk up here through the forests, with the chance to do some birdwatching, is the main draw; you’ll need a full day for this, even if you manage to catch the limited Land Rover service up to the top and then walk back to town.

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