Malaysia is a tropical country, with a dry season and a rainy season. The country averages 2,000mm to 2,500mm of rain a year. If you are visiting Taiping, expect about double the rainfall as they experience around 4,000mm of rain a year. That does not mean that the area is a downer, with rain all the time. In fact, it is the perfect place to find peace and serenity when you want a break from the urban sprawl and hectic work lifestyle.
Taiping is located about 300 kilometers north-northwest of Kuala Lumpur. Although it is not as famous as the Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands, it does have impressive views, and forest reserves. This is the main attraction of Taiping: greenery, lakes, and unspoiled nature.
Places to Visit
For the traveler opting to go off the beaten track, here are some sights which Taiping has to offer:
— Maxwell Hill. Also called Bukit Larut, the British established Maxwell Hill in the 1870’s. Private vehicles are not allowed entry to the hill resort. You would have to hire a Land Rover or take the 13km trek. The trek may take up to 5 hours, however, there are a lot of other people who take the time to walk up the 1,250 meter hill.
— Lake Gardens. This was the first public garden in Malaysia (called Malaya before Independence in 1963). Covering almost 26 hectares, it has 10 man-made lakes. The Angsana trees along Residency Road are a treat on their own.
— Taiping War Cemetery and Memorial. The Malayan peninsula was the site of some of the fiercest fighting during World War II. At the Taiping War Cemetery, are more than 850 graves of World War II casualties. Of these, more than 500 have not been identified.
Although Taiping is a relatively small town, there are a fair number of affordable accommodations. You can choose a hotel in Taiping which is close to any of the major attractions. There are also houses or villas for rent near the Lake Gardens, Maxwell Hill and the Burmese Pool. For those who plan to stay the night at Maxwell Hill, they can ask for reservations to the bungalows located within the area. At the Burmese Pool, a chalet is available for rent for those who wish to stay overnight.
When visiting Taiping, you can call ahead and arrange for reservations to hotels. Malaysians are very hospitable and they would be able to help you in going around the place. For a worry-free trip, you can pre-arrange all tours and side trips with a local travel agency.