Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cuti Cuti Malaysia 5: Dec 29 2006, Seventh Day, Friday, Taiping, Bukit Larut, Tapah Road, Home

By 0630 everyone was ready to go and left for the foot of Bukit Larut soon after. I did not know how others felt but I was excited and couldn’t wait to be driven up. Once we were at the office I went in and paid for the first Land Rover to go up at 0830. Since it was still early we had to wait. While waiting I saw a lot of people walking up the hill and some were already coming down to indicate to me that Bukit Larut is a very popular exercise place for people in Taiping. After a while a retired school teacher came to approach us and we started talking. From our conversation I understood more about the community of Taiping. It is a town with a soul of community.

Our Land Rover was ready to leave eventually. There were twelve of us and the twelfth, later I found out, was the staff of the operator – Larut Matang Land Office. Sam and Mar sat in front with the driver and the rest at the back. Before we pulled out the driver left the back flip door down open and I thought he was going to close it when we moved but instead the twelfth person jump onto the flip and stand hanging on like a comic book superhero. Honestly I thought he would disembark somewhere close along the climb. Instead he stood that way all the way up to the peak. With the Land Rover going up very fast maneuvering the steep climb and corners he was really like a superhero. You should see it for yourself the next time you going up Bukit Larut make sure you take the first one in the morning. With both hands holding the mesh of the top and legs spreading wide he had positioned himself as if he was about to take off in the air flying through the forest. It was a sight. The disadvantage for me, since I sat at the edge, was that I had to hang on tight holding everyone in place from falling out of the Land Rover. Because of our superhero I had to be one as well. If not I could have taken few shots as a prove. The road was tight and steep and I understand why visitors had to be driven up.

Tulips of Bukit Larut

It was about 9 km up and we got to the main stop at 1036 m above the sea level at around 0915. We had two hours at the top and our Superhero told us to get back there to go down around 1045. The first question that I asked the keeper there was where was the Tulip garden. I was shown the direction that required us to walk up a bit more. The walk up was tiring but it was worth it as soon as you were at the tulip garden. The tulip garden is managed by the Cendana Resthouse where a fee of RM2 to be paid for entry. Nobody else were there so we sat around the tulips and enjoyed ourselves. My Nikon obviously was made to work overtime. We really just enjoyed and pleased with ourselves being there. The resthouse was also nicely refurbished giving it one restful feel and cosy resort look. My assessment was a nice place to stay and enjoy but for a night only. If you stay longer than that would be an overkill. The were other bungalows of course but very basic. One or two were under renovation and should look better once completed.

After a while we had enough and walked back down to wait for the ride down. We were still early but nobody wish to walk anywhere else so we lingered at the gazebo waiting and having a nice family bantering.

Exactly at 1100 we boarded and went down on the same land rover but minus our Superhero that now left behind to manage whatever he supposed to manage there. I discovered that we were sharing the ride with the people that were staying at the Cendana and two of them were two female experience mountain climbers. I over heard them talking about their climbs.
As I said earlier a lot of people take places like Taiping for granted and almost always skip it either on the way down south or up north. The location of the town away from the highway also plays an important role in this. If you look and explore it with different perspective I believe you would enjoy Taiping and you would not regret it. I certainly did not. Having spent two days there I believe it still has a lot to offer and I am going back there again, hopefully, soon. If you were from Taiping and reading this please email me and tell me what else I could do there.

We headed for breakfast straight away and I chose one mamak restaurant at the edge of the town because it will ensure variety. After breakfast without missing a bit we went back to the hotel finished our packing, checked out and left for home. Of course going home was not a straight forward thing for me ..LOL. We stopped at Bagan Serai for Baqir to shop for his school pants, Sg Perak for me to nap, and at Tapah Road to visit my sister-in-law, Bok. We were safely home around 2116.

Inside the Land Rover that took us down
The Crossing

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