It was somewhere in the early, dreary days of June where my sister and I suddenly decided that we'd hit the road again for an excitingly wild adventure after almost a year. This time around we took the trip with the parents, seeing that the wettest town in Malaysia, or Taiping as it's actually known was a place my mom once called home.
The weather was cool as we took the drive along the highway, a three hour journey along some very beautiful stretches of limestone hills, and an exhilarating drive through a tunnel and some creepy winding roads. After over three hours and a slight cramp on my right hip (for it was joined to my right leg which was destined to shift between the gas pedal and the brakes) we finally drove into Taiping town through the Changkat Jering exit. Needless to say, I was a wee bit disappointed at the fact that we were not welcomed with the slight showers Taiping is famous for. After all, as wikitravel candidly mentioned... "Locals do not wonder whether it will rain on a particular day, they wonder what time it will rain" I was naturally expecting some rain.
For what you'd call a small town, I was impressed with the signboards in Taiping as we drove around, looking for our destination for the day - Maxwell Hill, or Bukit Larut as it now known. Maxwell Hill happens to be one of the very first hill resorts in the country, and probably the least commercial. There are a few old-fashioned bungalows available for rent nestled snugly along the hill where people headed to for rest and recreation since 1844. Since our ride up was scheduled for 3pm, we had some time for lunch and to check out Taiping itself.
The picture on the top left are the row of shops near the shop where we had our lunch - Chinese food at one of those not so small hawker like stalls, randomly picked from the GPS list and another one serving Indian food for mom who is vegetarian. The food was tasty and surprisingly much, much cheaper than the food we usually get in our state. The sister and I joked that we're not exactly sure if it was being in the town itself, or if the food actually tasted better there. Not being usual fans of a local dessert called cendol, we were surprised to find the bowl of cendol we reluctantly shared to be actually pretty good! (The parents are cendol fans, probably from the days of their childhood when everything was fresh and unadulterated, which is how we ended up in the cendol place in the first place) And the second picture is one of the parking meter. Got a bit excited seeing one like this...
Taiping Lake Gardens
Because we like trees, it was near enough, and we still had time before our ride up to Maxwell Hill.
We didn't do much in the lake gardens, though because it was in the middle of the afternoon. However, we did see quite a few people spending the Friday afternoon there, walking along under the trees (there wasn't much else to do unless you counted the water activities, but no one seemed to be doing any water activities at that time) It was probably too hot anyway.
It was quite peaceful though, standing near the lake, watching the rain trees, and they were huge. The tree you see in the pictures stretch from across the street, forming a shaded arch along the whole road.
PS: I actually thought I could pull off the whole 3 day trip in one post... but I'm nodding off even as I sit here typing this PS, and I haven't even covered what we did for the rest of the day. Damn.