Bukit larut was founded in 1884 by William Edward Maxwell, the British Assistant Resident of Perak. Perched at 1250m above sea level, it is the wettest place in Malaysia, with an annual rainfall of over 500cm. Temperature here hovers around 15 degrees centigrade in the early morning and late afternoon, dipping to 10 degrees centigrade at night.
The Tea Garden House, situated mid-way up the hill, was once the office of a tea plantation. However, when their tea plants did not grow very well here, the British shifted their agricultural endeavour to the Cameron Highlands, where the Boh Tea Plantation is now. All types of Malaysian flowers including the rare giant fishtail palm thrive here while tulips are grown on an experimental basis. The golden sunflowers grown here are the largest in the country.
On a clear day, one can view the peninsular coastline and the Straits of Malacca, sometimes stretching as far as Penang to the north and Pangkor Island to the south. The scenery is captivating during the day, magical and bewitching at night. However, the view is often obscured by cloud build-up in the afternoon, especially from September to December.
Kellie's Castle was meant to be a home away from home for Scottish Planter, William Kellie Smith in the 20th century. Being far away from home, Kellie desired his new residence to be reminiscent of his home back in Scotland. The castle is perched on top of a hill in what used to be a rubber estate.
William Kellie Smith was an interesting man who was popular with his South Indian workers. Kind at heart, he erected a Hindu shrine for his workers on the castle premises. As a token of appreciation, his workers erected a statue of Kellie complete with a white suit and hat.
Construction of this unique castle began in 1915. However, it came to an abrupt halt with Kellie's sudden death in 1926. The solitary castle, looks almost surreal in these wild plantations of Perak, it projects a strong personality and an aura of mystery.
Recently, efforts have been made by the Perak State Government to rescue this magnificent structure from the encroaching foliage. Besides being haunted, the castle is believed to have hidden rooms and secret underground tunnels.
The road that leads to Kellie's Castle follows the contours of the land in a dizzying, maze-like fashion, adding to the mystery and romance of the place.
Pangkor, with its charming mix of fishing settlements and resorts, is a fascinating and convenient holiday destination. It presents the visitor with a rare chance to live near fishermen and observe their lifestyle and also to simply enjoy the fine beaches and resort amenities.
The fishermen live in scattered settlements on the eastern side, facing the town of Lumut and Teluk Batik. Visitors get a chance to see some of them on the 40-minute ferry ride from Lumut as the ferry stops at the main settlements of Sungai Pinang Kecil and Sungai Pinang Besar before landing at Pangkor Town.
Pangkor's two popular beach areas of Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah offer sun and sea enthusiasts activities like scuba-diving, snorkelling, wind-surfing and fishing. While Pasir Bogak is quite developed, Teluk Nipah still retains its kampung or village atmosphere. Teluk Ketapang or Turtle Bay still receives turtles on their egg-laying pilgrimages. Some of the resorts on the island also have excellent golf courses on their property.