List of hill stations in Malaysia

Ten hill stations have been built in Malaysia's mountainous areas. Four are in the state of Pahang, two are in Perak, and one each are in Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, and Selangor. Cameron Highlands is the largest hill station, covering 71,220 hectares (175,988 acres) of land, as well as the highest, at an elevation of 1,830 metres (6,004 ft) above sea level.

Map of hill stations in Malaysia

The concept of a hill station in the Malay Peninsula began during the colonial period of British Malaya. The British were not used to the environment, especially the hot tropical weather, endemic illnesses, and mosquito breeding areas. As a result, they began looking for alternative ways to allow British people to stay in tropical countries for a longer durations, as the travel distance and the British government's leave policy prevented any people who had settled in tropical countries from returning to Britain on a regular basis. Due to Malaya's geographical factors and abundant natural beauty, the British government built hill stations in the country.[1] The first hill station, Penang Hill, was founded in 1787 on Penang Island. It was soon followed by Bukit Larut (1884) and Mount Kledang (1892) in Perak, Treacher Hill (1893) in Selangor, Fraser's Hill (1919) and Cameron Highlands (1925) in Pahang, and Mount Angsi (year unknown) in Negeri Sembilan. Plans were initially made to build another hill station, on Mount Tahan, but it was never built due to the northern part of Mount Tahan being in Kelantan and not under British control. It would have been the highest hill station in the country, at an elevation of 2,187 m (7,175 ft) above sea level.[1]

Following the independence of the Federation of Malaya in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, another three hill stations were built: Genting Highlands (1971) in Pahang, Mount Jerai (1986) in Kedah, and Bukit Tinggi (1994) in Pahang. Unlike the previous colonial hill stations, they were established by the local people rather than by the British.[2][3] Genting Highlands was inspired by founder Lim Goh Tong's business trip in the Cameron Highlands, where the fresh and cold climate of the hill station inspired him to build an entertainment center atop the hill. It includes hotels, amusement parks, cable cars, a golf course,[2] the only operating casino in Malaysia,[4] and the upcoming Genting SkyWorlds, which contains attractions with licensing agreements from 20th Century Studios and the Walt Disney Company.[5][6] However, recent development at hill stations, including the renovation and uplifting of those built by the colonial government, have brought concerns over potential environmental consequences, including deforestation, water pollution, and visual pollution.[7][8]


According to Samuel Robert Aiken, professor of geography at Concordia University, the hill stations built before Malayan independence in 1957 can be divided into two categories: principal hill stations and minor hill stations. Principal hill stations are those that were developed in locations that were more integrated with social and cultural interactions, whereas minor hill stations are those that were less developed due to limited growth and low elevation, where the hill station was not located high enough to satisfy needs for a place with a sufficiently cool climate, and a lack of flat land to accommodate more government officials.[1] Other hill stations that were not categorized by Aiken include Genting Highlands, Mount Jerai and Bukit Tinggi. These hill stations were developed after the independence, but received significant coverage from organizations including the University of California, Berkeley, the New Straits Times, and the World Wide Fund for Nature for strong economic and tourism development, or for potential risks to the environment due to recent development.[9][10][11]

Principal hill station
Minor hill station
Hill station name State Year established Size Elevation Coordinates Image Ref
Bukit Kutu
(Treacher Hill)
Selangor1893Unknown1,053 m (3,455 ft)3°32′34.4″N 101°43′12.6″E
Bukit Larut[note 1] Perak1884690 ha (1,705 acres)1,250 m (4,101 ft)4°51′44.28″N 100°47′34.8″E
Bukit Tinggi Pahang19942,000 ha (4,942 acres)820 m (2,690 ft)3°24′0.70″N 101°50′23.7″E
Cameron Highlands Pahang192571,220 ha (175,988 acres)1,830 m (6,004 ft)4°29′11.6″N 101°22′46.8″E
Fraser's Hill Pahang1919[note 2]2,829 ha (6,991 acres)1,456 m (4,777 ft)3°42′50.4″N 101°44′6″E
Genting Highlands Pahang19713,965 ha (9,798 acres)1,828 m (5,997 ft)3°25′15.1″N 101°47′35.4″E
Mount Angsi Negeri SembilanUnknownUnknown825 m (2,707 ft)2°41′55.4″N 102°02′52.7″E
Mount Jerai Kedah19868,560 ha (21,152 acres)1,217 m (3,993 ft)5°47′16.9″N 100°26′03.2″E
Mount Kledang Perak1892Unknown808 m (2,651 ft)4°35′38.3″N 101°00′53.3″E
Penang Hill Penang1787468 ha (1,156 acres)833 m (2,733 ft)5°25′26.3″N 100°16′08.3″E


  1. Originally established as Maxwell Hill. The place was renamed to Bukit Larut in 1979.[14]
  2. Fraser’s Hill was originally founded in 1890 as a tin mining community known as Pamah Lebar and was renamed as Fraser’s Hill in 1922 after the conversion from former tin mining area into a hill station.[18]


  1. Farrah Zaini, Siti; Md Ali, Zuraini; Anak Kayan, Brit (November 16, 2017). "Site Selection Criteria for British Colonial Hill Stations in Malaya" (PDF). International Symposium of Nusantara Cultural Heritage. 2: 3–4. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  2. Salim, Nurbaidura; Sukiman, Mohd Fauzi; Mohamed, Bairuddin (December 2011). "Sustainable development on highland areas: A case study of Genting Highlands, Pahang". International Conference on Sustainable Development 2011: 2–3. ISSN 1923-6654. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  3. Nurani, Norsiah (August 24, 1992). "BTR to spend $600m on resort project over next 10–15 years". New Straits Times. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  4. Ali, Martiza (June 17, 2014). "Pahang Exco wants Federal Government to reject Berjaya's casino application". New Straits Times. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  5. Hipes, Patrick (July 26, 2019). "Legal Fight Over Fox Theme Park In Malaysia Ends In Settlement". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  6. "Genting Malaysia to rightsize workforce, management offered pay cut". New Straits Times. May 22, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  7. Abdullah, Ashraf; Mahadhir Nordin, Saif (July 31, 1994). "Taking the brunt of development". New Straits Times. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  8. "Hill projects to be spread out to prevent degradation". New Straits Times. September 7, 1994. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  9. R. Reed, Robert (October 1979). "The Colonial Genesis of Hill Stations: The Genting Exception". Geographical Review. 69 (4): 465–467. doi:10.2307/214809. JSTOR 214809. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  10. "Enforce environment laws strictly, says Reach". New Straits Times. March 11, 2002. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  11. Study on the Development of Hill Stations (PDF). World Wide Fund for Nature. October 2000. p. 20.
  12. Harun, Hairudin (2017). "6.4 The "Malayan Head", Hill Sanitariums and European Health". Medicine and imperialism II: A History of Colonial Health Policy in British Malaya. Self-published.
  13. Christine, Michelle (August 12, 2017). "What? Where?". The Star. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  14. Bahauddin, Azizi; Mohamed, Badaruddin; Mat Som, Ahmad Puad; Irwana, Shida; Ghapar Othman, Abdul (November 2010). "The British Colonial Architectural Heritage of Fraser's Hill and Cameron Highlands, Malaysia". Transformation and Modernisation in Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy: 4. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  15. Anbalagan, V. (December 15, 2002). "Residents welcome Bukit Larut move". New Straits Times. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  16. Hussein, Hanna (December 5, 2019). "#JOM GO: Escape to Bukit Tinggi". New Straits Times. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  17. Shirasaka, Shigeru (1988). "The Agricultural Development of Hill Stations in Tropical Asia – A Case Study in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia" (PDF). Geographical Review of Japan. 61 (2): 191–211. doi:10.4157/grj1984b.61.191. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  18. Cheong 2013, p. 6.
  19. Cheong 2013, p. 5.
  20. WWF Malaysia 2001, p. 137.
  21. Hussein, Hanna (June 21, 2019). "#JOM! STAY: High-altitude vacation spot for family". New Straits Times. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  22. Study on the Development of Hill Stations: Final Report Volume 2 (PDF). World Wide Fund for Nature. November 2001. p. 102.
  23. Aiken 1987, p. 426.


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