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Why Penang Hill is special ?
Penang Hill is one of the oldest colonial hill station established by the British during their time in Malaysia. Explored in the late 18th century, a horse trail was cut by the Waterfall Gardens (present day Penang Botanic Gardens) to the summit of the hilly spine of Penang, allowing the British to escape from the chaos of George Town to the cooler climate on the hill.
With its misty morning trails, vegetable and flower farms and charming colonial bungalows, Penang Hill (or Bukit Bendera) has been a popular hill resort since the 18th century when visitors were taken up on horseback or special sedan chairs. Now, getting to the top is easy-peasy thanks to the upgraded funicular which whisks visitors from the station at the foot of the hill to the summit in only a matter of minutes.
What to explore at Penang Hill?
Go explore the forests of Penang Hill, and discover interesting plants such as tropical oak trees and also the interesting carnivorous pitcher plant. Marvel at the tree Ferns and cycads which remained largely unchanged since the Jurassic period.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled to the calls of various fauna that can be discovered on the hill. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot the Giant Black Squirrel feeding from the canopy, the beautiful Dusky Leaf Monkeys playing or the Greater Racket tailed Drongo singing melodiously on the hill.
How to get to Penang Hill?
Head towards Air Itam.
Take the Transit Link(red and white) bus no 2-6. The bus stop is at Komtar Shopping Complex, ground floor. The fare is about RM1 and takes approx. 1/2hr travel time.
The thing with penang taxis are that they don't run on meters and can cost up to RM35 per way. trya bargaining.
Penang Hill's Funicular Tram
Unfortunately the old furnicular tram has been discontinued and a new system is currently being installed so that a modern tram can be put in place. For the time being, there is a 4WD service available between 9.00am-7.00pm . RM80.00 per jeep for roundtrip transfer. Seat can accommodate 5-6 paxs depending on passenger size and weight. Pick up and drop off point is at the entrance into the Botanical Gardens
- Great place for family with kids
- Great view from the top
- Definitely a-must visit place to go
- A must see view of night
- A great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown.
Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia
Tips for you
Worth going just for the train! The view at the top is spectacular. The Hindu temple at the top is well worth seeing.
Penang Hill is a must. Going up the hill in the train was a highlight. The views from the top were amazing. I have incredible pictures of the family.It has a 360 degrees view. Don't miss out !!!!
Penang Hill is one of those iconic landmarks of a city which you just have to tick off your to-visit list even if it is just an average attraction. I decided to take the first tram (6.30am) up to catch the sunrise. I was expecting to be one of only a few people going up the hill at that early hour so was rather surprised to see a large group of people at the base of the station when i arrived. The ride up wasn't spectacular probably because it was too dark to really see much. However, once we reached the summit and got out, the early morning air was cool and fresh. Nice views of Penang city in lights and the sunrise. Beyond that, there really isn't much else to see...there's a mosque, hindu temple, playground, owl museum, cafe. I enjoyed the tram ride down though...even better if you can get into the first carriage for a great view of the descent.
From Georgetown you can get to Penang Hill by catching frequent bus 204 from the Komtar bus station next to the shopping centre. This costs RM 2.70 per person. It can also be caught from Weld Quay near the ferry terminal or along the bus route which includes Chulia St where the bus travels along the whole length of the street. You can get to Komtar & Weld Quay stations by the free CAT shuttle bus. The 204 bus to Penang hill stops right next to the start point of the funicular which is a train that takes you (for RM10 each person) up the steep slope of Penang Hill to a good viewing area near the top of the hill. The view was hazy from the burning off in Sumatra but you can see over to Georgetown and the Penang Bridge which disappears into the haze near the mainland. It is also noticeably cooler on Penang Hill than in Georgetown.