USD

Penang Hill

Georgetown Attractions

Penang Hill was the first colonial hill station developed in Peninsular Malaysia. Comprising Western Hill, Bukit Laksamana, Tiger Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Government Hill, it is located six km away from Georgetown. The hilly and forested area is the state's primary hill resort.

Set 821m above Penang’s capital, islanders call it Bukit Bendera and it is generally about five degrees cooler than Georgetown. It is the last patch of tropical rainforest in Penang so the flora and fauna here have been protected since 1960. It does not have the same prominence as Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands but it is one of Penang’s best-known tourist attractions due to its fresher climate.

Read More

Penang Hill History

Penang Hill was discovered when soon after British settlement; Francis Light commissioned the area to be cleared to grow strawberries. Though it was never fully developed (it was difficult to carve out the forest area), it became a favourite expatriate refuge before the advent of air conditioning. Its oldest bungalow, Bel Retiro, is the holiday residence of the Governor of Penang.

Today, the ridge on top of Penang Hill is known as Strawberry Hill.

Views from The Top

From the top of Penang Hill on a clear day you can see the mountains of Langkawi and north Kedah but it is the night time sight of lit-up Georgetown that is especially rewarding. Most people simply come to enjoy the cool, unpolluted air and walk under 30m-high trees along the nature trails. Additionally, over 100 species of birdlife, ranging from ordinary garden species to exotic deep forest inhabitants, call this hillside home.

Two kilometres away from Bellevue Hotel is the Canopy Walk: this 220m walkway suspended between towering trees 30m above the dense jungle offers great views of the hillside. Opened in 2003, it was operational for a short time, and since then, due to its failure to attract sufficient customers, it has opened and closed without much announcement.

Penang Hill Railway

The most popular way to the top of the hill is the Penang Hill Railway. Located at the foot of the hill, this Swiss-designed funicular starts out from Air Itam. Built in 1923, it is one of the world’s oldest funicular systems and has a 2,007m-long track that climbs the hill at a crawling 30-minute pace.

The journey takes you past luxuriant greenery and the occasional macaque plus the bungalows originally built for British officials and other wealthy citizens. The queue for carriages can be quite long especially on weekends and public holidays: passengers have to change trains midway.

Another way to the top of Penang Hill is by a five km drive up a private road accessible only to the vehicles of hillside residents: this jeep trail is a popular hiking route and starts out from the quarry at the entry of the Penang Botanic Gardens.

There is a well-marked eight km path leading up from the Moon Gate (between the post office and police station) at the Botanical Gardens: it is a steep one-hour climb, but a delightful walk with plenty of places to rest along the way.

There is a food court, fruit and souvenir stalls, some gardens, an exuberantly decorated Hindu temple, a mosque, a police station, a post office and an 11-room hotel (Bellevue Hotel) at the upper funicular station: the original funicular train, built in 1897, is also on exhibit here.

Penang Hill

  • Location: Penang
Hide Map Show Map
Rate This Place: ( votes)

Related Pages

  • Kek Lok Si Temple

    Kek Lok Si Temple

    Standing on a hilltop at Air Itam, near Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Read More»

  • Penang National Park

    Penang National Park

    Penang National Park, otherwise known as Taman Negara Pulau Pinang, is a piece of nature reserve in the northwest corner Read More»

  • Penang Snake Temple

    Penang Snake Temple

    Also known as ‘Temple of the Azure Cloud’, the Snake Temple was originally built in 1850, in the memory of Chor Soo Read More»

  • Top 10 Night Spots in Georgetown

    Top 10 Nightlife in Georgetown

    No matter your music, DJ, cocktail and club-type preference, Georgetown’s after-dark spots caters to all: check out our Read More»

  • Dharmikarama Burmese Temple

    Dharmikarama Burmese Temple

    Built in 1803, Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is Penang’s first Burmese temple. This striking temple with its golden Read More»

  • Top 10 Luxury Hotels

    Top 10 Luxury Hotels

    So treat yourself to the very best and you won't regret it. Have a look through our Top Ten Luxury Hotel listings and Read More»

We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it's a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.

Hotels.com
Loading...