Jun 20, 2009

Penang Hill

Penang Hill is a hill resort comprising a group of peaks, the major hill system of Penang, Malaysia. It is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city centre of George Town, and stands out prominently from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area. Penang Hill is also known by the Malay name Bukit Bendera, which refers to Flagstaff Hill, the most developed peak. It is 830 meter high (2,750 foot) and it's much cooler than in the city below. It's about 3 degrees cooler than the places near the coast.

Depending on the time, one can either go up the hills by foot or by using the famous red Swiss made funicular train. Of course if you were to take a more relaxing train to the hilltop, you are going to miss on what nature has to offer such as a mist covered valley, giant bamboo trees, crystal cool pond, farm, wilddogs, birds and of course various species of plants.

Funicular train leaves every 20 to 25 minutes at a cost of RM4 per person that can carry a max
of 80 passengers per trip.

The train leaves the station at Air Itam at 6.30am and at half hourly intervals.

The funicular railway will not take you straight to the top, you have to change trains halfway. In the meantime you'll pass several small station, where the local people get on and off. There are are also some small hotels and guesthouses on this stretch. The railway was built in 1923 and it takes about half an hour to the top.

At the top of the hill, you'll find a tea kiosk, restaurants, souvenir stalls, a mosque, Hindu temple, and the old Bellevue hotel. The summit offers a magnificent panoramic view of Georgetown, the mainland and Penang Bridge.

The best time to visit Penang Hill is early morning, around nine o'clock.

View from Penang hill

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