Time always seems to pass by in a flash whenever we are travelling, doesn’t it? Without realizing, we were already into the second last day of our Penang trip. We wanted to do something relaxing with a bit of sight-seeing and hence we headed to Penang Hill. A Grab ride from G Hotel Kelawai (where we stayed) to Penang Hill Lower Station took about 15 minutes.
About Penang Hill
Penang Hill, which is also known as Bukit Bendara, was the first colonial hill station to be developed in Peninsular Malaysia in 1787. It comprises a number of hills with the highest point standing at 833m above sea level.
Penang Hill doesn’t just offer a panoramic view of the city from the top but also a cool climate that’s about 5°C cooler than the lowlands. I guess that’s the main reason why locals and tourists alike would flock to here – to escape the heat!
Penang Hill Funicular Train
The easiest way to get to the top of the hill is via the Funicular Train, which operates from 6.30am to 10.00pm. Last trip from Upper Station to Lower Station runs at 10.00pm.
Standard two-way tickets for Normal Lane are priced at RM30 per adult and RM15 per child (4-12 years old).
If you don’t have a lot of time to explore Penang Hill and would like to avoid the long queue at the Normal Lane, you can pay more for Fast Lane tickets.
Do note for onsite ticket purchase, the ticketing counter is only open from 6.15am to 7.45pm. Alternatively, you can pre-purchase tickets online to save time and skip the queue.
For more information on ticketing, please refer to the official Penang Hill website – https://www.penanghill.gov.my/index.php/en/tickets.
On the way up in the funicular train, we got to enjoy nature’s beauty and lovely lush greenery.
This Swiss-designed funicular runs on a track that’s about 2km long and is said to be the longest funicular track in Asia. The whole journey up took about 5 minutes.
For the adventurous, you can also opt to do a 3.25km hike from Penang Hill Lower Station to Upper Station via the Heritage Trail.
What to do on Penang Hill?
It is free to explore Penang Hill but there are also privately-managed attractions to visit if you’re keen. For these, separate entrance fees will apply. Some interesting attractions include the Earthquake & Typhoon Pavilion, The Habitat (rainforest discovery centre), Little Village and TeddyVille Museum.
It was a clear day when we went to Penang Hill but when we were up there, we were presented with this cotton-like mist or fog which made it feel so dreamlike. And it did feel a little chilly too. Really reminded me of Genting Highlands.
Love Lock Penang Hill
Located at the open air observation deck of the Penang Hill Food Centre. Perfect for the romantics and lovebirds out there. You can bring along your own padlock or purchase one onsite. Cheaper to bring your own ok, haha.
Didn’t know they have this love lock feature here, otherwise I would have brought my own padlock too, lol.
Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan
This is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Penang.
Masjid Bukit Bendera (top)
The only mosque on the hill. It was built for use by Muslims living and working in the area.
Bel Retiro (bottom)
Bel Retiro is a government bungalow that was built in 1789 for the then Governor of Penang.
Multiple lookout points. Views were absolutely stunning!
Kacang Putih Pushcart
Before you leave, you have to come check out this kacang putih stall. We had the kacang masala which consisted of onions, chickpeas, muruku, corn and nuts with their special blend of curry/chilli powders and lime juice. I loved the flavours of the spices. Very addictive. This snack really brought kacang putih to a whole new level. Worth trying!
Though we didn’t spend a lot of time checking out the various attractions, I thought it was a pretty good experience to go up the hill as we were able to catch spectacular views of Penang. We felt like we were walking in the clouds as it was rather misty and the weather was just so lovely and comfortable. Just so different from where we were at the bottom of the hill. If you’ve never been here before, it’s definitely worth a visit!