Penang Hill | Bukit Bendera | Malaysia First Hill Station
Penang Hill | Bukit Bendera
View of Penang Georgetown from Penang Hill
You can find Malaysia 1st hill station here. Penang Hill is stands at 821 meters above sea level. To go up, you can go by funicular train, which was 1st opened in 1923. The train operates in two sections and passengers will transit to another train at midpoint.
Penang Hill takes about half an hours to reach at summit and the train service operates at half hours intervals. You might want to be more adventurous if you are fit for the hike of about 6.7km/4.5 miles long approximately 2 to 4 hours journey depending on your level of fitness.
You can be sure to be greeted with a panoramic view of Penang Island. A new view of Georgetown unfolds every few feet. At 1st, lush tropical vegetation crowds both sides of the track; this gives way to a landscape of giant granite boulders overgrown with ferns and hanging vines. Millionaire's villas appear, alternating with simple farmers huts, whose inhabitants cultivate bananas and other fruit trees on the slopes.
Hibiscus bushes bloom in colorful profusion, old bungalows, Bird Parks and even a hotel can be seen long the way, which make the walk a fruitful one. The temperature is refreshing, remaining constant at about 6˚ to 8˚ lower temperature than temperatures in Penang city. Don't forget your camera, there are mountain streams along the way up and even monkeys at a distance.
Zipping Up Penang Hill
For 87 years, Penang Hill's iconic red and white funicular have transported residents and visitors up and down the Hill. In early 2010, the Penang Hill Railway ceased operations to make way for upgrading works. 14 months and a staggering RM73 million later, the newly upgraded railway system was unveiled to the public.
The two swanky air-conditioned coaches that were launched in late April 2011 are very different from their predecessors; these new coaches can accommodate up to 100 passengers in a single trip and reach the hilltop station within five minutes. Visitors who miss the slower scenic experience should sit back and enjoy the comfort - gone are the days of being packed like sweaty sardines into a claustrophobic, slow moving carriage. With the new coaches making the trips up and down much faster, visitors to the Hill can also look forward to shorter waiting periods.
Once at the top, Penang Hill offers a panoramic view of the bustling island below, the Straits of Malacca and beyond the waters to mainland Penang. Ever since the British administration, the Hill has been a delightful retreat from the hot fresh, cool air.
Those who miss the old funiculars fret not a slice of Penang Hill Railway's history has been preserved, and two old carriage are on display on unused railway track and the park at the hilltop, providing excellent photo opportunities for all!
Penang Hill located: Air Item, Penang
Operation time: 6:30am to 9pm
Frequency: Every 30 minutes