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.
top of the Hill offers fantastic views of the island and mainland, lush
greenery, quaint colonial style architecture and cooler temperatures. There are
a number of eateries on the Hill and David Brown's Restaurant &
Tea Terrace is
the ideal place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with scones.
There are plenty of trails to explore at a leisurely pace, including four bypass trails. Download a map at: http://www.penanghill.gov.my/index.php/takeatour/maps
Taking the funicular isn’t the only way up the Hill, there is a jeep service which leaves from the Botanical Gardens and takes approximately 20 minutes. For the more adventurous there are also a number of jungle trails up the Hill.
Before taking the funicular up the Hill, enjoy a Penang-style breakfast at the Air Itam market - a vibrant, bustling local market crammed with fresh produce, kitchenware and assorted knick-knacks. The sprawling Kek Lok Si Temple with its ornate pagoda is close by. The Temple is one of SE Asia’s largest.
The Penang Botanic Gardens is one of Asia’s oldest botanical
institutions. Take a leisurely wander through the sprawling gardens and look
out for the exotic Cannon Ball Tree and Bat Lily. There are plenty of excellent
nature trails of varying lengths and to suit different interests - the Friends
of the Penang Botanic Gardens Society run guided tours.