Updated: Jan 15
Penang Hill is a must-visit tourist attraction in Penang. Being a hill resort comprising a group of peaks on Penang Island, it offers a wide range of recreational purposes to its visitors.
Penang Hill is also known by the Malay name Bukit Bendera, which actually refers to Flagstaff Hill. Shrouded in lush greenery of tropical rainforest, Penang Hill becomes the favourite destination among locals and foreign visitors alike, thanks to its mildly cooling temperature and the opportunity it offers to get close to nature.
Personally, I haven't had a chance to visit Penang Hill for the past 20 years, and I was really anticipating the visit during our Christmas Day short trip to Penang.
= / Penang is also a famous destination for local food. This was our Foodie Trip in Penang. / =
How to get to Penang Hill?
By car - Driving up the hill as a visitor is not allowed. You can only drive up the hill (from the Botanical Gardens entrance) if you live on the hill. Visitors can drive to funicular station - The Lower Station at Air Itam (location here) and take funicular train to the top.
There is a multi-level parking right outside the main entrance of funicular station where visitors can leave their vehicles at during their short visit to Penang Hill.
The parking rate is reasonable and it really is a great convenience to those who plan to drive.
By bus - Even if you decide to take a bus, Penang Hill is still within your easy access. Take Rapid Penang Bus 204 and alight the bus when you're at the entrance of funicular station. Depending on your starting point, the fare can be as low as RM1.
= / If you're in Kuala Lumpur and looking for a green place to relax, we recommend Perdana Botanical Garden / =
Penang Hill Funicular Railway
Daily operating hour -
6:30AM - 11:00PM (Last train from top station)
Daily ticketing counter operating hour - 6.15am - 9.45pm
The interval of train is as stated in table. However, the capacity of funicular is easily maxed out on weekends and public holidays. Visitors may have to queue and wait for several trains before boarding the funicular. If you do not wish to stand in line and wait, you can opt for fast lane ticket (different rate applies) which gives you the convenience of skipping the line.
Funicular tickets can be purchased online (here) or from the ticket counter at Lower Station.
Other special rates and promotional tickets, please refer to Penang Hill official ticketing website. The funicular railway does undergo a bi-annual maintenance, so be sure to check out the official website prior to your visit.
Do you know? Penang Hill Funicular Railway has the steepest tunnel track in the world. It is also the longest track in Asia.
= / Our day trip in Putrajaya / =
What to do in Penang Hill?
1/ Take in 180° Views Of George Town At Penang Hill Skywalk
On a clear sunny day, the panoramic views of George Town can be clearly seen from Skywalk, an encircled sightseeing platform providing breathtaking view of the island and mainland.
There are also extra lookout points at Skydeck (East) and Skydeck (West) providing spectacular views of the city.
2/ Escape the tropical heat
Penang Hill is a comfortable retreat from the tropical heat of George Town. Ranging between 18° - 26°C, you can feel the cooling enjoyment when you're ascending to Penang Hill.
3/ Go on an easy Hiking Trail
If you're a little adventurous and in need of a Zen session with Mother Nature, Penang Hill can be a great place to be. There are several hiking trails, ranging from 1.5km to 14km, for hikers from all extents. The total of 26 entrances to the various hiking trails simply means Penang Hill is accessible via hiking trails from all parts of Penang Island.
4/ Discover species of flora and fauna
It's easy to find some animals we don't usually see at the lower land here in Penang Hill. There are areas around Penang Hill where you can find dusky leaf monkey and black giant squirrel. Midday is generally good for such discoveries. However, care must be taken and we strongly advise visitors to not feed the monkeys.
5/ Have a look at the Old Train Coach and 32-Pounder Cannon
Before the modern funicular tram was introduced, there was the original wooden coach being used! This historical coach was in use for over 50 years from 1923 to 1977, and is now being exhibited to bring visitors back into time to appreciate the details of this coach.
As for the 32-Pounder Cannon, it was a majestic one, weighing 2.75 tons. It could fire a 32-pound cannon ball at a velocity of 1600ft per second.
6/ Post a card from Heritage Post Box
One of our favourite things to do when travelling is to post a postcard with few lines of our thoughts written on it. We consider it a good memory when we grow old. It's an evidence that we've been to a particular place. More interestingly, if the postcard was posted back home from a very special post box! There's a Heritage Post Box in Penang Hill. Being one of the oldest post boxes in Penang, the VR insignia on it indicates that it was put up during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901). It's located along Jalan Tuanku Yahya Petra. Look for it and Instagram with it!
7/ Curtis Crest Treetop Walk - The Habitat
This is the latest attraction at Penang Hill. The Habitat is where visitors can experience the pristine 130 million year old rainforest & gazetted forest reserve since 1911. The canopy walk is rewarding experience where visitors can relish the beauty of lush greenery.
Opening Hours: 9AM - 6:30PM (Last ticket sold at 5:30PM) Sunset Walks available for private bookings.
8/ Visit other paying attractions
Monkey Cup Garden
Monkey Cup Garden is the first of its kind in Malaysia. It has a total of more than 100 varieties of plants with varying species ranging from lowland to more spectacular mountainous species from across the region.
Opening Hours: 9AM - 6PM (Daily) Entrance Fee: RM12 (Adults) / RM6 (Children)
Earthquake & Typhoon
Privately owned by Bumi Setiamas Sdn Bhd, Earthquake & Typhoon features showrooms with science and technology facilities where you can experience the simulations of earthquake, typhoon and tsunami.
9/ Eat some Special Masala Chick Peas
There is a stall selling kacang putih just right outside Cliff Café. This is no ordinary kacang putih stall as it has been in operation since 1960 and has been passed down from generation to generation. What I like about this stall is its unique Special Masala Chick Peas. The chickpeas are cooked to tender and mixed with muruku, peanut, cucumber and onion slices, together with special masala sauce, it's a really unique combination. There is a hint of sourness from the lime juice, but the whole portion was just purely addictive. Stall closes once sold out, so be early!
For a selection of online travel guides for cities around the world, we have a dedicated section: BISH Travel Guide
We love every bit of our time spent in Penang Hill. It's soothing, refreshing and fun at the same time. If you're visiting Penang any soon in the future, don't miss out Penang Hill as it adds another aspect of enjoyment to your already-exciting trip.