Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera), Penang

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  • kat-m's Profile Photo

    penang hill

    by kat-m Written Mar 15, 2010
    garden of Belleview hotel
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    We made our way to Penang Hill after asking all the relevant directions etc. We had read and were previously told that the Funicular railway was closed down for essential repairs. This in mind we decided to go anyway as 4 wheel jeeps were waiting to take tourists up the steep hill. On arrival at the sight of the railway we discovered that the jeeps were not infact here but another bus ride away at the sight of the botanical gardens, ah 2 birds with one stone ? No, the botanical gardens were also closed for essential maintainance! Never mind we took a jeep up the hill (expensive) about £20, but we had come a long way and were determind to do it. It was worth it the views from the hill were amazing, The belleview hotel open for refreshments and a lovely garden to sit and enjoy a drink and the scenery. Also there are temples, Indian and a mosque.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Photography
    • Museum Visits

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Penang Hill

    by tim07 Updated Jan 31, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    At over 800 metres above sea level, the peak is a lot cooler than the tropical heat below. Since 1923 a funicular railway system has been taking passengers up the hill. It takes about 30 minutes and includes a change of trains half way. Alternatively there are hiking trails up the hill.

    At the summit you get a panoramic view of Georgetown and Penang Island. There's also a hotel, restaurant and bird park here.

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  • joeco9's Profile Photo

    Tour to Penang Hill

    by joeco9 Written Dec 10, 2009
    30 Meter High Pagoda
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    Afternoon tour to Penang Hill ,we were pick up from our hotel and
    first stop was Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple southeast Asia largest
    Buddhist temple with it's 30 meter high pagoda .this temple is so big
    and colorful that many photos were taken ,worth a visit.
    The next stop was to get the funicular train up to top Penang Hill this
    would take about 20 mins. The view from the hill top was great and
    again many photos taken . This trip of 4 hours cost about 55 MR with
    hotel pick-up

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  • divecat1978's Profile Photo

    Joyful morning in Penang Hill

    by divecat1978 Written Aug 6, 2009

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    Entrance to the cable car
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    It is the first time I visit Penang Hill. My son told me that he wants to go for a cable car ride. So, decided to bring my mum, sister and daughter for an exercise in the morning.
    The view from top of the hill was great. I could see the Georgetown and Penang Bridge. Took a few pictures and came to a small cafe for breakfast.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Family Travel

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  • leanne_pearc's Profile Photo

    Penang Hill - 720 metres above sea level

    by leanne_pearc Written Nov 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What a view on Penang Hill

    We took a taxi to the bottom of Penang hill and then took the rather scary looking funicular rail train up the hill! It is a very interesting steep ride and the view from the top of the hill is amazing.

    It is much cooler ascending the hill. At the top there is perfect photo taking opportunities, refreshments and some cheap sourvenior places.

    Another highlight is Kek Lok Si, Southeast Asia's largest Buddhist temple perched against a hill slope in Air Itam. Marvel at the statue of the Goddess of Mercy and the 30 metre high Pagoda. See the "Pond of Longevity" home for hundreds of tortoises set free by devotees.

    You can even take a photo with a snake!

    Wandering around the gardens was just as much fun as all of the above.

    I noticed a nice restaurant up on the hill as well called the Colonial Penang Hill. It looked very nice though we didnt have time to do in.

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  • rudy138's Profile Photo

    Only Way Up to Penang Hill For Now

    by rudy138 Written Sep 12, 2008

    Since the funicular train was decommissioned (as far as the general public is concerned), the only way up to Penang Hill is on foot or by car. If you choose to go on foot, it is a picturesque albeit tiring hike from one of the numerous trails originating around the Youth Park/Botanical Gardens area. The best option if hiking is not your thing, is to take an SUV from the Botanical Gardens. This will take you up via the Jeep Road. It won't come cheap though. I paid RM90 for 3 in an SUV for a return trip, although I suspect it could have been cheaper. Also, since you pay for the SUV, if you had more in your group, you would save a bit. I reckon you could fit 3-4, maybe 5 in one of those Perodua Kembaras. Wasn't too happy about paying that price until the driver, a Penang Hill resident, took it upon himself to give us a guided tour of the area. As a regular visitor in my 5 years here, I was rather surprised at the things I didn't know about the place (of course, the local's accessibility to some otherwise restricted areas made that possible). We were given one and a half hours up there before being driven down. Apparently, you also get a discount of about RM20 on your ride if you patronise either the Bellevue Hotel (not too friendly cafe) or the David Brown's cottage thing. This was something I found out a bit too late, while I was half way through tea at the latter.

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  • explore_discover's Profile Photo

    Penang Hills

    by explore_discover Written Dec 12, 2007

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    View from Hill Top
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    Also known as Bukit Bendera, Penang Hill is the highest peak on Pulau Pinang. At 830m above sea level, it is one of the best places to catch a bird's eye view of the island's expanse, including the panorama of George Town, the Penang Bridge and the Straits of Melaka.

    One of the peaks on Penang Hill called Flagstaff Hill, is accessible via a healthy hike up via several hiking trails, including one from the Penang Botanical Gardens. Alternatively, visitors may also opt for a more leisurely trip up via the Penang Hill Railway which stretches just over 2km long and departs from the station at Air Itam, a mere 10 minutes' walk from the Kek Lok Si Temple. The 30-minute ride on the funicular railway takes place every 30 minutes and makes its way up a thrilling, at times near-45 degrees angle, with spectacular vistas along the way before reaching the top hill station at 701m above sea level.

    From Georgetown, take a Transit Link bus No 1, or No 101, or Lim Seng bus No 91, or minibus No 21 from Lebuh Chulia to the Air Itam Terminal.

    Penang Hills - Opens 7 days a week
    Funicular Train service - Going up, 6:30am to 9:30pm. Saturday extend until
    Going down, 6:45am to 9:15pm. Saturday extend until 11:15pm
    Bellevue Bird Park - Opens seven days a week, 9am to 6pm

    Funicular Train - RM4 per trip
    Bellevue Hotel Bird Park - RM4 (Adult), RM2 (Children)
    Taxi from George Town about RM20, from Batu Feringghi about RM30 - to the foot
    hill only. To get on top of the hill by 4WD vehicle.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    On top of the world - Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)

    by SLLiew Updated Dec 9, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lower Station
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    Penang Hill is one of the most popular tourist destinations. I have been there umpteen times and still always find it a great get-away.

    There are no cars up there. The entire George Town is 800 meters below your feet.

    The most popular and recommended way for tourists is to take the funicular train. There is a waiting time and so plan ahead.

    The second way which used by local hikers is the trail of "Moon Gate" or "84" from Botanical Gardens or the steeper route from Heng Teik Estate of Air Itam or even the most adventurous route from Air Itam Dam.

    The third way is by jeep from the Botanical Gardens but this is reserved for hill top residents and for emergency situations.

    During school holidays and weekends, the funicular train can be very crowded with long queues. Often tickets are sold out.

    Now same day ticket can be bought in advance and you can just come back at your assigned time. You can come down at any time but factor 30 minutes to an hour wait.

    Round trip ticket at RM4 for an adult is a steal.

    Up at the top, you have excellent views of George Town, Penang Bridge and the mainland across the channel. Worth having coffee or tea at the Bellevue Hotel for an outstanding panaromic view. It is cool and can be chilly and windy at night especially after a rain. Night view when the lights are out is spectacular. So if you want to see that, plan to stay up until 8pm.

    The funicular train is a two levels system. Each level has two tram coaches linked by a cable and pulley. The tram coaches will pass each other at a junction. This is a great time to take a photo. There is a "Middle Station" where passengers alight and transfer to the other level system. Usually, passengers will rush to the next coach to get a seat. Safety comes first especially with younger children and seniors. So be prepared to stand all the way up.

    Train arrives every 15 minutes. Total of 30 minutes to get to the top of the Penang Hill. The waiting time can be up 2 hours on crowded days. Visit to Penang Hill a must if you have time.

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  • travelpug's Profile Photo

    Bird's Eye View of Penang

    by travelpug Updated Nov 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bird's eye view of Georgetown at night

    Visiting Penang Hill is a must for everyone visiting Penang. To avoid crowds, I went up there recently in the evening. The night view of Penang is stunning! Round trip ticket costs RM4 per adult. It was worth it!!

    The historical funicular train ride takes 30 minutes to the top of the hill (not counting waiting time). Passengers have to change to another train half way up. Train service starts from 6a.m. Last train coming down from the top leaves at 9:15pm (11:15pm on Saturdays).

    On Penang Hill, you can find a hotels, a tea house, a garden, an indian temple, a mosque, some bird cages, and souvenir stores.

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  • travelpug's Profile Photo

    Mini Museum

    by travelpug Written Nov 12, 2007

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    Mini Museum

    There is a Mini Meseum next to the ticket counter on the foot of Penang Hill. It's worth a visit if you have time. There are some interesting photos of the early days on display. However, some other objects on display are not labeled.

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  • waste of time

    by sambahrain Written Oct 24, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Going up this hill was the worst thing we did in Penang. After arriving by taxi, you have to wait the best part of half an hour to get in the funicular railway, and then it takes two stops and absolutely ages to get to the top. You will be packed like sardines, standing with a whole lot of smelly orientals and screaming kids until you get the top, and then it's the same going down. It will take you at least an hour to go up and an hour to go down. The views are OK but believe me it isn't worth it. If you must go, take a taxi up instead.

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  • Azri_Azmi's Profile Photo

    Bukit Bendera

    by Azri_Azmi Written Aug 15, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On top of Penang Hill
    4 more images

    Penang Hill is also a hot tourist place in Penang. Situated about 6 kilometer from Georgetown, the highest peak here is 2,450 ft above sea level. One can take the famous Penang Hill's Cable Car to go to the top of Penang Hill just to buy the only RM4.00 ticket. During the cable car ride, you enjoy the view of the rain forest. The cable car speed is quite slow, but I guess it is necessary also as the ride will take us along a very stiff passage. To go up and down, one need to take 2 cable car ride with a middle pit stop to exchange car.

    Once reaches the top, the environment is so cooling and beautiful as you can view Penang from the top of the hill. Some souvenir shops is also here on top of this hill, if you wanted to buy souvenir, PLEASE BUY ON THE TOP OF THE HILL NOT AT THE BOTTOM as the price on the top is much more cheaper that one in the bottom.

    The freshness of the air on the top is really good and its a perfect getaway from the city environment. There is a mosque, Hindu Temple and a church on top of the hill.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Adventure Travel
    • Mountain Climbing

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  • p_yenyen's Profile Photo

    Penang Hill and Temple

    by p_yenyen Written Dec 19, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ascend Penang Hill, approximately 720m above sea level by means of a funicular railway. Enjoy a bird's eye view of Georgetown and the cool, refreshing air at the sumit. The other highlight is Kek Lok Si, the Southeast Asia's largest buddhist temple perched against a hillslop in Air Itam. Marvel at the status of the goddess of mercy and the 30m high pagoda.

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  • jo9001's Profile Photo

    Penang Hill

    by jo9001 Written Oct 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Take an enjoyable funicular rail ride up Penang Hill, 830m above sea level, to have a panoramic view of Georgetown. Penang Hill was established as a cool hill retreat during the colonial days. It was originally called Flagstaff Hill, the locals have always affectionately referred to it as Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera.
    The ride takes 30 minutes, with a change of trains in the middle. Along the way you can see bits of wild-looking jungle, possibly some jungle wild-life such as monkeys (for some reason or so, people in the tram get excited when they spot these monkeys), old bungalows of the former colonial masters and some other odd buildings.
    At the top of the hill, you'll find a hawker centre, souvenir stalls, a mosque, hindu temple, and the old Bellevue hotel. The hotel is one of several hotel cum sanatoriums which originally dotted the hilltops. The Bellevue has definitely seen better days, and the interior in particular has all the charm of a colonial government hospital.
    In the garden in front of the Bellevue is a small aviary garden with several species of parrots and a few hornbills. The birds are beautiful but the cages are a bit too small for them to have room to fly and socialize.
    Nature lovers can opt to take a six-kilometre hike up by nature trails accessible from the Botanical Gardens (if you're really in the mood for a lot of exercise).

    Funicular train ride return tickets are at RM$4 for adults and RM$2 for children.
    Admission to the Bellevue Hotel Aviary Garden is RM$4.

    Best time to go is in the late afternoon to catch the sunset and enjoy the night view of Georgetown.
    Avoid going to Penang Hill during the weekends and Public Holiday. Long queues and you'd probably be packed like sardines in the tram. Not a good idea...! Just waiting to go on the tram can be such a frustrating experience for some during the peak periods!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    Penang Hill Train

    by black_mimi99 Written Sep 18, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    The most convenient way up to Penang Hill is by means of the funicular railway in Air Itam. Construction of the railway took place between 1906 to 1923, at a cost of RM1.5 million. The railway was opened to the public on 21 October 1923. The 2,007 m (1 mile 435 yards) journey takes about half an hour and the train may stop at intermediate stations upon request.

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