Penang Hill – a hill resort in Penang, Malaysia – Part 1

Penang Hill is a hill resort that comprises a group of peaks in Penang, Malaysia.

Overview of The Penang Hill

• It is situated in Air Itam.
• It is about 6 kilometers from the city center of George Town.
• The hill stands uniquely from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area.
• Penang Hill is also known by the Malay name Bukit Bendera.
• This refers to Flagstaff Hill which is the most developed peak.

Topography of Penang Hill

• Penang Hill is mainly hilly granitic mass.
• The hill system is higher towards the northern part.
• Its highest point is at Western Hill.
• This is at an elevation of 833 m (2,723 ft) above sea level.
The other peaks in the region such as:
– Bukit Laksamana (Malay for Admiral Hill)
– Tiger Hill
– Flagstaff Hill
– Government Hill
• Flagstaff Hill is 735 m (2,450 ft) above sea level.
• A number of small rivers and streams originate from this region.
• Sungai Pinang is the largest of the rivers.
• It starts from a number of tributaries in the area.

Land use
• It has been a popular holiday retreat due to its cool climate.
• The lower terrain of the Hills is used mainly for agricultural and residential purposes.

Plant and Animal Life on Penang Hill

• The most common forest type found on Penang Hill is the hill dipterous forest.
• At higher altitudes there are some of the submontane oak-laurel as well as coniferous trees.
• The Tree fern is associated with higher elevations.
• The rare and endangered species include the parasitic plant Exorhopalia ruficeps.
• This grows in the shady and damp undergrowth.
• The Penang Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum barbatum) is becoming extinct.
• The endangered witch hazel Maingaya malayana was rediscovered years ago here.

Large mammals are not found in Penang Hills. Animals and insects sighted are:
• Wild boars
• Small and medium sized mammals
• Squirrels
• Monkeys
• Tree shrews
• Nocturnal species
• Civets
• Flying lemurs
• Flying civets
• Bats
• Cicadas
• Crickets
• Stick insect
• Leaf mantis

Penang Hills have a rich bird fauna.
• Over 100 species or about 80% of the birds found on Penang Island have been found here.
• They range from the common garden species to rare deep forest inhabitants.

Attractions in Penang Hill

1. Places of Worshippers and Temples
• Kek Lok Si Temple – Air Itam
• St. Anne Church – Bukit Mertajam
• St. George Church – Georgetown
• Kuan Yin Temple – Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
• Wat Chaiyamangkalaram Temple – Burmah Lane
• Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple – Burmah Lane
• Penang Snake Temple – Bayan Lepas

2. Old Building and Monument
• Fort Cornwallis & Esplanade – Lebuh Light
• Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion – Leith Street
• Pinang Peranakan Mansion – Church Street
• Penang Museum & Art Gallery – Lebuh Farquhar

3. Penang Tourist Attractions At Nature Parks and Hills
• Penang Butterfly Farm – Teluk Bahang
• Penang Hills – Air Itam
• Penang Botanic Gardens – Jalan Kebun Bunga
• Tropical Spice Garden – Teluk Bahang
• Orchid Hibiscus and Reptile Garden – Bukit Jambul
• Penang National Park – Muka Head
• Penang Bird Park – Seberang Jaya
• Penang Fisheries Aquarium – Batu Maung

4. Clan House
• Khoo Kongsi – Cannon Street

5. In and Out of Georgetown
• Georgetown
• Balik Pulau
• Tanjung Bungah
• Pulau Tikus

6. New Developements and Others
• Penang Toy Museum – Jalan Tanjung Bungah
• Penang Beaches
• Penang Bridge – Prai/Gelugor
• Tropical Fruit Farm – Teluk Bahang
• P. Ramlee’s Gallery – Jalan P. Ramlee
• P. Ramlee’s Story
• Penang Flea Market – Lorong Kulit
• Fireflies of Krian River – Nibong Tebal
• Dr. Sun Yat Sen Base – Armenian Street
• Tanjong City Marina – Pengkalan Weld
• Juru Auto City – 1 Stop Auto, Food & Entertaiment
• Royal Selangor Visitor Center

Best time to visit / climate

• The most important feature of Penang Hill is the cooler climate.
• The core summit area has an average temperature ranging from 20° to 27°C.
• The mean minimum temperature is consistently below 21°C.
• The hottest months are between December and April.
• The coolest months are between June and October.
• Penang’s high season is around Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Chinese New Year.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By plane
• Penang Bayan Lepas International Airport is one of Malaysia’s larger and better-equipped airports.
• It is operated by Malaysia Airports.
• The airport is on the southeastern coast of the island.
• This is about 30 min from Georgetown.
• Take Rapid Penang bus no. 401E from the terminal building to KOMTAR.
• First bus is at 5:30AM and last bus is at 11:35PM.
• There is a bus every 30 min.
• Fare is 2.70 RM.
• Ph: +60 4 6434411

The airport is serviced by:
– AirAsia
– Firefly
– Cathay Pacific Airways
– SilkAir
– Jetstar Airways
– Tiger Airways
– Thai Airways
– Malaysia Airlines

Direct domestic flights are available to:
• Kuala Lumpur
• Johor Bahru
• Kota Kinabalu
• Kuching
• Langkawi

Direct international flights are available to:
• Jakarta
• Ko Samui
• Surabaya
• Macau
• Taipei
• Bangkok
• Hong Kong
• Medan
• Singapore
• Phuket
• Perth
• Banda Aceh

2. By car
• Penang is connected to the mainland and the North-South Expressway by the Penang Bridge.
• It is one of the longest bridges in Asia.
• There is no toll for vehicles heading to the mainland.

Vehicles headed to the island must pay a toll as follows:
• Motorcycles: RM1.40
• Cars: RM7
• Vans and buses with two axles and four wheels: RM12

3. By train
• KTMB operates train service to the Butterworth train station.
• This is within walking distance to the ferry to Penang Island.
• Tickets can be booked at the train station, the ferry terminal, or online.
• The journey to or from Kuala Lumpur takes about 6 hours.
• An overnight train departs Bangkok daily at 2:45 PM Thai time.
• It is scheduled to arrive in Butterworth at 1:45 PM Malaysian time.
• Trains are air conditioned.
• They are all sleeper cars.
• They cost THB1, 210, with a THB104 surcharge for bicycles.

4. By bus
• Buses in Georgetown arrive or depart at the new bus terminal at Sungai Nibong.
• This is a fifteen-minute ride from the center.
• This is about ten minutes from the airport.
• A taxi to the center costs RM20.
• Rapid Penang bus 301 and 401E goes to KOMTAR and Pengkalan Weld.

Major Coach Operators include
– Fivestars : online booking
– Konsortium
– Plusliner / Nice
– Transnasional
– Mutiara
• The trip from Kuala Lumpur’s Pudu Raya bus station or Kota Bharu, Perhentian Islands each cost around RM35.
• It takes around 5-6 hours.
• Buses to or from Johor Bahru and Singapore takes about 10 hrs.
• It costs RM 60 or SGD$45.
• It’s possible to travel by bus to and from Thailand.
• Tickets are available from travel shops in and around Penang Road.

5. By minivan
Minivan service is more expensive than bus service and is available between Georgetown and cities in Thailand daily. These cities are such as:
– Ko Phi Phi
– Phuket
– Trang
– Surat Thani
– Krabi
– Ko Samui
– Ko Pha Ngan
– Bangkok
– Hat Yai (RM30)
Service is available to the Perhentian Islands for 130-150 RM with boat included.

6. By boat
Penang Port operates ferries to or from Butterworth daily from 5:30AM till 1:00AM.
Ferry rates are:
• RM1.20 for adults
• RM0.60 for children
• RM1.40 for bicycles
• RM2.00 for motorbikes
• RM7.70 for cars
• Additional fees for larger vehicles
Langkawi Ferry Services operates ferry service from Langkawi to Penang.
– They travel at 2:30PM and 5:15PM daily.
– Ph: +60 4 2642088 in Penang
– Ph: +60 4 9663779
One-way trip costs
– RM60 for adult
– RM45 for child (3-11 years old)
– RM25 for infant (below 2 years old)
– Return trip costs RM115, RM85 and RM50 respectively
– Trip takes 2 hr and 30 min.
Langkawi Ferry Services operates ferries from the Belwan port in Medan to Penang on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Returning to Penang on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The boat leaves at 9:00am at the journey takes 6 hours.
– Ph: +604264-2088 in Penang
– Ph: +62614521666 / +62614527555 in Medan
– Adult: RM110 one-way, RM180 return
– Child: RM60 one-way, RM100 return.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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accomodations at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Penang Hill – Malaysia

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blogs and reviews at

Images and photos about Penang Hill – Malaysia

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Videos of Penang Hill – Malaysia

Penang Hill – Georgetown, Pulau Penang, Pinang, Malaysia

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