Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)


     …… Seeking and ‘Peak’ing some adventures at Penang


‘Pearl in the Oyster’ – at Penang Hill


Talk about vantage point, talk about Penang hill! The ever charming peak of Bukit Bendera or Penang Hill offers a bird’s eye view of the city. Nestled in Air Itam, it is about six kilometres from George Town. It offers a plethora of activities, while boasting of an enthralling view and colourful flora comprising of insectivorous plants, coniferous trees, oaks, ferns, orchids and a variety of birds, animals and forest inhabitants.


Lush flora at Bukit Bendera


Interesting facts:

  • Dating back to 1700’s, it is believed to be the oldest British hill stations in the whole of Southeast Asia
  • The hill has its highest peak at 833 metres above sea level
  • Its funicular train runs on the steepest tunnel track in the world
  • Average temperature: 21ᵒc
  • It offers a panoramic view of the mainland as well as the island


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We were lucky to capture a window seat at the Funicular Train (psst: thanks to the express lane)


Things to do by day:

There’s a lot to do by day. Try most of these and you will have the time of your life!


Buggy ride: Take a buggy ride through the lanes and roads of the hill across heritage bungalows and understand the history of Penang and the hill better. A buggy ride costs RM 30 for 4 people on a single ride and takes about 20-25 minutes for the entire tour.


Buggy ride route…


Monkey Cup garden: Stop by this place, hop off to the restaurant/café amidst street art and take a sneak peek into the brick-laden framework that showcases monkey cups and other rare insectivorous plants.


Monkey cups through the framework of bricks


Owl Museum: The cutest and most adorable part of the hill, that houses owl artefacts made of different materials, shapes and sizes from various parts of the world. Step into the amazing world of owls and hoot away to some fun facts, flaunt Harry Potter’s hood and click away to the 3D pieces and engaging forms of owl-work.


A museum of fun – Of poses and clicks!


Food court: A food court serving Penang delights is right at the end of the ground, just above the Owl Museum. From local street food to pizzas and iced desserts, you have it all under one roof.



Char Kuey Teow at the food court offering ‘Penang Delights’



Things to do at night:

  • Enjoy the view
  • Stroll along every alley and pause at every viewing deck you can see
  • It’s all about the breeze and weather amidst twinkling lights
  • Head to the bar to enjoy a sandwich over drinks overlooking the mainland and island
  • Make sure you board the last tram on time


Twinkling at night…


The day and night offer such different views that it’s difficult to point out which one’s better!!! Do what I did – go there twice – once by day and the other at night! Get the best of both worlds 🙂


How to get there:

  • Hike it up: for the adventurous and hiking enthusiasts. Keep at least 4 hours in hand. Stop at various spots and imbibe the view and freshness of your surroundings.
  • Tram it up: the funicular train takes you right up in ten minutes. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Though the first one started in 1923, the current one is the fourth generation tram system.


Coniferous trees all along the hilly trail


Penang Hill at a glance:

There is so much to do at the hill. It’s always lively and bustling with people and activities.

  • Mosque
  • Temple
  • Hotel
  • Monkey cup garden
  • Owl Museum
  • Clinic
  • Police station
  • Food court
  • Playground
  • 2nd generation train
  • Cannon
  • Viewing deck
  • Jeep track
  • Beautifully illuminated pathways


Temple at the hill-top



Do not missssssssssssssssss….

  • Clicking at the monkey cups, next to the grounds
  • Heritage post boxes along buggy trails
  • Street art at Monkey Cup ground
  • The cannon at the entrance to the playground and temple
  • Love locks just above the food court


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Street art at Monkey Cup (along the buggy ride trail)


The happenings:

A lot keeps happening atop! Stay tuned and updated with the latest. See some examples below:

  • Zumba classes every Sunday, 07:30 – 08:30 hours
  • Cycling adventures during the adventure month at Penang Hill (October)
  • The Light festival (November)
  • Penang Hill Festival (December)


The prominent red vintage post-box


Timings and tips:

  • 06:30 – 23:00 hours daily
  • Ticket counter at the bottom station closes at: 22:30
  • Take the ‘fast/express lane’ to skip the queue and enjoy air conditioned waiting lounges especially during the holiday season (double/triple the price)
  • Check out the latest promos and festivals before heading there

Pssttt!!!!! Funicular maintenance is scheduled from 11th – 20th Jan, 2016. Plan your trips accordingly.


Map of Penang Hill



422, Jalan Bukit Bendera,

11500 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia



Hedwig’s rather lonnngggg printed msg for me!!! Too much to read… sigh!!!! 3D fun for Harry Potter fans at the Owl Museum


This post originally appeared on Lyf&Spice

Linking it to #MondayEscapes

Packing my Suitcase
Linking it to #TheWeeklyPostcard
The Selim Family Raasta

23 thoughts on “Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)

  1. Fantastic review of Penang Hill. I remember visiting it many years ago, but I honestly can’t remember there is so much to see and do. My son would love the Funiculur up! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really close to home for us! I went there many times as a teenager, but I haven’t been in a few years now. We used to go back when the Canopy Walk was still open (it’s been closed for a long time) and loved that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a description written by you ! Vicariously I have travelled Penang not gregariously. Keep describing like this about lovely places.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, therez soooo much to do that one cant cover everything in a single trip. Yup, monkey cup is a picher plant… found in tropical lands.. it’s carnivorous 🙂


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