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Penang Hill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator III   
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 01:19

Penang Hill is one of Penang island's featured attractions. Well known for its cool and fresh climate from the tropical heat of George Town, it is a popular holiday retreat to the locals as well as tourists. Penang Hill is also known for its magnificently spectacular panoramic view of George Town, the mainland, the Penang Bridge and the Straits of Malacca which can be viewed from the Penang Hill Summit. The hill, also known as Bukit Bendera or Flagstaff Hill, is  833 m (2,723 ft) above sea level and stands out prominently from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area.



Access to the hill is most enjoyable by the Penang Hill Railway, a two section funicular railway which climbs Penang Hill from Air Itam. The railway was opened to the public on October 21, 1923 and the total journey takes about half an hour, with passengers changing cars at the mid-point station. The train may also stop at other intermediate stations upon request or the alighting of residents living around the hill.

*Update: The Penang Hill Furnicular Train service is currently undergoing a major upgrade and will be functioning as normal by the end of October 2010. Alternative transportation up to Penang Hill is available from the Penang Botanic Gardens Quarry.

Alternatively, there is a 5.1 km (3.17 mile) tarred road popularly known as the "jeep track". It is open only to the vehicles of hill residents. The "jeep track" is also a popular hiking route. It begins at the quarry of the entrance of Penang Botanic Gardens and it takes a two or three hour leisure hike to reach the top.



The sights on Penang Hill itself is a nice relaxing view. Because of its cool weather, beautifully landscaped flowers of all colours bloom in full glory in the gorgeous flower garden.

Not only are the plants fresh with life but the modestly tiny bird park situated before the entrance of the old Bellevue hotel is alive with cheerful singing and the colourful dashes of the playful birds.

Besides that there is a tea kiosk, several restaurants, souvenir stalls, a mosque, and a Hindu temple for visitors to visit. A number of picturesque bungalows and guesthouses were built around Flagstaff Hill and some are up for rent for those who intend to stay for more than a day.

Numerous trekking trails lead from various starting points in the lowlands to Penang Hill. The more popular trails include the Moongate Trail, trail from Air Itam Dam to Tiger Hill, trail from Hye Keat Estate and trail from the Municipal Park (formerly Youth Park). Some of the trails are used by farmers to transport produces to the markets of Balik Pulau and Air Itam.  Some of the more famous pit stops at the hill are 52 and 84. At these pit stops, the view of island is visible to hikers who are able to get some water and tea prepared by locals stationed on the hill.

Present on Penang Hill is also a 32 counder cannon, rich in historical value. Weighing 2.75 tons. It can fire a 32 pound ball propelled by an 11LB (5kg), gun powder charge giving a muzzle velocity of 1600 ft per second. Usually situated at the lower gun deck, with a muzzle some 2 m above water-line, it can reach the target range of 1,000 feet.
It is made of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin commonly used in 18th and 19th century artillery.
This cannon was probably transported from town to hill as an ornament or to warn the presence of pirates.

The new Penang Hill funicular train service has been opened to the public from April 25 after the upgrading. Before the upgrade, the total journey uphill takes about half an hour, with passengers changing cars at the mid-point station. The train may stop at other intermediate stations upon request. Unlike the previous train service, today, the new train does not require passengers to change trains half way up. Passengers will have non-stop service in air conditioned Swiss-made coaches.

The Penang Hill railway has been operating since 1923, providing 87 years of service until today. In 1977 new cars were provided, before the most recent upgrade starting February 2010. New cars were purchased to increase the passenger capacity as well as the speed of the train. Today it is capable of carrying up to 100 passengers at one go, and the train runs every half hour.

Schedule:

Weekdays (Monday to Friday): 6.30am to 7pm

Weekends and public holiday: 6.30am to 9pm

Fare:

For Malaysian:
Adult: RM 8 per adult
Children: RM 4 (age 7-12) per child
Senior Citizen: RM 4 per person
Monthly Pass: RM 24 (for resident on the hill)
Disabled Person Free (with OKU card)

For Foreign Tourists:
Adult: RM 30 per adult
Children: RM 15 (age 7-12) per child
Contact Penang Hill Corporation at 04-8288880/39 for further information.

For further information, kindly contact:

Penang Hill Corporation (PHC)

(temporary office):  No. 12 Brown Road.

Tel: 04-2288861 / 2288862.


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2011 13:23
 

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