If you’re planning a trip to Penang, then you’ll want to add Penang Hill to your list of things to do. With incredible views over Georgetown, it makes for a lovely morning or afternoon out.
A walk up Penang Hill
To get there via public transport, look for the 204 bus. We managed to catch it near to our guesthouse, from Chulia Street. The KOMTAR centre has a big bus station underneath it, so our recommendation would be to head to there. It costs RM2.80 for a return or RM2.00 for a single, which is around 50p. So cheap! Their website has a little more information should you need it. There is also a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus which zips around town and will drop off/pick up there.
Tickets for Penang Hill cost 30RM for adults, which is around £5. The ticket covers you for one return funicular journey. Childrens tickets cost 5 ringgit, but the website says that’s only for 4-6 year olds. Older children might end up paying full price! It’s a very steep journey up so it’s not possible to walk up to the top, the funicular is fun and quick and in our opinion, worth it!
The Penang Hill Funicular
Cramming ourselves into the little car to take us to the top was an event. Once we were locked inside, the little train zipped up the hill. The climb is so steep that you start to wonder just how much power it takes to get this thing up to the top! The views are stunning, but they’re even better once you leave the train, so save your photography skills for then.
The train takes no time at all to ascend, and it’s just as weird coming back down. If you thought it looked steep climbing up, it’s even scarier on the way back…
There are a million places to stop and take a good photo of the views over Penang. I couldn’t stop snapping away! We were so lucky on the day that we chose to go, the skies were blue and the sun not too high in the sky. It really is one of the best views we’ve ever seen.
Plenty to do
Once you’re at the top, Penang Hill seemingly has a hundred attractions. There’s an odd Owl museum, and an even odder waxwork museum, which looked to be full poor imitations of superheroes and celebrities, if you’re looking for some nightmare fuel. There’s a cafe or two to stop at of course, and some gift shops too, naturally. We opted just to have a simple, leisurely walk around a few of the trails, and mostly avoided the hap hazard litter of tourist attractions.
We followed signs for ‘Monkey Cup’, a cafe nestled deep in the rainforest. They serve a small selection of drinks, and also give tours of their garden which boasts a variety of unusual plants! We stopped for a drink each and it felt like we were in another world! Rainforest cafe, eat your heart out.
A little slice of home made it all the way up Penang Hill! It was quite exciting to see a postbox after being away for so long, aren’t we sad? Google told us that it’s apparently the oldest post box in Penang. The ‘VR’ insignia on the front told us it was from Queen Victoria’s reign. That’s one old postbox. How interesting!
A grand day out
Penang Hill makes for a lovely half day excursion. There’s just enough to keep you and your camera entertained for a few hours. We were glad that we visited, and loved looking out over Georgetown. The best time to go is probably a weekday morning. We found that it wasn’t too busy, weekends and afternoons are probably busier. Go early in the day to beat the heat, by the time we’d gotten back down to the bus it was truly roasting.
It’s worth adding this attraction to your visit list if you’re off to Malaysia – you won’t be disappointed!