EXPLORING PENANG : PENANG HILL

Two weeks ago, I went on an academic trip with my university to Penang. We spent 4 nights in Penang and did a bunch of things. Since it was an academic trip, it wasn’t all touristy so I won’t be giving you the detail of the entire trip, only the touristy parts because, who cares if we visited the Royal Customs office or USM?

The first thing we did was visit Penang Hill, or Bukit Bendera, which is a very popular tourist attraction in Penang. It is apparently the oldest British hill station in Southeast Asia, which takes you to the top of the hill. With 52, 100 year-old, bungalows, it doesn’t only take you closer to nature but the history and culture of Penang as well.

There is a train that would take you to the top of the hill for only RM10 for a round trip, RM5 for one way. For students, it’s only RM5 for a round trip. The line for the train is very long, even at 9.30AM. If you don’t feel like waiting in line, you can get the fast lane ticket for only RM30. The fast lane ticket grants you priority to get on the train before anybody else.

This is the red phone booth I’m talking about

At the top, you will be greeted with an observatory tower over looking the island and from there, you will find a lot of interactive activities for you to do. As you follow the trail, you will find a red phone booth. At the phone booth, you can purchase tickets to go through a love lane, a dwarf village (filled with lawn gnomes), you can feed rabbits (rabbit food is RM3) and go through a bee village. The entrance at the phone booth is actually RM15 but when we came, they had a promo so they discounted it to RM10. Then I asked for a student discount and they gave me RM5, such a steal!

I tried feeding the rabbit and it was so much fun! The trick is to put a lot of the leaves onto your hand then let the rabbit come to you and eat the food. If you put too little, the rabbit might bite your hand by accident. It happened to me a couple of times and it was not pretty!

At the bee village, you can taste a variety of all-natural honey which they sell in the form of pure honey and honey juice (essentially honey mixed with filtered water). I actually don’t like honey, despite my name. But the honey here tasted really nice. My favourite was lychee honey.

If you walk some more, you will come across an owl museum, which showcases owl merchandise instead of actual living owls. On the roof of the owl museum, there is a love lock garden which looks like it was definitely inspired by the love lock tower at N Seoul Tower in Seoul. It looks exactly the same, except with less locks. They even have the same chairs!

A little further, you will find the Sri Aruloli Thirumugan temple and a mosque. I only entered the temple because it was something completely foreign to me, unlike a mosque, which is part of my culture as a Malay Muslim. I’ve always wanted to enter a Hindu temple so I’m glad I’ve ticked it off my bucket list. It’s always fascinating to check out a foreign culture and belief. What I didn’t enjoy was the stairs leading up to the temple. At least now I know I’ll never visit Batu Caves.

View at 1PM

If you want to catch a good view of the city from the hill, you might want to come when the sky is clear and the sun is out. It might be hot and humid but I think it’s completely worth it. For only RM10, Penang Hill is a good catch and you shouldn’t miss it.

Penang Hill
Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera
Air Itam 11500 Pulau Pinang

www.penanghill.gov.my

Talk again soon,
Hani Lutfi

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