Penang Hill

Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera (in Malay), is one of the oldest colonial hill stations established by the British during their reign in Malaysia. Explored in the late 18th century, a horse trail was cut by the Waterfall Gardens (present day Penang Botanic Gardens) to the summit of the hilly spine of Penang, allowing the British to escape from the heat of George Town to the cooler climate on the hill.

The earliest mode of transport to the hill was a system called ‘doolies’ (using horses), where officials were carried up the hill on special sedan chairs. To further exploit the potential of the hill, systems of bridle paths were cut by Indian penal servitude prisoners for the construction of bungalows on the hill.

The Penang Hill Funicular Railway was the second mode of transport established for access to the summit. This railway has become an iconic landmark of Penang. The train ride up the hill is marked with beautiful scenes of vegetable plots, bungalows, orchards and farmhouses. On a clear day, visitors can even see Mount Jerai on mainland Kedah.

Penang Hill is located at Air Itam, a short distance from another iconic landmark, the Kek Lok Si Temple.

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