We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Hard walk but worth it” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Penang Hill

Penang Hill
Book In Advance
More Info
$48.03*
and up
Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple Afternoon Tour
Ranked #3 of 123 things to do in George Town
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This 2,750 foot hill has a funicular railway that can take you to the top.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
293 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 241 helpful votes
“Hard walk but worth it”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

I've visited Penang twice and intended trying both ways of getting up the hill.

First time I was on my own and fancied some exercise so I tried walking up the hill via the road that starts next to the entrance to the Botanic Gardens. This is not a walk for the faint-hearted, climbing 800m in about 5k means the average grade is about 1 in 6, and in places it's so steep you walk faster than the numerous mountain bikers are pedalling beside you. However, most of the road is sheltered by trees, which although it means you don't get a view other than the one from the top, you don't roast in the sun.

Once at the top, the view is great over the city and across to the mainland. There are various food outlets serving basic but tasty local grub, but beware there's no a/c in most if you've sweated your way up the hill on foot.

The other way is the train, which I wanted to try with the kids on our second visit. Unfortunately this was the Sunday of Malaysia Day weekend, and the queue at the bottom was horrendous so we gave up. My observation from the two visits is that the train should ideally run more frequently; it seems to be only once every 20 minutes or so, which is not enough to cope when demand is high, but it looks like a fun ride if you choose an off-peak time.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank MacDaddyinSing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

5,413 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,594
    2,231
    1,218
    265
    105
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A great view - but lunch at the top wasn't all it was cracked up to be”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Maybe it's just me, but cream teas - scones, jam, cream - up on top of a big hill surrounded by butterflies, plants and flowers sounds like heaven. Unfortunately, as with so many things in Penang, service and attention to detail were shocking at David Brown's which was the main reason I went up in the first place. Putting aside from the insanely cramped ride up to the top the hill and the appalling state the little "village" is in, the only thing really worth going for is the view - and it really IS a great view.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Benjamin N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Penang Hill”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Penang Hill is the highest geographically accessible location in Penang island. Normally when you search for Penang Hill in Google Maps or GPS, it may show a location near to the Botanical garden. From there you have to hike around 4hrs. If you are searching for the cable car to Penang Hill, head to Air Itam.The road Jalan Bukit Bendera ends at the ticket center. You can get the ticket from there and go to the top by cable car. Our GPS showed us the point near Botanical garden and some people over there helped us to reach the cable car location. At the top you can find restaurants. There is a temple, a small bird park and some old bungalows. You can either walk or find some vehicles that will ride you for half an hour or 45min around that area. If going by vehicle, they may ask you whether you want to see carnivorous plant garden, they can wait. The ticket charge is 10rm, i dont remember exactly, but you can see those plants on the way itself.

We went in the evening and saw the night view of the city as well. Keep the tripod in that case.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rekha P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
141 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Tranquility Amidst The Green”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

We reached by bus after 2hours walk at Kek Lok Si. The Rapid bus service is wasn't on time, so the waiting time of 25min became really annoying. The rail station has been properly constructed to accomodate a great number of visitors, counter staff has been polite & informative. M'sian is accorded big disc.upon presenting Mykad. The ride is fun on a Wed,very calming scenery along the hill.
Penang Hill has undergone great changes compare to our last visit 7years back. The beautiful environment is complimented by buggy service provided for tourist who enjoyed a thorough tour around the hilltop. We opt to walk, it took about 1.5hour to reach the end of the path, view is definitely breathtaking, not to miss some old colonial houses and nicely decorated gardens.
Unfortunately, upon departing about 5pm,the rail service brokedown and a long qeue of tourist are left waiting for another 1hour!
There's a food court besides the rather expensive David Brown cafetaria, we tried the ABC/cendol and it was remarkably yummy!Fruit items displayed on the shelf looked fresh and juicy, even the exotic colors create an appetising feel.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank THAM38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nice view”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

After Kek Lok Si we walked to the Penang Hill Monorail which takes you up the hill. We enjoyed the evening view and ate at the David Brown's restaurant which served good food for decent prices considering the view.
Bring a tripod for night photography and mosquito repellent for the evening.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Micha L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Penang Hill also viewed

George Town, Penang Island
George Town, Penang Island
 
George Town, Penang Island
Air Itam, Penang Island
 

Been to Penang Hill? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing