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If you are in Penang and you like outdoors, then this is for you.
I have been in Penang many times. I had heard of Penang Hill funicular, that it’s worth checking out if you like beautiful views. But I hadn’t heard of Penang Hill Hike. Until November 2019, when I was in Penang again.
And I thought, if there is a funicular, it must be possible to walk up there as well.
Turns out it is possible.
All you have to do is follow the Penang Hill hiking trail.
1. The Penang Hill Hike: Basics
Is it worth it? If you enjoy being in nature, then it definitely is.
STARTING POINT: Penang Hill Hike starting point;
Just go to this point. You can get to this point also by taxi.
TIME: around 90 – 120 minutes to get to Penang Hill upper funicular station. From there you can take a funicular down the hill.
Or around 3 – 4 hours to walk to the top and back down. Without going to funicular station.
DIFFICULTY: easy, for most part you are walking on hard surface.
TIPS: go early, as it gets very hot during the day. Bring a phone with navigation. Because at some parts it’s easy to take a wrong turn. Two such places are already at the top of the mountain. I almost missed the turn to Penang Hill upper station.
You can see the trail on Google Maps.
2. How to Get to Penang Hill Hiking Trail
How to get from Georgetown to Penang hill?
Take a bus or Grab taxi, or walk.
It’s very easy to get a bus to Penang hill.
Buses 201 and 203 stop very near the starting point of the trail. Or you can also take bus 204 going to Penang Hill lower station, from where you can take a funicular up the hill. And also you can walk to the starting point of the trail.
If you are going by taxi or walking, head right to this place.
This is how it looks there:
Taxi will drop you right here.
At the end of the road. From here on you start hiking Penang hill.
3. If You Don’t Want to Walk
Then it’s possible to take a funicular.
Penang Hill opening hours:
Ticket counter hours are 6.15 am to 10.00 pm.
The funicular service starts from 6.30 am and the last service is at 11.00 pm from Upper Station.
Standard one way ticket costs 15 MYR.
Two way ticket – 30 MYR.
Book your tickets online or get them from ticket counter.
I can highly recommend you to visit the Kek Lok Si temple.
You can also go on a half-day tour, during which you will visit not only Penang hill, but also the famous Kek Lok Si temple and a couple other beautiful sights. I can highly recommend you to visit the Kek Lok Si temple. Book your tour here.
4. The Penang Hill Hike: My Experience
In a way it’s a super easy hike.
You just follow the trail/path until the hilltop.
There you turn to the right (there are signs) and go to the upper station (if you wish), from where you can take a funicular down the hill.
But… since there are a few trails, you should be attentive.
At first you can follow the sign you see above.
Here as well.
But here you shouldn’t follow it anymore.
If you read Chinese, then maybe it’s easy to understand why.
If you don’t read (I don’t), you may mistakenly go to a temple instead of the hilltop.
Here go to the right – follow the path you are on.
About half the way up the hill you see beautiful views of Georgetown.
For about 1/4 of the trail you are walking in the forest.
If you are unsure and Google Maps doesn’t help, follow the trail you are on.
Or the trail going up the hill (if the trail splits).
Like in this situation.
That’s near the hilltop.
I walked to the top, and took a train down the hill.
In this case you’ll have to buy your ticket at the lower station. After you’ll get down.
What to do on Penang hill? Get a lunch or some juice and enjoy the view.
5. Where to Stay in Penang
VALUE FOR MONEY – Victoria Inn, Penang
A popular 2-star hotel with great location.
Most of the Penang’s top attractions are nearby. The hotel is situated only a short walk away from Penang Ferry and Bus Terminal. If you are coming from or to Langkawi or Kuala Lumpur, it’s a great place to stay at. Because you don’t even have to take a taxi to get to/from hotel.
They also offer dorm beds for a very reasonable rate.
Have you done the Penang Hill Hike? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.