Penang Hill is the highest peak on Penang Island at 833 meters above sea level. The hill overlooks George Town.
To reach its summit, there are several hikes, each with its own uniqueness.
We opted for the one starting from the Moon Gate, which is located on the road leading to the Penang Botanical Gardens. It is a yellow concrete door in a full moon shape very easy to find.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of this hike, but I still wanted to talk about it because we loved it. I had a problem with my camera. This gives me a good excuse to go back, and thus be able to complete my article. 😊
We took a GRAB to get to the Moon Gate. It was simpler for us, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s a cheap means of transport used also by many Malaysians.
The start of the hike
For starters, the main path is a steep staircase that can be followed throughout the hike. As the idea of climbing stairs did not excite us too much, we opted for the alternative, which was to take a small path through the jungle. The climb by this route is steep, sometimes slippery, but never dangerous! In the delicate passages, ropes have been installed to help. Otherwise, you have to put your hands in the mud and cling to the roots!
After an hour of walking and several short breaks to catch our breath, 😁 this is the arrival at “Station 5”, the first stage of our ascent.
As for the path to take, it is really well indicated. Just follow the “Number 5” signs along the way.
“Station 5” is a special place. It made me think of a leisure center, with a set-up rest area, a small kitchen, a playground, and most surprisingly a fitness park! After the climb we had just made, I thought I was dreaming! 😁 Working out here? Wow!
This place has been accommodated by local hikers, who like to meet up here to spend some time. Besides, when we arrived, panting and sweating, a group was quietly seated at a table with fresh drinks and playing cards. They greeted us cheerfully, indicated the way to follow, and on their recommendation not to leave the path traced at the risk of getting lost, we went back to the assault of the second part of the hike. This part is much easier. The path is wider and less steep than what we had just climbed.
The landscape, too, is a little different. It feels more like a forest than a jungle. We moved at a good pace before reaching a paved road and cross rails. And we discovered that there was actually a funicular that makes it easy to climb to the top of Penang Hill. We would find out about this option at the top. But before that, as the last part follows the rails of the funicular, I let you imagine the slope … My calves still hurt. It was not long but relatively intense!
Arrival at the summit
We arrived at the summit where monkeys, attracted by tourists who feed them, welcomed us. We learned about the funicular. It connects Bukit Bendera, a village near George Town to the top of Penang Hill, and it is possible to buy a one-way ticket for the descent which we rushed to do!
The place is very touristy and has been designed for this purpose. There are many eateries, fresh fruit juice bars, souvenir shops… And the funniest, a wall of “love padlocks” and romantic places to take selfies as a couple! It’s a little surprising, but it works. 👩❤️💋👩
However, no selfie for me after the climb I just made. I didn’t feel to my advantage for a photo-memory in front of a heart in my husband’s arms. ♥️
The weather was clear, and we made the most of the view that extends to the coast.
But not for a very long time. A heavy downpour was brewing, and we appreciated our descent on the funicular. By the time we got to the bottom, we knew the good weather would be back. 😃
Our half-day here ended.
If you want more ideas for strolls on Penang Hill, here’s an official link that will tell you more. 😉 http://penanghill.gov.my/hikingtrails/
We also climbed to “Station 5” from “City Park” the following day. This climb is more pleasant if you prefer quieter walks. Another option that can also be nice to enjoy nature without being too sporty. Take the funicular early in the morning, feast your eyes on the view, and then go down quietly by the paths. In any case, it would be a shame not to take advantage of this nature and to settle for a funicular back trip. 😊