Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)
|huge dipterocarps like this one at the botanic garden, used cover most of penang island
From the garden, a narrow road led up onto the crest of the ridge. There were two local companies run by Chinese who provided pony and sedan services plus extra labour to carry supplies up the hill. The charge for pony up or down the hill was $1½ and 35cents for a chair coolie. Five to eight coolies were required for each chair and the services of this sedan were normally required by the women, children, the sick and the older genteel. Men and officers would walk the distance. The walk up took roughly 2 – 3hrs but with jungle canopy shading sojourners below along the trail, and the gradual drop in temperature as they ascended towards the 821m peaks, this slow climb was probably bearable.
|signboards along the way
Penang Hill was possibly the first hill station built in the British colonies and pre-dated the larger hill stations in India such as Simla which were developed in the 1820’s. In 1805, Penang saw a short-lived 2nd revival when she was made the fourth presidency of India (other presidencies were Bombay, Madras and Bengal). The reason for its prestigious status was based on several exaggerations including its strategic position as a potential naval base and its economic potential.
Despite its newfound interest, total population of Europeans was probably no more than 300 and the hill station remained small and personal. Unfamiliar with the temperate conditions and the harshness of the Malayan jungles, there was certainly a demand for quiet, tranquil resorts to convalesce above the level of disease and mental stress that several suffered in the lowlands. Although temperature on Penang Hill was not high enough to create a cool environ for the colonists, (at only about 5°C cooler than that in the lowlands but that, was when the world was a lot cooler), it was reported that there were improvements in some patients, having been transferred from the lowlands.
There really wasn’t much for the early visitors to do except nature trekking, a stroll around the beautiful gardens that was later landscaped to look just like gardens back in Britain, a game of croquet, reading, painting and just to take in the wonderful view from the peak.
Bungalows on Penang Hill
|today, it's monkey class - free seating for our furry passengers.On other days, it's used as a trolley hooked to the tram for luggage transfer.
The early bungalows were later replaced or reconstructed into brick structures. Most of the mainland hill station bungalows were erected by the PWD (Public Waterworks Department) and there are many similarities architecture and structures at Penang Hill, Fraser’s Hill and Cameron Highlands. Many are still standing today.
The Bel Retiro bungalow, located on Flagstaff Hill, was commissioned in 1789 for the Governor of Penang and still remains the holiday residence of the Governor today. Another early bungalow was the Convalescent Bungalow, which required official permission to overnight. There was also the Medical Officer’s residence on Fern Hill, which had a dispensary to help and treat patients convalescing at the hill station.
Thomas Halyburton, a British Merchant and part time sheriff of Prince of Wales Island built his bungalow on Haliburton Hill. This bungalow was also known as Belle Vue and the hotel that sits on this site has retained its name Bellevue Hotel. Within the grounds of this hotel today is an aviary with a variety of exotic birds on display including macaws, cockatiels amongst others. Entrance fee is RM4 for adults and RM2 for children, and operating hours are 9am to 6pm, seven days a week. Bellevue Hotel also serves steamboat dinners for those who stay overnight on Penang Hill.
|crag hotel on the peak. the derelict hotel was used as a location shoot for the film 'Indochine' starring Catherine Deneuve
Penang & Surrounding Day Tours ~ Penang
• The seat-in-couch can only be conducted with the minimum number of person/adults required.
• Children aged between 3 – 11 years old
• Pick-up and drop-off service from major hotels except Bayan Lepas or Bayan Baru
• Services of an English Speaking Driver
• Touring by air-conditioned car or van (depending on the group size)
• Admission to attraction where applicable (refer to itinerary)
• Meals provided for the Scenic Night Tour, Breakfast at Local Wet Market Tour, Orang Utan & Mangrove Forest, The Lost World Of Tambun, Langkawi Geopark Discovery, Pulau Payar Snorkeling Tour
• Car can accommodate up to maximum 4 adult or 2 adult 2 child
• Van can accommodate up to 7 adults
• All meals & admission to attraction for private tours are at your own expense
• Any unused services are non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-deductible
• 100% cancellation charge applies for no-show or cancellation within 48-hrs
Every person participating in the tour organized by the Company is regarded in every respect as carrying his or her risk regarding loss or injury to person or property. The company accepts no responsibility for losses or expenses incurred due to delay, sickness, weather, strikes, war or other causes. Such losses and expenses shall be the responsibility of the traveller.
We advise you to wait at least 5 minutes before the stated pick-up time.
**Please Note that there will be a non-refundable handling charge on payment made. Conditions apply.