Sunday, July 26, 2009

Penang Hill – Bukit Bendera

Penang Hill is a hill resort comprising a group of peaks, the major hill system of Penang, Malaysia. It is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city centre of George Town, and stands out prominently from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area. Penang Hill is also known by the Malay name Bukit Bendera, which refers to Flagstaff Hill, the most developed peak. Because Penang Hill has a cooler environment, it has been a popular holiday retreat. A number of bungalows were built around Flagstaff Hill. The northern part of the Hills is not well developed. Government Hill, Bukit Timah and others are designated water catchment areas and no development is permitted. Some recreational potential exists at the upper reaches of the river where the water is relatively clean. In a number of cases, sudden changes in ground level have resulted in a series of small waterfalls and rapids; where bathing, dipping and picnicking are popular. The lower terrain of the Hills is used mainly for agricultural and residential purposes. The most important feature of Penang Hill is the cooler climate. The core summit area has an average temperature ranging from 20° to 27°C. The mean minimum temperature is consistently below 21°C. The hottest months are between December and April while the coolest months are between June and October. The most common forest type found on Penang Hill is the hill dipterocarp forest. Growing at higher altitudes are some of the submontane oak-laurel as well as coniferous trees. The Tree fern which is normally associated with higher elevations is also found growing here. Large mammals are not found in Penang Hills. Wild boars, small and medium sized mammals such as the squirrels, monkeys and tree shrews can be sighted. Penang Hills have a rich bird fauna. Over 100 species or about 80% of the birds found on Penang Island have been recorded here. They range from the common garden species to rare deep forest inhabitants.

Interesting Places:
  • Get up to Penang Hill using the old funicular railway, known as Penang Hill Railway. Alight at Upper Station after about 30 minutes ride. Begins at 6.30am and ends at 9.30pm.
  • Go hiking at one of these trails: Botanic Gardens, Hye Keat Estate, Tiger Hill or Moon Gate at Waterfall Road.
  • Visit the bird sanctuary at the Bellevue Hotel grounds.
  • Go sightseeing along Summit Road
  • Try the Canopy Walk.
  • Visit the Indian Temple and Mosque which is situated on a hillock, and built side by side.
  • Finally, relax at the Railway Bungalow on Penang Hill.
Opening Hours: Opens 7 days a week

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