If you are planning to travel to Malaysia and want to avoid the too touristy, too commercialised Singapore, then Penang Hill is the perfect place for you. A scenic hill station, Penang Hill is slowly and steadily making its presence felt in the tourism sector. It’s a bad option to miss this place while travelling to Malaysia as there are many attractions to visit and many exciting things to do. But what exactly are the things to do in Penang Hill, while your stay there. Worry not! Here are some of the must visit attractions in Penang Hill.
#1 of 17 Things to do in Penang Hill | Added 20121 times in trip plans
Jalan Stesen Bukit Benderea, Georgetown, Penang Islands, Malaysia
Penang Hill is one of the oldest colonial hill station established by the British during their time in Malaysia. Explored in the late 18th century, a horse trail was cut by the Waterfall Gardens (present day Penang Botanic Gardens) to the summit of the hilly spine of Penang, allowing the British to escape from the chaos of George Town to the cooler climate on the hill.
Penang Hill comprises several hills including Strawberry Hill, Halliburton’s Hill, Flagstaff Hill, Government Hill, Tiger Hill and Western Hill. The highest point of this range is at Western Hill, with an elevation of 833m (2,723ft) above sea level. The range also serves as the largest water catchment area on the island, and a number of tributaries to major rivers in Penang.
With an elevation of more than 2,000 ft above sea level, Penang Hill offers the best panorama of George Town, and other conurbations on the eastern coast of Penang Island. Enjoy the view of the northern coast from Crag Hotel, or simply sit back and enjoy the lighting up of George Town at dusk. The cooler climate of Penang Hill is an important factor in the establishment of the hill resort which offers a cooler respite away from the hustle – bustle in George Town and its surrounding areas.
The alluring nature and mesmerizing view is what Penang Hill is known for and we couldn’t agree more!
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No. 1, Tokong Kek Lok Si, Georgetown, Penang Island 11500, Malaysia
07:00 am - 09:00 pm
Also known as the Temple of Supreme Bliss, Kek Lok Si is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and arguably one of the most famous in Penang. Located in Air Itam, the hills in that area (called “He San” or Crane Hill) have traditionally been regarded as geomantically significant, having all the right “feng shui” for a temple.
In fact, they are extremely popular as a retreat for monks and Taoists striving for immortality. The temple’s construction began in 1893, inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street. The Manchu Emperor Guangxu approved of the project, bestowing a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras.
Other Chinese rulers, such as His Majesty Emperor Kuang Xi and Empress Cixi of the Ching Dynasty, have been sufficiently impressed with the temple so as to have bestowed the temple with gifts.
The best time to visit Kek Lok Si is during the Chinese New Year celebrations, when the temple is adorned with thousands of bright hanging lanterns. At other times, there is still much to see, with prayer halls, pagodas, bell towers and a tortoise pond topping the list.
Its main draw is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas), completed in 1930. Boasting 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, its design symbolises the harmony between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, marrying a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, topped by a Burmese crown.
One can climb to the top of the pagoda via a steep flight of stairs and be rewarded with a great view of Penang. The 30.2m bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, is yet another popular highlight.
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29, Church Street, Georgetown, 10200 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
09:30 am - 05:00 pm
Displaying around 1000 pieces of antiques and collectibles, Pinang Peranakan Mansion recreates the historical Peranakan culture. It is housed in one of the most prestigious mansions and exhibits excellent blend of English, Scottish, Chinese and European architecture.
Traditionally crafted antiques, artefacts, furniture with beautiful carvings and memorabilia make it a must-visit in Penang!
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18 Cannon Square, 10450 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
Hidden in a maze of alleys and pre-war houses is the breathtakingly beautiful Khoo Kongsi – clanhouse built by the early Khoo clanmen more than 100 years ago. Three tucked away entrances at Cannon Street, Beach Street and Armenian Street will lead you the magnificent structure built on a beautiful courtyard.
The Khoo Kongsi Leong San Tong (which means ‘Dragon Mountain Hall’) clan house stands proud as a symbol of tradition, culture and values.
In 1901, the Leong San Tong was almost burned to the ground on the eve of the Chinese New Year. Five years later, a new Indo-Malay bungalow with Fujian temple and prayer pavilion stood in its place, signaling the re-birth of one of the most majestic clan houses in South East Asia.
Inside the clanhouse, elaborate murals and carvings tell of a rich history. Gold name plaques hang on the walls honouring those who have done the clan proud.
Founded by Hokkien immigrant workers who came to Penang to seek greater fortune, the clanhouse was set up promote clan solidarity and to foster Confucian core values such as filial piety and respect for the elders.
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Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
09:00 am - 07:00 pm
Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. Set close to the Esplanade and Penang Clocktower, the star-shaped bastion is one of the oldest structures in Penang. Named after Marquis Charles Cornwallis, only a set of ten-foot high outer walls remain, with an enclosed park within.
Situated on Penang’s north-eastern coast, a stroll along the privately-managed Fort Cornwallis’ perimeters will take you about 10 minutes. It is a surreal experience to hear the 1812 Overture playing over the speaker system while a Malaysian man dressed in full British regalia stands at the gate. Inside the fort is a variety of vaguely-informative exhibits.
Built in 1786, Fort Cornwallis was intended as a defensive structure against pirates, Kedah forces and even the French during the Napoleonic Wars. However although it was initially built for the Royal artillery troops and the military, it served an administrative function rather than an actively defensive one.
Spanning 4490 sq.ft. it was built as a stockade with no permanent structures. The fort stands on the site where Captain Francis Light first set foot in 1786 on the then virtually-uninhabited Penang and took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah. He then established a free port to lure trade from Britain’s Dutch rivals.
Originally built of nibong palms, during Colonel R.T. Farquhar’s term as Governor of Penang Fort Cornwallis was rebuilt with bricks and stones using Indian convict labor thus transforming the wooden fort into a stone structure. Fort Cornwallis’ star shape is attributed to the fact that this design was a better defence against multiple fields of fire from enemies.
A bronze statue of Captain Francis Light stands near Fort Cornwallis’ main entrance. Inside the fort are prison cells, barracks, munitions storage areas, a harbour light once used to signal incoming ships and the original flagstaff.
At the southwest corner of the fort is Penang’s first chapel, built in 1799. You can also see several old bronze cannons inside the fort including Seri Rambai, which is popularly regarded as a fertility symbol. Locals often place offerings of flowers and joss sticks at its base.
The largest fort in Malaysia, Fort Cornwallis was initially built to ward off attacks from pirates but then was turned into an administrative building. Today it acts as an important historical structure with a number of tourists visiting it everyday. Buy tickets for Fort Cornwallis online to avoid wastage of time in huge lines. You can also find out Fort Cornwallis ticket prices before booking them and combine Fort Cornwallis tickets with other attractive deals and tours. Other tickets for Fort Cornwallis tours can also be purchased from our ticketing platform at great deals.
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Jalan Batu Maung, 11960 Batu Maung, Pulau Penang, Malaysia
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
Located in the South East corner of Penang Island, the War Museum sits on 20 acres of hilltop land that was once the site of a British military fortress, built in the 1930's to protect the island from a possible Japanese invasion by sea.
During the Japanese occupation of Penang Island, the Japanese used this fortress as an army base and prison, where the torture and interrogation of prisoners was conducted.
After WWII, the fortress was abandoned and the jungle took over again. Some 30 years later the job of reclaiming the land started to take place and the War Museum was opened as both a memorial and educational centre.
Today, most of the buildings and underground tunnels built by the British Royal Engineers and a local labor force are still there for visitors to wander around, with a lot of old photographs and information signs about the artifacts and the way of life of the soldiers and prisoners that once lived here.
Worth observing are:
One of the Pill Box's built around the fortress.
The underground logistic offices, just one of the many underground offices and tunnels.
Army barracks where the Indian, Malay and British soldiers used to live.
One of the old bicycles that the Japanese army used to travel through Peninsular Malaysia, along with old photos of them riding them.
Nestled in the southeast corner of Penang Island, the place brims with tourists and historians everyday who come here to get some thorough insight about world history and its wars. Penang War Museum Tickets are very cheap. The museum also provides a certain concession in Penang War Museum Ticket Prices for children. You can also Book Tickets for Penang War Museum online and then later avail the Tickets for Penang War Museum on arrival. It is a far lot better idea to Buy Tickets for Penang War Museum earlier as later the crowd can get really rough. There might also be some Penang War Museum Ticket Cost for parking.
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Penguasa Taman & Kebun - Kebun Bunga Jabatan Kebun Bunga Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350, Pulau Pinang, 10350, Malaysia
05:00 am - 08:00 pm
The Gardens were founded in 1884 by Charles Curtis from the Gardens and Forests Departments Straits Settlements. Walking around the Gardens, one cannot miss the Cannon Ball Tree (Couropita guanensis) and the large buttress roots of the Sengkuang Tree (Dracantamelon dao).
Look out for the Pinang Palm (Areca catechu) that lent its name to the island of Penang, and the Black Lily (Tacca integrifalia) with its unique purplish-black coloured flowers. The endemic Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum barbatum) and the ginger, Geoctachys penangensis, can also be found here.
Look out also for the wildlife inhabiting the gardens. Commonly seen are the long-tailed Macaques, Dusky Leaf Monkeys, Black Giant Squirrels and a myriad of insects and butterflies.From afar, one could catch a view of the famous waterfall up on the hills above the reservoir.
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Teluk Bahang, Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
06:00 am - 07:00 pm
Spanning over an area of 1213 hectares of land and sea, this natural treasure serves as a study area for scientists, researches and is a delight to the nature lovers visiting Penang. With more than 417 flora and 143 species, this park is protected and conserved by the Malaysian government for its rare findings.
When in Penang national park, there are innumerable natural marvels to explore. They Include: Hill / Lowland Dipterocarp Forests, Mangrove Forest areas,sandy beach habitats, the unique seasonal meromictic lake and the open coastal seas.
Stands of Seraya (Shorea curtisii) trees, common feature of coastal Dipterocarp Forest, can be easily seen on steep slopes around Muka Head.
The park incorporates following beaches in its area and a boat ride is recommended.
Teluk Duyung (Monkey Beach)
Another unique feature of this national park is the 250 meter long Canopy walk. It allows visitors to view the lush forest from an interesting angle.
Built on dipterocarp trees with only ropes for support, without the aid of a single nail, screw or bolt, the canopy walkway hovers above most of the rainforests below. The longest stretch is 45 metres while the shortest walkway is only 5 metres.
This park is indeed the display of huge biodiversity of Malaysia and is a must-visit on your trip to Penang. Perfect for a day-out!
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Lorong Burma, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
05:00 am - 06:00 pm
This is the only Burmese Buddhist temple outside Mynammar and is located in the Georgetown area of Penang. Standing opposite to Wat Chayamangkalaram temple, this temple was built in 1805 and presents excellent decor and architecture.
Many statues of Buddha contributed by Buddha’s devotees, two Panca Rupa (guardian protectors of the world) images, which stand over a globe, add to the mystic effect of the temple.
Visit this anytime during the day or during prayer times!
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24 Lorong Burma, Georgetown, 10250 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
06:00 am - 05:30 pm
Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram is a Thai Buddhist temple in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, most notable for its Reclining Buddha statue. The statue is the 3rd largest of its kind, being 33 meters in length.
In the main shrine in front of the Reclining Buddha there are smaller shrines of different Buddhas and popular Thai deities. Also on the temple grounds many colored statues of Devas and other mythical creatures are on display.
The temple was built in 1845 on a piece of land given by Queen Victoria to four women trustees as a gesture of goodwill to boost trading relations with Thailand.
The first monk was a Theravada Buddhist monk from Thailand, Phorthan Kuat, also known as the "Powerful Monk". Legend has it that he was very fond of laksa, a local specialty and even today devotees bring a bowl of laksa as an offering to his shrine.
In addition to the 108 ft-long reclining Buddha, Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple also has smaller statues of the ‘Awakened One’ in various guises plus you can also see statuettes of other popular Thai deities in the main prayer hall.
Besides that there is a series of colourful statues of Devas and other mythical creatures on display, spread out across the temple grounds. Vibrant murals depicting Buddha’s life story are painted on the temple walls.
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Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
12:01 am - 12:00 am
This is the oldest Christian cemetery in Penang. It is also known as Northern Road cemetery and was set up in 18th century for British colonial administrators, traders and missionaries. The earliest grave is that of Captain Francis light- one of the fathers of British colonialism in Southeast Asia. There are also many other notable British personalities buried here.
A stroll through the shady pavements and you will feel at peace!
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Lebuh Farquhar, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
This museum was established in 1821 and houses the national and state collection of Baba Nyonya porcelain, furniture, jewellery and costumes. It also preserves and displays eight oil paintings by Captain Robert Smith. The building itself hosted the first English language public school in the east.
It can be broadly classified into two sections:
Permanent exhibition provides an insight through Penang’s history, culture and festivals. It has an extensive collection of photos, maps and historical records.
This is the art gallery that showcases traditional Malay seamanship and paintings of old Penang. Temporary exhibits are held from time to time.
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Lebuh Queen, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
06:30 am - 11:00 pm
Sri Mariamman Temple is a Hindu temple set on Lebuh Queen and Lebuh Chulia in Georgetown’s compact Little India district: a vibrant community whose outer face is of saris, incense shops and banana leaf curry houses. Built in 1833, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Subramaniam.
Also known as the Arulmigu Sri Mahamariamman Temple or Queen Street Indian Temple, it is the oldest Hindu temple on the island. Shining diamonds and precious stones are part of its facade and it is a typical example of Hindu architecture, built in the south Indian Dravidian style.
Sri Mariamman Temple is dominated by its impressive 23.5ft-tall gopuram (entrance gate). It is a lofty four-tiered tower with 38 brightly coloured sculptures of soldiers, Hindu gods and goddesses and floral decorations, plus four swans. It is topped with five small kalasams and hundreds of pigeons have made this tower their home. The tower represents Mt. Meru, the celestial mountain that holds up the heavens, and the realm of the gods which begins in the temple compound.
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Jalan Todak, 13700 Perai, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
12:01 am - 12:00 am
This is a South Indian Hindu temple and is noted for having the largest Rajagopuram (main sculpture tower) in Malaysia. With a height of 72 feet and the entrance being 21 feet tall, 11 feet wide, the temple presents an outstanding architecture and grandeur. The temple is dedicated to the South Indian deity Arulmigu Karumariamman.
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Taman Burung Seberang Jaya, Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, 13700, Perai, Pulau Pinang, 13700, Malaysia
09:00 am - 07:00 pm
This is the first and one of the largest bird parks in Malaysia spread over 5-acres. It has a collection of more than 300 species of bird from all over the world and 3000 birds.
The landscaped park is filled with beds of hibiscus, orchids, bamboo, ornamental plant and palm trees, waterfall, natural ponds with fishes, lotus and water lilies. These features create a home for pelicans, flamingos, swans, egrets, storks, herons and colourful ducks. Added to this, the Chinese wooden beaches make this a great place to spend time.
It is also home to several kinds of Deer like Mouse-Deers. Giant Arapaima fish, pythons, giant estuarine crocodile, tortoises are also found.
Visitors can enjoy watching the feeding session and have a picnic at the bird park.