The Habitat Penang Hill Overview

Located on the Penang Island of Malaysia, this hill is a group of hills. Penang hill is the highest peak with its western hill at 833 meters above sea level. The highest peak is accessible by Penang Railway Station and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Malaysia. The lush rainforests of the hill are one of the main attractions dating back to 130 million years in the past, older than Amazon rainforests. This beautiful hill is listed in the World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR).

Penang Hills is officially named Bukit Bendera, meaning Flagstaff Hill. Penang Hills was founded by Captain Francis Light, a British belonging to the East India Company, in the late 18th century. The hill was renamed Flagstaff Hill, much evident in its current name. The captain had done some deforestation for growing strawberries and hence, this place is sometimes referred to as Strawberry Hill.

The Habitat Penang Hill is one of the best eco-tourism attractions with nature’s best and flourishing experiences. These experiences take you on a tour of Penang Hill’s prehistoric rainforests which are greener and older than Amazon rainforests. The tour of the tropical diverse ecosystem of Penang will make you experience exotic weather and 50% exceptional flora and fauna lying only in this place of the whole island. This makes you walk through the langur hay canopy and the infamous Ribbon bridge.

The 13 meters high Curtis crest tree top walk is the highest point for the spectators to enjoy on Penang Island. The natural ecosystem of Penang is protected and maintained by a non-profit Habitat Foundation that safeguards biodiversity and forests.

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• Experience the breathtaking views from the highest peak point of Penang hill in the Penang island.
• Enter the prehistoric rainforest dating back to 130 million years, older than the infamous Amazon rainforest.
• Say hello to the exotic flora and fauna of the lush rainforest.
• Get into the rainforest canopy valleys to experience the rich biodiversity of the Penang hill habitat.
• See the enchanting sight of the George Town and Andaman sea from the top of the 230m Langur Way Canopy Walk.
• Travel through the two span stressed ribbon bridge known as Langur Way Canopy Walk.
• Experience the lush green tree top walk known as Curtis crest, by treating yourself with the excellent views of the George Town.
• Relax on the two giant wooden swings looking at the lush rainforests and emerald waters.
• Eat the yummiest food in the restaurant of Penang hill habitat.
• You can do ziplining at Penang hill Malaysia through the ride of ‘Flight of Colugo’.

How To Reach

The Habitat Penang Hill is on a hill that can be easily reached by Funicular train from Air Itam, Penang, or Botanical Gardens, Penang.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Penang Hill's habitat is during the evening hours around 04:00 PM when there is enough light to witness spectacular views. The top views look mesmerizing in the euphoric sunlight. Besides, most attractions close by 07:00 PM, making this time the most suitable time of the day.

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Other Essential Information

Residents of The Habitat of Penang Hill

1. Mammals: Dusky Leaf Langurs, the scientific name Trachypithecus obscurus are one of the most popular mammals on this hill, owing to being the reason for naming Langur way canopy walk. Sadly, these langurs are endangered species. The leopard cat, with the scientific name Prionailurus bengalensis, is the most successful hunter in the entire rainforest, bigger than the domestic cat and vibrant furs with the least risk of concern about their numbers. The black giant squirrel popularly known as Malayan Giant Squirrel, with the scientific name Ratufa bicolor, is a nearly threatened species. These squirrels are one of the largest squirrels in the whole world that live in the high canopy.                            

2. Birds: Known by the scientific name of Dicurus paradiseus, the greater racket-tailed drongo is one of the most popular birds in the rainforest. This black beauty is widely known as polyglot as it mimics other creatures playfully. Through the interaction with mixed species, these birds are known to signal other birds about a possible hunt. These drongos feed on fruits and sit on high branches in their world. The Asian Emerald Dove, Chalcophaps indica, known for its beautifully colored wings is the most common bird species found in the Penang hill rainforest. These birds are calm birds that fly low and usually prefer to walk. 

3. Insects: The Highland Vampire crab, the scientific name Geosesarma Faustum, is the most beautiful insect to spot in the Penang Hills due to its vibrant color. The huntsman spider going by the scientific name of Heteropoda venatoria are hunting spiders with long legs in the color of grey or brown. These spiders have compound eyes, a whopping number of 8 eyes! The most unique trilobite beetles are the strangest unknown insects going by the name of Platerodrilus. These insects are subsequent only to Southeast Asian forests, particularly in India. These insects are colorful and vibrant in variants of females.

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4. Reptiles: Blue Malayan Coral Snake, scientifically known as Calliophis bivirgata, is a hauntingly beautiful snake as it is extremely venomous. Mostly found on the leaves on the forest floor, this dark blue vibrant color makes it visible very easily. Many-lined Sun Skink is known scientifically as Eutropis multifasciata and is known for its smooth skin and short legs. These reptiles have dark lines on their body, olive-brown to reddish-orange flanks, and white to yellow-colored throats. These reptiles are found mostly on the forest floor, active during the day with their closeness to the river banks and villages.

5. Nocturnal Animal: The red-eyeshine creatures belonging to the nights, the fruit bats or scientifically known as Cynopterus spp. are the kind of bats that eat fruits, just as their name specifies. These bats are efficient nocturnal insect hunters found mostly in Malaysia. Yellow alarming eyes of the Buffy fish owl, scientifically known as Ketupu Ketupu are one of the biggest owls found near beaches and mangrove growths. The collared scops owl or Otus lettia are the tiniest owls-almost invisible to human eyes. Feeding on grasshoppers and beetles, these owls are, however, recognized by distances due to their distinct loud sound of “buuo”. 

6. Flora: The flora of Penang hill grows at higher altitudes as some of them are coniferous trees and submontane oak-Laurel. The tree reaching 32 meters in height, Alstonia Penangiana, is globally a critically endangered plant species. The specimen of the Geostachys penangensis was collected by Charles Curis late 19th century, the famous botanist of the Penang hill. This plant is endangered due to hyper-endemism arising due to possible habitat disruption. Additionally, the parasitic plant Exorhopalia ruficeps grows in shady areas of the rainforest. Penang slipper orchid or paphiopedilum barbatum is another fast endangered species along with Hazel maingaya malayana.

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Places for shopping on The Penang Hills    

1. Penang Hill merchandise store: operating 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM, this is available at the lower station.

2. Printhero convenience store: offers all the essential items to the residents as well as visitors.

3. Huat Huat Mini market: Grocery store open from 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM.

Essential oils are extracted from the tropical spice gardens along with the handwoven bags made by the women of the communities of Penang. The shops on the hill showcases these traditional items revolving around Penang Island only with some traditional hand crafted malaysian material. The shops of the Penang are beautifully built offering the serene views from the top. Along with the shops, there are places to dine in and grab a snack of your choice. These restaurants are known to prepare the best Malaysian coffee and the yummiest meal presenting the adorable forest views making you capture Instagram-worthy pictures.

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Restaurants near The Habitat Penang Hill

1. Cliff Cafe: Going by the local name of Astaka Bukit Bendera, this cafe has the tastiest food and elegant beverages. It offers you western snacks like sandwiches and pizzas. The food court has several drink stalls for a variety of available beverages. It is a favorite of locals as well because it prepared Malaysian food.

2. Habital Cafe: This cafe offers everything you need including food, snacks, drinks, stunning views of the Penang hill, and traditional items on display. These traditional items include woven bags sourced directly from the craftsman communications of Penang Island.

3. Kopi Hutan: Located at the top of Penang Hill, this cafe showcases the highest views and served a combo of coffee, delicious cakes, and sandwiches.

4. Kacang Putih: Known for selling the tastiest Indian snacks in Penang, this restaurant serves you the spiciest sauces with the healthiest chickpeas, corn, and muruku.

5. David Brown and Tea terrace: With the authentic menu of the 40s, It offers English meals including iced cappuccino with scrambled eggs.

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Tips to Visit The Habitat of Penang Hill

- All children aged 17 or below this age, should be accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.

- The habitat should not be mistreated by the visitors as there is a non-profit organization governing the biodiversity of the habitat. 

- To reach the venue, visitors need to buy two tickets, one is for reaching Penang hill via train and another admission ticket into the habitat of the hill.

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Point of Interest for The Habitat Penang Hill
Langur Way Canopy Walk

Langur Way Canopy Walk

The infamous canopy walk is named as langur way owing to an interesting reason where one cute family of dusky lead langurs would sit on the cables eating forest canopy leaves every day during the construction of the bridge. 230 meters in length, this walk has multiple safe viewing points each offering different and mesmerizing views. This walk enables the visitors to hop on in between the forest layers like transitioning from forest floor to forest canopy. This walkway presents you with enchanting views of the forest valleys, the Andaman Sea, and even as far as the state of Kedah. The viewpoints are 40 meters above the forest floor, offering spectacular views of the entire 130 million-year-old tropical forest. 

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Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk

Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk

Located on the plateau, just above the mid-point rest area, I’d the 13-meter tall tree top walk. This place is named after the world-famous Penang botanist Charles Curtis during the 18th century. This place was used for spotting enemy ships during the time of the British East India company. Currently, this is the highest public viewing point on the Penang island connected to a museum with a capacity of 120 people at once. This place offers 360-degree panoramic views of Penang island encompassing George Town. The elegant Bel Retro, the house of the governor of Penang dating back to the colonial era, can be seen just in front. Clear weather may offer breathtaking views of the magnificent Langkawi islands. Nowadays this plateau is used for social events and parties standing 800 meters above sea level.

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Trail & Gardens

Trail & Gardens

This captivating realm would allow you to witness the charm of Penang Hill rainforest, several themed gardens, fragrant gardens, a ginger garden, a butterfly bank, and the palm grove. You can see, feel, hear, and smell the mesmerizing flora of the jungle upon your arrival. The funicular railway station possesses a starting point of 1.6 kilometers long trail. The educational signs describing flora, fauna, and the back history of that particular location are situated at multiple places. This place offers you holly views and the stunning look of the Andaman sea. 

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Sunset Walk

Sunset Walk

The alluring sunset can be witnessed from the highest viewing point of Penang Islands, at the top of Penang hills. Catching beautiful views of Penang islands, this cute point offers the euphoric views of the entire 130 million-year-old rainforest. Chances of spotting exotic fauna like flying red squirrel, flying lemur, Penang gecko and tarantulas, etc including many more species are quite high. This type of view is suitable for the ones who want to tour in private with their loved ones without any disturbance but only the sounds of nature. While the golden rays of sunset transit into the lit moonshine falling upon the rainforest, you can enjoy the beauty of the Penang island and the lush rainforests in the later hours of the day.

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The Flight of the Colugo

The Flight of the Colugo

Famous beyond the breathtaking views and the exotic flora and fauna, this place is known to be a home of thrilling adventurous activities. 3 zip lines are there on this hill named after Colugo-the Malaysian flying lemur. These infamous zip lines provide, even more, better views of the prehistoric forests. This thrilling activity caters to the souls of adventurous hearts, making them cross the forests from the top as if there is anti-gravity. The experience incorporates 5 zip line courses that can be completed in the time of zip lining the forest. The journey would allow you to cross tree-top obstacles just like a flying lemur, with your full potential. The extreme adventurous activity gives you a rush of adrenaline for a complete hour of the journey with proper safety measures.

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The Wild Immersion VR Experience

The Wild Immersion VR Experience

As the name suggests, this unique virtual reality experience at Penang hill revolves around the rainforest and its biodiversity. This virtual reality experience is the world’s first virtual nature reserve. Each movie presents the extensive information presented in a fun matter about animal survival and the importance of this kind of tropical rainforest raining environmental issues related to its conservation. There are 4 types of Virtual reality experiences: non-immersive VR, semi-immersive VR, Augmented Reality, and collaborative VR. The immersive version will provide you complete access while the semi-immersive VR and make you feel the sensory through the equipment and designs. While collaboration VR involves friends to connect virtually through the journey of the forests, the augmented reality generates fun games.

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Tourism Board Alliances

The Habitat Penang Hill FAQs

Why is the Habitat Penang hill so famous?

Penang Hill is famous owing to multiple reasons including the breathtaking views from the highest peak point, lush 130 million-year-old rainforests, and rich biodiversity- exotic flora and fauna. Another reason is the historical buildings built in the styles of a combination of British colonial and Asian architecture. People come here to explore and learn about the greenest forests and the life it supports as a part of Penang Hill Habitat.

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What are the gifts to buy from The Habitat Penang hills?

The nonprofit habitat foundation maintains and preserved the Penang hill as any items purchased would be a monetary benefit for the habitat of Penang hill. List of some useful gifts to buy are:

1. Mood Mud: Mood mud coffee and brown sugar heal scars and are made from no cruelty-vegan.

2. Fleur Apothecary: This is a type of hyaluronic and zentlyahyaloronic body serum.

3. Fleur fruity sweet fresh: sweet and natural roll-on perfume. 

4. Alwis and Xavier: Aluminum-free, alcohol-free, and Odor-free perfume in the flavor of vanilla and rose. 

5. Alwis Xavier cypress solid cologne: Packaged in the rust-free durable tin to make men and women smell amazing in both of its variants and other colognes include theos solid cologne, aquamarine cologne, old mandarin cologne, and Bulgarian cologne.

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What is the best time to visit the Habitat Penang hill?

The best time to visit Penang Hill is in the late afternoon, around 4:00 PM, when there is sufficient light to see breathtaking views. The ecstatic sunlight casts beautiful shadows on the peak viewpoints. Additionally, as most sites close at 7:00 PM, this is the best time of day to visit.

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What are the best places to visit in Penang hill?

1. Kek Loksi Temple: Penang's biggest Buddhist temple is situated in the air itam. 

2. Penang Hill upper station: The funicular railways start from the air itam on the outskirts of George Town to reach Penang hill. 

3. Penang Botanical Gardens: The lush botanical garden is named as such due to the cascading waterfall nearby and its beautiful flora.

4. Monkey cup/kopi hutan: Famous for hot coffee in between the dense hutan rainforest.

5. Top Penang Theme Park Penang: Known for its high tower with ropes, trail, and aquariums, designed with the dinosaur theme.

6. Penang Peranakan Mansion: Museum containing lavish jewelry and embroidery.

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The Habitat Penang Hill Reviews

Traveller image gallery
Evelin Roy
Reviewed: 02 Dec 2023
Thrillophilia made our visit to The Habitat Penang incredibly smooth. The hassle-free entry with the purchased tickets added immense convenience to our experience. Being in close proximity to nature and witnessing the stunning walkway views made the trip unforgettable. Kudos to Thrillophilia for fa... Read More
Evelin Roy
Evelin Roy
Evelin Roy
Elizabeth Wong
Reviewed: 03 Aug 2023
It was such a fun experience. Great little getaway and lots to learn!
Elizabeth Wong
Elizabeth Wong
Elizabeth Wong
Tang Wai Chong
Reviewed: 24 Dec 2023
Good place, air freshly
Tang Wai Chong
Pok Cang 81
Reviewed: 13 Mar 2023
Gud price.. nice experience + jungle canopy walk + hanging bridge.
Eekalabya Bharadwaj
Reviewed: 23 Jul 2022
I went to the Habitat Penang Hill with my friends. It was such a refreshing location. We hiked to the highest point on the property, and the view from there was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. The funicular train ride was the highlight of our trip; we thoroughly enjoyed it.Thanks to ... Read More
Chandrabhaga Varrier
Reviewed: 27 Aug 2022
We had an unforgettable experience watching Penang city from the habitat Penang hill. We also enjoyed a nature walk and a toy train ride. On Thrillophilia we got the tickets instantly and at a nice deal, for a budget tour.

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