Located at a distance of 6kms from the center of George Town is the hill resort, Penang Hill. The hill comprises of a collection of peaks and is often referred to as Bukit Bendera in Malay language. The area is surrounded by forest. You can use the Penang Hill Railway which has its base at Air Itam to reach out to Penang Hill. It is one of the most popular tourist spots of Penang. In 1788, Captain Francis Light started to arrange for a horse track to the hill top from the Botanic Gardens of Penang. Another of the common reference name used for this hill is Flagstaff Hill. The government officials and British army started to live in bungalows built on the hill top. It was a relief for them from the worries of malaria and heat that they used to face in the low areas. In those days you either needed a horse or had to travel on foot to reach out to Flagstaff Hill. The first successful railway setup to the hill top was Penang Hill Funicular Railway which was officially opened in 1924. There were several other previous attempts but all proved futile. Soon after the Funicular Railway was setup there was an increase in the establishments of villas and holiday homes. Thus the Flagstaff Hill turned into an attractive tourist spot.
Other than the Penang Hill Railway which is the most convenient way to reach out to Penang Hill, there is also a jeep track. The track is used by the hill residents who have their own vehicles to travel to and fro from the top to the lowland. The route is also used for hiking. The track starts off from the Botanic Gardens of Penang. If you start hiking from there you will reach to the top within 3 hours. The convenient mode of travel on the other hand will help you to enjoy the air-conditioned coaches as you reach to the hill top within 10 minutes.
You can reach out to the Tiger Hill via the Summit Road. The presence of Moniot Road and Tunnel Road provides easy access to the east of Penang Hill. The different bungalows on the hill top are connected by a system of by-paths. Some of the leading trekking trails of the area are the ones from Itam Dam to Tiger Hill and the Moongate Trail.
You will definitely enjoy the green landscape from the top of the hill. There is also the David Brown’s Restaurant to enjoy an eat-out. It is advisable to visit Penang Hill in early morning. You will find coniferous and fern trees here. However the common type of forest here is known as dipterocarp forest. Wild boars, monkeys and squirrels can be seen here. For botanical research this place holds high importance. You will find a lot of rare species of plants here. Other than botany, you will also find a wide collection of birds in Penang Hill.