Penang Hill Funicular Railway
Penang Hill Funicular Railway runs from Penang Hill Lower Station, in George Town’s Air Itam suburb, to Penang Hill Upper Station, which is the jumpoff point for exploring temples, food stalls, restaurants, and nature trails and enjoying city views. There is also a Penang Hill Middle Station, in between, but it is rarely used.
The funicular is one of Asia’s longest, at around 1.25 miles (2 kilometers), and waiting in line for the 5-minute ride can take an hour or more in high season. Book online and opt for fast lane tickets to avoid the wait.
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Things to Know Before You Go
The term “Penang Hill” refers to a number of hills. Wear good walking shoes.
Aim to sit at the lower end of the train for the best views.
Train carriages are air-conditioned.
Temperatures on Penang Hill can be 9°F (5°C) cooler than in George Town; you may want to bring a light layer if heading up the hill in the evening.
Travelers with disabilities travel free on the Penang Hill railway. There are wheelchair-friendly gates and ramps, and staff can assist with boarding.
How to Get There
Many travelers visit Penang Hill by funicular as part of a day tour that includes other Penang Island attractions. Shuttles run to Penang Hill Lower Station from Chowrasta Market in downtown George Town. Alternatively, you can reach the area on a 204 bus from Jetty (Weld Quay) or Komtar.
When to Get There
The funicular operates from early in the morning (before sunrise) until quite late at night but closes for maintenance a couple of times a year. Sunset from Penang Hill is particularly popular, so if you’re heading up in the late afternoon, leave plenty of time to wait in line.
What to Do Around Penang Hill
Besides the funicular, there’s lots to see in Penang Hill and Air Itam. The vast Kek Lok Si Temple, one of Malaysia’s most important Buddhist sites, is a popular stop en route to the railway. Penang Hill proper offers nature trails, including Monkey Cup, which is known for carnivorous pitcher plants, and Habitat, which includes canopy walkways. There is also a temple, a mosque, an aviary, some small museums, and lots of shops and eateries.
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- Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera Pulau Pinang)
- Kek Lok Si Temple
- Penang Botanical Gardens (Taman Botani Penang)
- Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)
- Penang House of Music
- Little India
- Upside Down Museum
- Penang Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenian)
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion)
- Asia Camera Museum Penang
- Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Clan House & Museum)
- George Town (Penang Georgetown)
- Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
- Penang Tunnel Museum (Penang Time Tunnel)