I took Big Teddy to Penang Hill a.k.a. Bukit Bendera because of the following:-
- Penang Hill is the oldest British hill station in Southeast Asia, dated late 1700’s;
- The highest peak of Penang Hill stand at 833 metres (2,732ft) above sea level;3. Penang Hill funicular train service started
- Penang Hill funicular train service started on October 1923. The current funicular trains is the 4th generation system which started its operation on 24th April 2011;4. The funicular track stretches a distance of 1,996 metres (1.99KM) from lower to Upper Station
- The funicular track stretches a distance of 1,996 metres (1.99KM) from lower to Upper Station which is the longest in Asia;5. Penang Hill funicular tunnel, at 79 metres (258ft) long and 10feet (3.0m) wide with a steepness of
- Penang Hill funicular tunnel, at 79 metres (258ft) long and 10feet (3.0m) wide with a steepness of 27.9 degree, is the steepest tunnel track in the world;
- There are a total of 52 hill bungalows located on Penang Hill (42 of them are private-owned and 10 bungalows are state-owned). Most of them are more than 100 years old and Bel Retiro (Governors Bungalows) built in1789 is the oldest;
- Number of visitor to Penang Hill in 2014 exceed 1.36 million.
However, our visit turned out to be quite disastrous after we paid RM10 and RM30 each (local and foreigner’s price) for return trip on the fairly new funicular to get up to top of the hill, and saw the queue to get down of the hill on the funicular stretched miles and miles long. It totally killed our mood instantly when we saw the queue. The ticket station at the bottom of the foothill was so quiet it didn’t struck us to ask about the queue at the top of the hill. There should be information or queue status updates available at the ticket counters so that we could make a more informed decision and we could have paid more to get the fast track tickets instead of spending a good 50 minutes queuing to get down!
The view up there was good although the haze was slightly noticeable. We spent about 10-15 minutes walking around and taking ‘we-fie’ but what followed after the good 10-15 minutes was a long 50 minutes in the queue trying to get down the hill. I was already feeling sick from the food poisoning the day before and this experience marked our lowest point in this trip as if we would have known about the long queue, we would not have even came up in the first place! Penang Government if you are serious about tourism, please improve and implement queue status updates for people to make an informed decisions whether or not to even go up the hill, that’s the least courtesy that we should extend to the visitors of this historical place.