Sunday, January 29, 2012

Solo Trip to Penang (Part 1: Penang Hill)

Last Wednesday I had a chance to go on foot travelling around Penang, alone. It was my intention to go alone as I want to get a "feel" as a traveller, and at the same time to improve my skills on travel and street photography. I left my hometown, Taiping in a express coach in the morning and went back later on at night on the same day.

Penang Ferry.

I was planning to go across the strait via ferry for both go and return journey. Actually, the jetty and Penang Sentral bus terminal are not so far, so this give a convenience to those who arrived in Butterworth via buses and want to go to Georgetown. The fare for pedestrian passenger is RM1.20 for single trip, while for car is RM7.70. The journey from Georgetown to Butterworth is free of charge.

It was a coincidence for my trip that day with the Chinese New Year holidays, so there were so many people who went across to Georgetown. Most of them are foreigner who works here (from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia). The journey takes time around 15 minutes from Butterworth to Georgetown.

Pangkalan Jeti Butterworth

Looking Out.

Looking Out.

Penang Ferry.

The Long Journey.


The plan that day was to go to Bukit Bendera (Penang Hill) as I have never been there since born. To go there, I use RapidPenang public bus. We can choose to board bus number 204 that will bring us directly to the Penang Hill's train station. Or in case if you want to walk around the small township of Pekan Air Hitam (known for its Kek Lok Si temple), then we can go there with bus number 203. The fare is RM2 for a single journey from the Jetty or from KOMTAR, and it took me around half an hour to reach the destination (depends on the traffic)




Penang Hill's Train.

When I arrived, there were too many visitors as that day was the holiday. We have to line up long at the ticket counter. The fare to go up the hill is RM8 for Malaysian adult (need to show IC), and RM4 for children. While for foreign tourists, the fare is RM30. 


After major renovation and upgrading works which made the train service being halted for almost 2 years ago, the service is way much better. The trains used are brand new, much bigger and equipped with air-conditioner inside. The journey is also fast and smooth (while not killing mood of the passengers to enjoy the view outside the train). 





On The Hilltop.

The top of the hill is around 800 meter from sea level. From there, we can view almost the whole parts of Penang, including Georgetown and Balik Pulau. But I was unfortunate since I was arrived around noon, which is not really the best time to shoot landscape plus it was hazy that day which limiting the view.

View on the hill.

Penang Bridge can be seen from here, although haze limits the view.

Apart from the breathtaking view of the island, there are not so many other attractions on the hilltop, except few buildings like the Penang Hill Mosque, Sri Murugan Temple, a playground and few other colonial styled private houses. If you wish to tour around the hilltop, there is a buggy service that will bring you around. 



Domes of Penang Hill Mosque.



The cleaner cleaning up rubbish on the stairway that going up to the children's playground in front of the Sri Murugan Temple.

I spent around an hour above before went down. Same as the time to board the train up, I have to line up long to board the train down.

Sleeping beauty.

The next plan after went down from the hill was that I'm going for street shooting around the Georgetown before going back to Butterworth. I'll write this in the next entry.

Thanks for reading.

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