Of New Tram, Buggy Ride and Penang Hill

Of New Tram, Buggy Ride and Penang Hill

So I was at Penang recently, and the Penang Hill (or also known as Bukit Bendera) was the main destination since its tram service was upgraded about a year ago.

penang hill

It was a bright and sunny morning, and the last time I went up the Penang Hill was back in 2009.

Once there, we got ourselves return tickets at RM8 each.

penang hill tickets

Which is considered cheap, I guess.

But have a look at the rates for Malaysians, provided that you have your MyKad identity card with you…

penang hill price local

Take note – it’s written in Malay language, and all the price are written in words instead of the numbers.

Why is it so? There must be a reason for doing so, right?

Well well well, take a look at the rates for the foreigners then…

penang hill price foreigner

Wow, freaking RM30 for both ways instead of RM8 for local Malaysians. Extravagant RM70 for a family package instead of RM18 for local Malaysians.

Damn rip-off weh!

That definitely justifies why the rates for Malaysians are spelled in Malay and written in words – so that the foreigners won’t know the exorbitant price they’re paying.

penang hill museum

Anyway, there’s a new mini cabinet-cum-museum on the way in. It features historical photos of Penang Hill and small replicas of the trams.

Once at the waiting area, it feels like waiting for the infamous KTM train…

penang hill visitor

Look, it’s crowded.

Funny thing about Malaysians is, once the train has arrived, everyone sorta push forward and rush into the cabins.

penang hill new tram

Like scared no place like that. Hmph.

Fortunately enough, we got ourselves into the first cabin.

penang hill tram railway

So we could watch the new journey up with the new Swiss-made coach.

Back then with the previous tram, a one-way journey takes around 30 minutes – with a stop in the middle. But now with the new tram, it takes just 5 minutes to reach the top station.

penang hill tram railway up

Swift and smooth journey, I’d say. Furthermore the air-conditioned coach made it a more comfortable ride.

At a point during the journey, the previous tram is left stationary for display at the once-used-to-be split railway.

penang hill old tram

Look at the difference between the new railway and the old one.

So in a jiffy, we reached the top.

penang hill tram top

And again, like the usual KTM train service – once at the top station…

penang hill crowd

Another crowd is eagerly waiting to board the tram.

Anyway, it was about 9am in the morning when we were up Penang Hill.

penang hill view morning

The morning haze in the skyline was still visible – couldn’t capture a good photo with blue sky. Gotta do that in the afternoon but it’d be hot.

Anyway, there are viewing telescopes around this time.

penang hill telescope

Penang Hill is located about 800 meters above sea level and up there, visitors can witness the cityscape view of George Town.

Here’s the view of the other side on Penang Hill.

penang hill view blue sky

As compared to my previous visit, the atmosphere isn’t as cool anymore. It’s pretty warm actually, especially with the gazing morning sun. So warm, can sweat.

The Penang Bridge can be seen from the Penang Hill too. Not clear in the photo though.

penang hill view

Anyway, there are buggy ride services too at the top of Penang Hill.┬áIt’s RM30 for up to 6 people per ride.

You can opt to walk along the internal roads, but since we were lazy – just take the buggy lah.

penang hill road

It’s a 4km (can’t verify, but it’s according to the driver) to and fro ride along the road where the bungalows are built.

The time we were there, this was our buggy driver…

penang hill buggy ride

Meet Kenth, he’s from Vietnam. He’s friendly and he has been providing buggy rides at Penang Hill for the past year already.

If you see him there, don’t forget to say Hello! ;)

25 thoughts on “Of New Tram, Buggy Ride and Penang Hill

  1. Last went up there 1973, I think…or did I go again another time after that? Can’t remember now. About time I make the trip again. Probably very different now.

    You seem to be growing very very thin, Ken? Why? Not eating well? Working out at the gym? Too many social activities? Wink! Wink!

  2. Oh mannn! I didn’t realize they actually put up the price in written words for the locals. It really is meant to do so so that foreign visitors wouldn’t see the difference. What a rip-off. I don’t mind those dollar-strapped Mat Sallehs but what about our SEA counterparts? Oh wait. They do the same too right? :-D. I didn’t see that buggy driver from Vietnam when I was there last time. He must be new right? :-P

  3. hehe.. smart move to avoid being bombarded by foreigners on the huge price difference!

    I want to have that Kenth as my personal buggy driver too :)

  4. ahhhh yes i remember how bad the queue was and the congestion was when i went for the penang hill ride few years ago. it would’ve a total waste of time there weren’t for the free monkeys around. did you see any?

  5. Wah the price difference really huge! The same goes for bird park and butterfly park.. at least double for foreigners. This time they’re smarter to put the local charges in letters.. in other places it’s still showing in numbers, which pissed many foreigners off!
    As for Penang hill, I remember I once climbed up the hill through a 2-hour hike and then came down via train. Very tiring! :P

  6. I guess foreigners have to pay more – it’s like this in many places and in some countries too. For those foreigners from US or Europe, RM30 per adult is still reasonable : )

  7. what a rip-off….

    As an ex-foreigner in Malaysia, i also got that thing..
    when i was in a trip to Sabah 2 years back, they charge us two fold of the locals price…

    luckily me and family have a “Malaysian” face, and i put the Malay language skill that i picked up during my study @ INTI..

    then i got local people’s price :D

  8. The first time and also so far the last time I went there was the end of 2011, and we arrived before it even opened. It was a good choice to do so though, so that we could skip the crazy crowds just about 2 hours later. :D It was great to be there!

  9. well..i have been there once..the price is just ok la..not that cheap but dun think will go there that frequent even though i just stayed by the apartment nearby the station..and if u wanna go there, remember dun go during festive season example during cny, you will get stucked in there..cannot come out and cannot go it..haha

  10. hi
    what bungalows does the buggy go to? I heard there are several locations used for the English TV series ‘Indian Summers’… Can we visit the set?

    1. Hi Lalita, I’d love to tell you more… but I’m not so sure about Indian Summers and the set. Anyway, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself there. :)

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