Breathe in fresher air than you ever have and be amazed by the century-old pristine rainforest of The Habitat.
By now you probably already know that Penang is second to none when it comes to their gastronomical offerings. From famous nasi kandar to savoury asam laksa, it has definitely topped tourists and foodies’ bucket lists.
Then again, Penang is not just all about the food. Despite the mouth-drooling dishes, it’s got verdant lush greens that all nature enthusiasts alike surely wouldn’t want to miss out.
Penang Hill is one of the most popular destinations for nature lovers. Tracing back to colonial times, the British officers utilised the peak as a retreat to escape the hot weather thanks to its cool environment. Today, city folks and urbanites use it as a means to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
(Fun fact: With the highest peak standing at 833 metres above the sea level, it is known to be the oldest British-built hill station in Southeast Asia!)
Alright, enough with the history. Now, Penang Hill has got even better with the new attraction that brings people closer than before to nature.
Nestled on top of the hill is The Habitat – the first of its kind world-class ecotourism in Malaysia. Located on the fringes of a 130 million-year-old virgin rainforest, it is known to be the home to a wide range of flora and fauna such as Black Giant Millipede, Paper Kite Butterfly, Giant Black Squirrel, Dusky Leaf Langur, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Giant Pandan, and many more.
With stunning facilities and well-constructed trail, The Habitat is all about exciting and educational Malaysian rainforest experience. Here’s a quick rundown of what The Habitat Penang Hill has to offer:
The starting point of the 1.6 kilometres-long trail is just a few minutes away from the Top Station of Penang Hill Funicular Railway. You’ll see a big sign that says ‘The Habitat’ and that’s when you know you’re about to become a wanderer. And oh! You might be welcomed by the not-so-friendly-but-not-harmful-either snake slithering somewhere in the bushes.
I know it might sound scary or dangerous but trust me, nothing to worry about as they are already used to ‘welcoming’ many guests. After all, literally, it’s their home anyway. (In case you’re still freaking out, rest assured that there are rangers on the watch, so you’re safe).
The Ticketing Office (previously a horse stable).
You have the option whether you want to wander along the way all by yourselves at your own pace, or you can opt to join a complimentary guided tour led by one of The Habitat’s resident nature experts (you might want to opt for this as their naturalists are super informative and friendly).
Tree Top Walk
Immerse yourselves with spectacular view on top of the Tree Top Walk – a 13 metre-high viewing platform located on the plateau just above the Mid-Point Rest Area and Museum, making it the highest public viewing platform on the island. The platform is also designed to hold up to 120 people at a time. Its circular shape gives a 360-degree view of Penang island and if you’re lucky, on a clear day, you can even see Langkawi island in the distance and witness the mesmerizing sunset. (We weren’t so lucky as it was cloudy on the day we went there).
Other attraction includes The Langur Way Canopy Walk which is to be opened in January 2018. The Canopy Walk is said to give you a spectacular view across the hills to the state of Kedah. With multiple viewing platforms, spanning approximately 230m in length it stands at 15m at the highest point.
Though the canopy is built in between the trees, it is designed and engineered to be ‘tree-friendly’ without rigging any of the steel cables directly onto the trees. The spacious and sturdy platforms provide a safe and unobstructed up-close view of the 130 million-year-old virgin jungle’s canopy.
Come to Penang Hill and experience the beauty of the nature yourselves. Take a break from your hectic schedule and stroll along the Nature Trail with your loved ones. Also, don’t miss out the opportunity to see the sunset right before your eyes at The Tree Top Walk and trust me, it’d be one of the best moments ever in your life.
The Habitat Penang Hill
Bukit Bendera, 11300 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04 – 826 7677
Operating hours: Open daily from 9 am – 7 pm
For online booking, click here.
*This trip is sponsored by Big Blue Holidays, an online travel portal that offers you a wide range of exciting experiences that cater to the young and the young-at-heart, be it adventurous or leisure. Check out more about them at www.bigblueholidays.com.