The most unforgettable memory of my last Penang trip twenty years ago took place at the top of Penang Hill as there was a noticeable drop in temperature and this provided a cool respite from the uncomfortably hot weather at the bottom of the hill.
Things have changed since then; not so much the temperature but i did note there was a connected viewing tower that wasn't there two decades ago!
Before we check out the tower, let me share the spectacular scenery in between the trees at Penang Hill. On temperature, it was said that there's a five degrees celcius difference on the 833-meter hill.
View of the second Penang bridge - the 24 kilometers long Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge which also happens to be Southeast Asia's longest!
Link bridge to the viewing tower from the upper station. It's also serviced by a lift which would bring you to the ground of the tower.
Remember - whenever there's a newly arrived coach from the railway, this place would be filled! Hence, if you can contain your excitement, just wait a while more for the crowd to thin out before the next coach arrives.
You know what might reduce the crowd? Replacing the timber deck with transparent glass! On second thought, maybe not since the height of the tower wasn't incredibly tall.
Breathtaking right!? In the picture, you can find the heritage UNESCO Georgetown, the two significant bridges of Penang linking the island to Peninsular Malaysia and even the hills on mainland Malaysia!
Actually, the panoramic view encompasses all the places i have been to in my short three-day, two-night Penang trip! Most were too tiny to point out, with the exception of one.
The Kek Lok Si temple (極樂寺) and its humongous guanyin statue with the even more gigantic pavilion! Of course, it helps that the temple was in fact very near to Penang Hill.
Georgetown, the UNESCO site and the tallest building in Penang; KOMTAR; the distance from Georgetown to the foot of Penang Hill is about 6 kilometers.
At the far distance was a seaport and i am guessing that's the location of Butterworth which falls under the jurisdiction of Penang but geographically speaking, part of Peninsular Malaysia. Although not as famous as its island sibling, some tourists would actually travel across to check out notable landmarks and food.
Not sure where is where? Check out the banner that wrapped around the main structure of the viewing tower! Now i know the hill right behind the seaport is called BM Hill.
Took the elevator down to the ground level of the tower and after a short distance of walking, we got to this hillside bungalow. Upon check on the map, we got to know it is known as KBB Bungalow.
A veranda right outside - it was such a quaint building that we suggested to Alex's boss to purchase it for staff retreats in the future! According to Penang Monthly, however, the plan is for the bungalow to be converted "into an affordable mid-range cafe".
Well, it could possibly work when the bungalow was blessed with such nice scenery. The only problem i can think of is accessibility as we didn't even chance into other groups when we were there.
Imagine waking up to this scenery and breathing in crisp, cool air! For those who are interested, there's indeed a hotel on Penang Hill and it's called Bellevue Hotel.
Alex's colleagues spent quite a bit of time taking selfies as we were not disturbed by any other visitors and it's finally time to leave! I was keeping track of the time since we had engaged a driver and we did spend quite a bit of time waiting to board the railway coach.
Two ways - up the stairs to the viewing deck or to the right where the path shall lead us to another bungalow known as the edge cliff bungalow.
In view of time, we opted for the path that would bring us back to the upper station of the railway. I think the signage should include the letter s for viewing deck since there were two as seen from the above photograph.
The viewing tower - ladies in skirts should be aware that there's a tendency to expose themselves to those who were on the bottom level of the tower!
Lower viewing deck -to be totally honest, the view ahead of us wasn't as nice as the one taken beside KBB bungalow even though the latter was on an even lower level.
The other side was slightly better with a slight view of Gurney Drive which i didn't manage to visit. Frankly, i am quite keen to revisit Penang in the very near future since i missed out quite a number of attractions, including Batu Ferringhi!
Nowadays, i am less obsessed with taking macro pictures of flowers unless i am stuck in a nature reserve, a botanical garden, a flora event (like Singapore Garden Festival). So why did i take this picture?
Because of competition as my friend's son was trying his best to capture the shot of this bee pollinating the flowers! I can be really competitive depending on situation!
One of the better shots - hm... should i invest in a full frame camera with a faster processor and much better resolution? I am deliberating due to the high cost involved.
Not going to bombard you with more photographs of the scenery but nevertheless, at least this gave you some hints of what to expect from the viewing deck. p.s. didn't quite differ from the viewing tower as they were basically on the same level.
On top of Penang Hill.