The Habitat Penang Hill: An Amazing Nature Attraction You Should Visit Next


Nursyazana Kahardy •  Jul 28, 2020

Did you know that besides being the 'go-to' foodie destination, Penang is also a great travel spot for nature lovers and city-weary folk who just need to spend some time in the tender embrace of Mother Nature? Bukit Bendera (or Penang Hill as locals tend to call it) is one of the most frequently visited nature spots on the island - and nestled right on top of all that lush greenery is The Habitat Penang Hill ?. 

This world-class rainforest discovery centre was created to enable people to experience the beauty of a biologically diverse, 130-million years old rainforest in Malaysia with minimal impact on the environment itself. In fact, the iconic structure of the park itself was designed to not only showcase the surrounding flora and fauna but to protect it as well! Honestly, you don't even have to be a nature lover to enjoy visiting this attraction?! If you still need convincing, we’ve even prepared a little rundown on what The Habitat has to offer for your next trip up North ?️. 

P.S. Check out this 3D2N Muslim-friendly Penang itinerary!

How to get there:

Less than 10km away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang is The Habitat Penang Hill. Located at Jalan Stesen, Bukit Bendera, the popular nature attraction can be reached via:

  • Funicular Train from the Air Itam station
  • Car (four-wheel drive) via the entrance of the Penang Botanical Gardens
  • If you're looking for a fitspiration challenge, take a 2-hour hike via the Penang Botanical Gardens ?.

P.S: Do note that the Habitat Bukit Bendera is open daily from 9 am - 5 pm but the best time to visit is during the weekdays as there are fewer people and the area is less congested ?.

What to do:

Nature Trails & Gardens

Located a few minutes walk away from the Top Station of Penang Hill Funicular Railway is the starting point of the enchanting Habitat nature trail. Measuring 6km long, the scenic trail meanders below three of Penang Hill’s oldest historic bungalows, bypassing some colourful gardens and snaking through the entire stretch of the nature-themed park ?. 

You can enjoy stunning views of the rolling hills and The Andaman Sea from various lookout points on the trail, rest your feet by chill out on giant swing sets or join a complimentary educational tour led by one of the various nature experts employed by the Habitat ?.

Langur Way Canopy Walk

Spanning 230 meters in length, the Langur Way Canopy Walks is a non-strenuous activity that the whole family can enjoy! Not only will you be able to experience all the layers of the 130 million-year-old rainforest - from the dusky forest floor to the vibrant, leafy canopies, but you can also get an up-close and personal view of the various flora and fauna that is present in Penang Hill’s richly biodiverse forest ?!  

Designed to be 'tree-friendly' with no steel rigging built directly on into the gargantuan trees, the metal walkway is also a great spot to snag a quick selfie ?! Aside from the various, colourful scenes of the forests, the walkway (which stands 15 meters above the ground at the highest point) also gives you a fantastic and unobstructed view across the hills to the neighbouring state of Kedah ?. 

P.S. Doesn't this look IG-worthy? Check out these 12 Instagrammable spots in Penang near halal food!

Curtis Crest Treetop Walk

Named after famed botanist, Charles Curtis, the treetop walk is the highest viewing platform on Penang Hill - standing at a staggering height of 13 meters above ground and located on the plateau just above the Mid-Point rest area and museum.  Completed in 2017, the uniquely designed oval-shaped platform can hold up to 120 people at a time and offers you a breathtaking, 360-degree view of Penang Island - perfect for shutterbugs who need new material to post on Instagram ?! 

Additionally, if you happen to visit on a particularly clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Langkawi Island from this sky-high spot ⛰️!

The Flight of the Colugo

For those of you who are looking to do something a little more thrilling on your trip up to Penang Hill, the Habitat also comes with an exciting five-course zipline adventure! First opened in 2018, the Flight of Colugo is one of the latest additions to the Habitat and is comparable to the famed zipline experiences one can find in Langkawi and Sabah ?.

The entire zip-lining course can be completed in about an hour; but if you don't have the time to do the whole course, you can opt to simply experience just the 'Honeymoon Zipline' - the longest zipline course out of the 5 which measures 80 meters long ?. 

Shops & Cafe

Rimba Cafe

After experiencing an adventurous excursion through the beautiful rainforests, you're definitely going to be hungry! If you're looking for somewhere to grab a bite, look no further than Rimba Cafe - The Habitat's very own rainforest inspired cafe. Serving good food, great coffee and chill vibes, you'll love their selection of chilly fruit juices, tasty muffins and piping hot coffee ☕. 

Halal status: Muslim-friendly, Ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no pork or alcohol is used in their cooking.

Opening hours: Daily, 8.30AM - 7.30PM

Address: Lower Station, Bukit Bendera, 11300 Penang, Malaysia.

Contact: 04-824 3350

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The Shop on the Hill

Besides some stellar photos, why not bring back some cool, tangible souvenirs from your trip up The Habitat Bukit Bendera. The Shop on the Hill (which is connected to Rimba Cafe) offers a collection of curated and sustainable souvenirs ready for purchase. From essentials oils sourced directly from the Tropical Spice Gardens and illustrated postcards to clothing items and handwoven bags made by the Women of the Penan Community (one of the indigenous tribes of Borneo), consider bringing back a cool memento of your trip ?.

Penang has more to offer other than just amazing halal eateries and gorgeous pool villas. If you need to get away from it all and just chill out in nature for a bit, you should definitely pay The Habitat Penang Hill a visit ?!