We had visited Penang Hill before when Lewis was a toddler and we were pleasantly surprised to discover many new enhancements to the tourist attraction.
You can read about our trip with a toddler to Penang HERE
Of course getting to Penang Hill is a bit of an arduous task especially if you are staying at the popular resort beach strip in Batu Ferringhi like we are.
We are visiting Penang in October – their wettest month though it is still warm, whilst generally the showers come in short spurts it means that most days are cloudy.
Finally we awake to a sunny day and plan a trip to Penang Hill.
We set off at 10am and 2½ hours later on the public Rapid Penang Bus service (costing only RM4.70 [$1.60 Aus] per adult, Lewis was free) we reach the bottom of the hill. Sadly the cloud and haze are starting to roll back in.
There is a selection of pricing packages for the train ride, we pay RM65 for 2 adults and 1 child.
The funicular train runs every 30 minutes from 6.30am to 10pm taking you up 833 metres above sea level along the 1.99km track (the longest in Asia).
As we travel up colonial buildings dating back to 1800’s perched on the ridge become visible.
We exit the train and notice that the temperate has dropped, it is one of the reasons the hill became popular back in the day, a place to escape the heat of Penang’s capital Georgetown.
Disappointingly we miss the man standing inconspicuously in the corner of the walkway offering audio tour handsets for RM10 (I only see him on the way out).
As we wonder about getting our bearings and looking for food we discover a new food court, built out over the edge of the hill allowing you to enjoy the vista as you eat. Such an improvement over the last one – a canvas hut in a ditch which was very hot and dirty inside. I am pleasantly surprised to discover the large variety of food and the price quite reasonable.
With our stomachs now full we explore.
Things to do with Kids at Penang Hill
First up we find the old train and Lewis climbs aboard and spots the mini Escape Park, but it’s RM 20 per child – no wonder there are no children playing in there.
As we climb the stairs to the very top we pass some buggies offering rides for RM10/person to the far western part of the hill. But we continue on our way up and discover a free playground and canon – brought up as a reminder of the islands history in protecting Malaysia.
I struggle to read the faded old signs providing snippets of the Hill’s history and multiculturalism.
We stroll down and over to the historical David Browns restaurant at Strawberry Hill.
The last time we were here this was a great sport to get some photos over looking Georgetown and the straits across to mainland Malaysia. But today is cloudy and the view is minimal.
As we walked down the far end of the garden we discovered a new bar the Sky Terrace which would be a lovely spot to have a sundowner.
But we are not staying that long on our day trip to Penang Hill with a child. Lewis finds the viewing binoculars and wants a turn but as the view is non-existent we baulk at having to pay RM10.
We head back to the food court with the thought of popping into the Owl Museum situated below, however at the additional cost of another RM10/person we are put off.
We are a little dismayed at the all the additional costs at the top of the hill and wonder why the Penang Hill board doesn’t choose to increase the overall cost for entrance that then includes most of the attractions; it would surely turn a nice place to visit into a great day out to Penang Hill with kids.
Whilst our best laid plans of heading off on a sunny day didn’t pan out, and we enjoyed noting all the improvements that were now available, the highlight for our child visiting Penang Hill was taking the original attraction – a ride on the funicular train.
If you want to learn more about our recent holiday and day trips in Penang click HERE