The story of my trip to Malaysia wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my visit to Penang Hill. This place is a so-called hill station, where the British, Dutch and Portuguese would go in the hot and sticky summer months. I visited many of them in India, so my intentions to see Penang Hill were quite understandable.
I spoke to the hotel manager about how to get there, and he recommended taking a bus. I am quite familiar with public transport in Malaysia, so it was not a problem. Forty minutes and forty cents later I arrived at my destination.
Here I faced a choice of climbing the hill on foot or taking a cable car. I opted for the latter.
Even if it was quite early, the cabin was full, but I managed to get a good spot near the front window. It was a very quick ride to get to the top and the view of Penang was spectacular.
This is the first thing I saw on arrival. Not bad to start with love. There was a group of photographers who could take a photo of the visitors, but I decided against it.
Penang Hill will catch up with Paris very soon. I am positive the Love Bridge in France has fewer locks. I am not sure where people throw the keys here. There is no river underneath, just jungle.
The Owl Museum is just a catchy name. It is simply a shop with owl theme. Quite expensive too.
I was a bit upset that Sydney was mentioned on this information board, but Melbourne wasn’t. Because Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world after all. And seven years in a row too.
There are three religious places in Penang Hill. They provide for three different religions. The first one is the Masjid Bel Retiro. The mosque is quite small, but very popular among local Muslims and tourists.
The Christian Church has been abandoned for a while. It’s actually quite sad, because the building itself is quite pretty. But with Europeans leaving Malaysia there were simply not enough people to attend services and the church was closed down.
It was completely stripped of anything valuable or significant, it’s totally bare inside. And nature is slowly taking possession of the building.
On the countary the South Indian Thirumurugan Temple is doing really well. Many visitors and locals come there daily.
One of the numerous Hindu festivals was just around the corner and the preparations were in full swing. I found this handsome man decorating copper pots for the pooja. We had a short conversation and he allowed me to take his photo. Apparently his parents came from Hyderabad in South India a long time ago. He was born in Penang and never visited India himself. He was from the high caste of Brahmans and helped the local priest during ceremonies.
Very simple technique to decorate the pots using colourful threads, but such great results. One day I will try to do it myself.
There are a few large properties, which are still occupied. Architectural style and decorations are very European. It must cost a bomb to live there nowadays, I think.
Flowers. Tropical flowers are everywhere. They are very large and showy.
The orchids grow wild. This particular one also had a fantastic perfume.
This is a colony of Carnarvon plants Monkey Cup. Actually there is a nursery which cultivates and sells these curious plants.
Apparently monkeys really drink that water that is collected in the cups, hence the name. This nursery has a guided tour and many different species of these plants. I really enjoyed this visit. And after they provide a vehicle to take you back to the main square. By that stage I really appreciated the lift.
This fern reminded me of the chemical formula or DNA. Can you see that too?
The size of this flower is very inpressive as well as the name. This is Dutchman Pipe. I think it’s quite obvious where the name came from.
And another one.
At the nursery I found a large leaf frog. This is a local species.
I was not brave enough to hold a scorpion, even when they told me it’s totally harmless. One look at this man’s face made me run from there.
Huge fluffy caterpillar (about 10-12 cm) was chewing its way from the leaves. I swear I could hear it chewing.
One friendly little bird decided to sit on my hand. Much more pleasant than a scorpion. And that was my last encounter at Penang Hill.
On the way back I planned to visit a very famous Bhuddist Temple Kek Lok Si. Unfortunately it was under renovation and I could not see much.
Biggest Buddhas statue in Penang.
Many pagodas could be found on the way to the main temple.
And for lazy people there is always a trishaw.
Last look at Penang from the temple.
I came home very late that day, but I really enjoyed Penang Hill and would highly recommend a visit.
I love Penang Hill!