The Habitat Penang Hill, Penang

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There’s nothing like going back to basics and the beginning, and well, as some of you know, I was born in Penang. Penang is a potpourri of everything you can desire as a traveler… It is rich in culture, tradition, great food, heritage, and raw beautifully preserved nature… And its my hometown…

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Like someone said… There are forceful flavors and raw artistry, combining tradition and innovation in every bowl and every wall, and there are white sandy beaches and there is an abundance of beautiful nature….

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As a Penangite, I have to admit I did not know the extent of how verdant or glorious Penang’s nature can be.. But I have finally experienced it atop Penang Hill…

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My friends, daughter and I headed up Penang Hill early in the morning…

We took the Penang Hill Funicular Railway – our destination, The Habitat Penang Hill..

Did you know that Penang Hill Funicular Railway has the steepest tunnel track in the world, as well as being the longest funicular railway track in Asia?

The train moves every half an hour and the journey is about 10 to 15 minutes…

The weather at the top of Penang Hill is definitely pleasant cooler minus 5 off whatever temperature Penang is experiencing…

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The first sight of the nature surrounding us was enough to make us sigh… Since early mornings means more mist shrouding the trees or brushing through with wind picking up from time to time..

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Penang Hill is after all covered by the tropical rain forest, so you can just immerse yourself in the lush greenery as you take a leisurely stroll along the trails.

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The Habitat on Penang Hill is the perfect place to visit for the most complete, exciting and educational Malaysian rainforest experience…

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Featuring rolling hills, pristine rain forest, lush flora, enormous granite boulders and distant views make The Habitat on Penang Hill a must-see attraction…..

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As you step through the gates of The Habitat (which also happens to be an ancient horse stable) , it is pretty much akin to taking step about 100 years back in time before the world got over developed, over populated and before all sorts or viruses ravaged the world…

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Enjoy your stroll through a 1.6km trail developed by the British India company in the 1800s and surrounded by a protected rainforest rich with flora and fauna….

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Try to spot and discover exotic plants such as the Monkey Cup and Slipper Orchid, some of the most sought after plants in the world.

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There are no large or dangerous mammals found on Penang Hill, other then humans (half kidding) , but at times, you might happen across wild boars, small and medium-sized mammals such as the squirrels, colungos, monkeys and tree shrews…

On your lucky day, spot some of the rare animals such as the Dusky Leaf Monkey, Black Giant Squirrel and Greater Racked-Tailed Drongo in the tropical rainforest of Penang Hill. They can be spotted occasionally during mid-mornings and late afternoons.

Penang Hill has a rich bird fauna. Over 100 species or about 80% of the birds found on Penang Island have been recorded here. They range from the common garden species to rare deep forest inhabitants.

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In the evenings, the characteristic calls of the cicadas and crickets are often heard….

If one is discerning enough, the stick insect and leaf mantis may be found pretty well-camouflaged among the vegetation. I did not spot any but I did spot some grasshoppers, vampire crabs and tarantulas instead.

The most common forest type found on Penang Hill is the hill dipterocarp forest. Growing at higher altitudes are some of the submontane oak-laurel as well as coniferous trees. The Tree fern which is normally associated with higher elevations is also found growing here.

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The Habitat is a world-class ecotourism site, the first of its kind in Malaysia, that aims to promote environmental consciousness and conservation awareness tourism.

The Habitat rainforest is part of the lungs of Penang. Through photosynthesis, plants pull carbon out of the atmosphere, storing it in the root stems, leaves and branches, then transforming it into life-giving oxygen. Rainforests also help recycle and clean our water supplies. The Habitat’s nature trail allows you to appreciate these jungle rainforests and the wildlife that calls them home.

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We were lucky to be accompanied by one of Habitat Naturalists, Farah who regaled us with stories on the various flora and fauna that call this rainforest home and insights into the storied Penang Hill….

The highlights of our visit and tour was of course, a visit to Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk, the highest viewing platform in Penang and also the Langur Way Canopy Walk, the longest bridge of its kind in the world….

We were just a little too hard pushed for time or we would have loved to try out the Flight of the Colugo, the zipline activities that they have at the Habitat…

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It would have been a nice feeling gliding through the cool forest on top of Penang hill, just like how a Colugo (flying lemur) would…

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At the end of the trail, there was a Toyota Hilux to bring us back to near the Penang Hill Railway station..

Address -Jalan Stesen, Bukit Bendera Air Itam, 11500 Penang

Website – https://thehabitat.my/

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