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Close to Nature – The Habitat, Penang Hill
Travel
Close to Nature – The Habitat, Penang Hill
WRITER: Hard Rock Hotel Penang Team PHOTOS BY: Penang Team
Close to Nature – The Habitat, Penang Hill 12. March 2018, by Hard Rock Hotel Penang Team, Photos by Penang Team
Penang Hill is one of the island’s landmark and a popular place visited by locals and tourists alike, a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

In recent years, we have seen Penang Hill undergo a revival of sorts. The Habitat is the latest addition – a world-class eco-tourism facility committed to conservation and environmental awareness.

Set on the fringes of a 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest on Penang Hill, The Habitat is an eye opening, fun and educational rainforest experience. One can easily spend the entire day atop the “lungs of Penang” with nature trail, tree-top walk, canopy walkways to explore and guided tours by experienced guides. If you’ve had too much delectable local food in Penang, spending a day at The Habitat would definitely give your laden stomach a break.

Nature Trail marks the starting point of The Habitat. This 1.6km trail is easy to navigate with educational signs located along the trail to educate visitors on the flora and fauna in The Habitat. Complimentary guided tours are also available and are conducted by experienced naturalists. We highly recommended you go on one especially if it’s your first time. We were lucky enough to have Mr. Nazirul Musidi, a friendly local from Penang to bring us around. Graduating from Jordan and an expert in forest survival, Nazirul is an experienced guide fluent in English, Malay and Arabic who shared his insights on the flora and fauna in the locale.

Educational signage can be along the trail to teach you more about what you see.
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The Bromeliad crab resting on the Bromeliad plant.
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A tarantula in its nest.
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Different flora and fauna found along the trail.
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Different flora and fauna found along the trail.
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Nazirul, our nature trail guide who was friendly and insightful.

Be greeted by beautiful themed gardens along the nature trail in The Habitat such as the Fragrant Garden, Ginger Garden and Purple Garden. We think that these gardens are perfect Instagram-worth places!  Butterfly Bank is designed specially to attract not only the beautiful butterflies but moths as well and great for you to just relax and watch the butterflies play.

Touch, feel and smell the different types of flora that is unique with its own fragrance or smell in the Fragrant Garden.
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Touch, feel and smell the different types of flora that is unique with its own fragrance or smell in the Fragrant Garden.
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The Ginger Garden cultivates and showcases both wild and culinary ginger.
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The Purple Garden is designed and surrounded by walls of purple with slight hues of red, violet and blue flowers.

Tired from the walking? You can also take a breather on one of their Giant Swings along the trail. 2 of 5 giant swings in Penang can be found in The Habitat where one is located near the Canopy Walk and the other is located in between the Drongo Circle and the Squirrel Circle.

Follow the sign to the Giant Swing.
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2 of 5 giant swings in Penang can be found at The Habitat. 
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2 of 5 giant swings in Penang can be found at The Habitat. 

Canopy Walk (also known as Langur Way) is an extension to the trees and stretches out to 230m in length with the highest point standing at 30m in height. Here, you are able to enjoy unobstructed views of the rainforest and on clear sunny days, you can see the beautiful Andaman Sea, Gunung Jerai and even the Langkawi Island from this bridge!

Canopy Walk stretches out 230m in length.
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Take in unobstructed views of the rainforest at the Canopy Walk.
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Tree Top Walk is the highest viewing point in Penang Hill.

Be sure to check out the Tree Top Walk (also known as Curtis Crest) during your visit here. The Tree Top Walk is located 800m above sea level and it is also the highest public viewing platform in The Habitat. It offers a breath-taking 360 degree panoramic view of Penang Island. A Sunset Walk is also available at 7.00pm where visitors are able to witness mesmerizing sunset view. The floor also lights up with fibre optic lights which mimics the look of the galaxy.

When in The Habitat, don’t forget to pop by the terrarium workshop and learn on how to make your own terrarium from scratch. By paying only RM10, you can learn and make you own terrarium with the guidance from the friendly staff stationed here.

Learn to make your own terrarium.
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Staff guiding guests on how-tos in making a terrarium.
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Bring home your own personal terrarium.

We ended our visit at The Habitat Café to fuel up after our long walk. This café serves a good selection of pastries, cakes, pies, pastas, toasts and coffee at a reasonable price. If you’d like some memorabilia, ‘Shop on the Hill’ offers variety of gifts from merchandise, soft toys to terrarium, paintings, jewellery and bathroom essentials. They even sell small seed boxes for you to grow your own herb garden at home.

The Habitat Café
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‘Shop on the Hill’

Did you know?

  • Heavy machines were not used nor allowed in the process of building the Canopy Walk. Only manpower and tree-climbing system were used to build this canopy bridge in order to be “tree-friendly”.
  • Located at a flat surface in The Habitat, the area that the Tree Top Walk now stand was once used as a tennis court back in the 1890’s for people that stayed over in Penang Hill for holidays. It was also used as a military parade ground by the East India Company troops to keep watch for approaching enemy ships – since this area is the highest viewing point in Penang Hill.
  • Giant Black Squirrel builds more than 10 nests and are scattered on random trees within the forest. The Giant Black Squirrels do this to protect the babies from preys such as snakes.
  • Bright coloured flowers or plants are labelled as poisonous plants in animal nature.
The Habitat Penang Hill

Address: The Habitat Penang Hill, Bukit Bendera, 11300, Penang, Malaysia.
Operation Hours: Open daily 9.00am – 7.00pm (Last ticket sold 7.00pm. Exit closes 8.00pm after Sunset Walk)
Website: www.thehabitat.my

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