RFI Penang, Malaysia

To: Tony Crittenden <>
Subject: RFI Penang, Malaysia
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 00:34:20 +1100
Hi Tony,

A couple of days up on Penang Hill is not a bad way to spend a bit of time. There are a few trails/roads around the top for a bit of easy birding. The walk down from the peak through the Botanic Gardens is a pleasant half day (start down early AM, to escape the heat) Don't expect to see anything earth shattering in the way of birds, but the Hill has a list of about 100 species, or some 80% of the total species for Penang. Staying up on the Hill at the Bellvue Hotel a good option, as it allows you to get out at daybreak for a bit of birding before breakfast. When I stayed there in the late '90s, it had a fairly good restaurant, with an excellent view over the straits.

The Malaysian Nature Society published a booklet on nature trails on Penang Hill, but I don't know if it is still in print, but you could contact Andrew Sebastian at the MNS and ask.

When are you planning on going? If it is this year, PBA the funicular railway is scheduled to be closed between 22/02/10 till 30/10/10 for repairs. Don't bet on it being finished on that date, as nothing seems to finish on time in M'sia, must be something to do with using rubber springs in the clocks over there, hence the philosophy of "Jam Karet" (rubber time). I would ask the Bellvue or M'sian tourism if alternative transport will in place, as it is a steep 5 Km slog up from the Botanic Gardens gate. Doing the walk down-wards is bad enough. If you decide to stay at the Belvue and have to carry your gear up, you will learn why it is called luggage.


Carl Clifford

On 16/02/2010, at 10:06 PM, Tony Crittenden wrote:


Does anyone on the list have any experience of birding in Penang?

Or is there a list I can join that covers S E Asia?



Tony Crittenden
South Australia

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