In conjunction with the Penang Hill Festival 2022, SEGi College Penang’s Hospitality Club organised the Penang Hill Adventure to expose students to nature and the heritage of Penang Hill. The participants were SEGi College Penang and SEGi College Sarawak students.
The first colonial hill station developed in Peninsular Malaysia, Penang Hill, is also known by its Malay name Bukit Bendera, which refers to Flagstaff Hill, which has a long and vibrant history and is a must-visit destination in Penang.
The event began with a short nature tour by a tour guide from Penang Hill Corporation. The tour guide explained that Penang Hill covers several hills, with the highest point at Western Hill, 833 meters (2,733 ft) above sea level. The hill, with its forests, stood out prominently from the lowlands and was used as a retreat during the British colonial period. Besides Western Hill, the other regional peaks are Bukit Laksamana (Malay for Admiral Hill), Tiger Hill, Flagstaff Hill, Haliburton’s Hill, and Government Hill. We were surprised to learn that Tiger Hill is named not because of the existence of tigers at the hill but after a species of orchid that only exist in Penang Hill, the Tiger Orchid. The Tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) is noted for its huge size and flowers, which resemble a tiger’s skin and bloom once every alternate year.
The second tour was the Heritage Tour led by Mr KP, a Senior Tour Guide at the Penang Hill Corporation. He told a story of why Penang Hill is known as Bukit Bendera and why Penang Hill was chosen as a popular expatriate refuge in the olden days. There are over fifty historical bungalows located atop the hill, many built in the 1800s as residences and resorts for high government officials. Penang Hill was used as a retreat location during the British colonial period because of its strategic location from which a splendid 180-degree view of George Town can be seen.
SEGi College thanks the Penang Hill Corporation for their permission for us to visit Penang Hill and for the free tour. We hope that this educational trip to Penang Hill has given our Hospitality and Tourism students additional knowledge on the components of hospitality and tourism, especially tourism management.