Penang’s hills and coast have always been meaningful to the island’s communities. The Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve, home to an exotic variety of wildlife serves as a vital eco-friendly service for its island in addition to providing valuable, recreational opportunities, and economic support.
Penang Hill has seen a sharp decline in the number of visitors since the closure of international and state borders, but the post pandemic period has been put to good use as Penang Hill Corporation launches Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff officiated by YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, the Chief Minister of Penang to introduce new attractions and enhance existing facilities to its visitors on the hill.
One of Penang’s expected tourism hotspots is the gallery at the top of the hill which is an old state-owned bungalow that began its transformation four years ago to disseminate a lesson in nature and heritage. The newly opened Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff allows visitors can embrace Penang Hill’s history and discover hidden treasures behind the bungalow on the hill built by architect J.C. Miller in 1937. The gallery provides an insight into the flora and fauna, wildlife, and history of the hill and it is not surprising that this first project in the country has achieved certification under the Green Building Index Non-Residential Existing Building (NREB) Historic Building Tool. The initiative of restoring the heritage bungalow was fully supported by the Penang state government for educational and heritage purposes.
The gallery is divided into five sections: a funicular railway, biodiversity, time tunnel, heritage, and culture, and is housed in a converted art deco bungalow. This visitor’s gallery is expected to draw large crowds, benefiting other businesses on the hill resort and in the surrounding areas without destroying its natural, historical and cultural heritage so that it will remain the same for future generations.