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Friday March 5, 2010

4WDs start plying Penang Hill

DESPITE the shutdown of the Penang Hill funicular train service up to the hill, tourists and locals wishing to admire the magnificent views of the island from atop can still do so by taking 4WD rides to the peak.

Jeep rides are available next to the entrance of the Botanic Gardens in Jalan Kebun Bunga.

Pleasant ride: Four Wheel drives are now being used to transport locals and tourists up ad down Penang Hill.

Tourists won’t miss it as there is a ‘Penang Hill 4X4 Jeep Service” banner strung up prominently.

The funicular train, which had been running since 1923, ceased operations on Feb 22.

The 87-year-old funicular railway will be closed for at least seven months to make way for a RM63mil system complete with a new Swiss-made coach, cable, control panel, electrical switch box, gear and haul cable.

Penang Hill Residents Association secretary Beh Chin Siang said the jeep service is priced at RM15 per person for a return trip.

“Each 4WD is able to take four persons but if the tourists do not want to wait until the seats are filled, we can also provide the service at RM60 per jeep.

“There are about 10 to 12 jeeps on stand by daily.

“The ride will take less than 30 minutes and other than lush greenery, tourists will be in awe of the island’s panoramic view from 830m above sea level,” he said.

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