Fig Tree Hill waterfall gazebo
Where to Stay

Fig Tree Hill Resort: A serene hilltop paradise you’ll want to escape to

Most of the time, we’re at the mercy of technology, from the constant ding of incoming messages to the never-ending scroll of our social media newsfeeds.

It’s a good idea to cut the cord once in a while, but if you’re unable to go cold turkey and need someplace that’s set outside the city, yet close enough that you can still venture out to it if you wanted to, then Fig Tree Hill Resort is your perfect middle ground.

Set atop a lush hillslope in Bayan Lepas, Penang, you’ll be able to get all the peace and tranquility you’ll need, with only the soothing sounds of nature to accompany you.

Fig Tree Hill Cempaka Villa
Source: Fig Tree Hill Resort

The resort is comprised of six spacious villas connected by a maze of footpaths and wooden platforms, giving it the feel of a contained village within the jungle. However, the villas are set far enough apart across the grounds to guarantee privacy.

Each villa has its own bespoke design, filled with cherished antiques to give you that rustic ambience. At the same time, modern amenities are seamlessly integrated into the resort, such as LED TVs and free Wi-Fi.

You can take a relaxing late-night swim under starry skies or enjoy a filling breakfast spread next to a gushing waterfall, and with barbecuing and karaoke facilities available, there’s plenty to do at the resort to keep you busy!

Fig Tree Hill pool
Source: Fig Tree Hill Resort

Whatever pace you’d prefer, be it leisurely or activity-filled, the resort will accommodate, as your every need will be seen to by the attentive service staff.

However, if you feel the need to seek out urban comforts, you can easily get a ride to the nearest shopping mall, Queensbay Mall, or into Georgetown, which is less than an hour’s ride away.

But if you’d rather seek out the greener side of Penang, here are some activities right up your alley:

Take a dip in Ara River

Sungai Ara
Source: Shutterstock.com

Flowing beside the hill where the resort is located is Ara River, where you can splash around in its cool, clear waters and polish off a picnic lunch while you dry off among the smooth rocks.

The river is about a five-minute walk away from the resort.

Walk among the blooms of the Botanic Garden

Penang Botanic Garden
Source: Shutterstock.com

Penang’s Botanic Garden is a contrast to the wilds of the rainforest. Its well-kept and manicured grounds are home to a wide variety of endemic and exotic plant species.

Formerly an old quarry site, the area was converted into a garden by the British in 1884. It’s also known as the “Waterfall Gardens” due to the nearby waterfall.

The garden is divided into 12 sections: the Formal Garden, Lily Pond, Perdana Plant House, Tropical Rainforest Jungle Track, Fern House, Fern Rockery, Aroid Walkaway, Cactus House, Orchidarium, Horticulture Centre, Nursery, and Quarry Recreational Park.

Climb (or ride) to the top of Penang Hill

Penang Hill
Source: Shutterstock.com

From the Botanic Garden’s Moon Gate, you can find the start of the trail up Penang Hill, known locally as Bukit Bendera (Flag Hill).

It’s said to be a steep one-hour trek, but once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded by a gorgeous view of the island and beyond.

However, hikers should note that there’s a RM500 fine for those who try to feed or touch the hill’s playful resident primates – the trail isn’t known as the “Monkey Path” for nothing! So do try to keep a safe distance and hide your snacks well.

If you’re not too keen on a hike, you can still find your way to the top via the funicular train.

Hit the trails at Penang National Park

Penang National Park
Source: Shutterstock.com

Known as “the smallest national park in the world”, Penang National Park only spans a mere 1,213 hectares of land and sea.

Despite its small size, the park manages to pack a punch, as it contains a range of flora and fauna, from mangrove forests and white sandy beaches to canopy walkways through dense rainforest and a seasonal meromictic lake (a rare body of water where layers of water don’t intermix due to having different densities).

You can easily spend an entire day exploring its trails and hidden-away destinations, such as the remote Monkey Beach or the top of the lighthouse at Muka Head.

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Already packing your bags for a well-deserved staycation in Penang? Then be sure to join the Traveloka Winning Stays contest to win a 2-days-1-night stay in the charming Jasmine Villa, inclusive of breakfast for 6 guests, worth RM850.

All you have to do is:

Entries close: 23 April 2017, 11.59pm

A storyteller with an insatiable sense of curiosity. Travel junkie. Card-carrying member of many fandoms. Heavily dependent on caffeine. Loyal cat servant. Former journalist at the New Straits Times and Hybrid News.

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