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As our cruise ship was scheduled to dock in Penang for only a limited few hours, we decided to purchase tickets for the funicular here in the UK prior to our departure, as we had read of long queues. The price was the same as those shown on the Penang Hill website so we purchased the 'fast track' option and are so pleased we did as there were, indeed, quite long queues, even to purchase fast track tickets on the day. We did have to swap our Viator voucher for tickets, but we were ushered to a queue-free counter where the swap was done. We were then directed through a separate entrance and were boarded first on the very next train. There is no doubt that this saved us some considerable time which was so limited. Similarly, for the return journey we were directed into a separate entrance and had the benefit of being able to sit in a small, cool, lounge whilst waiting for the next train which, again, we boarded first.
The train journey itself is only 5-10 minutes and the views from the top of the hill were amazing. There is a restaurant and café at the top, the latter serving the most ornate ice cream/fruit dishes we have ever seen! As it was very hot we shared a short electric golf buggy ride around the top of the hill with another couple for a total of 10US, which was interesting and saved a long walk.
If your time in Penang is limited, I would recommend that you purchase these tickets on-line in advance as you will save a lot of time. We had also purchased hop-on-hop-off bus tickets the bus stops right outside the funicular station and wanted to see as much of Penang as we could in the time we had available.
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