Attraction > Historical Heritage

With the oldest building dated to 1803 (Convalescent Bungalow), Penang Hill is a good repository of bungalows featuring a fusion of architecture from British colonial to Asian and modern architecture.


Bel Retiro is a government bungalow on Penang Hill. It was built in 1789 for the governor of Penang, and remains within the exclusive use of the government. It is the most prestigious property on Penang Hill, built in the 1800s as a resort for high govenment officials and visiting dignitaries. Bel Retiro Bungalow was the favourite retreat of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agung and Tunku Abdul Rahman whenever they visit Penang. Senior government officers built their bungalows close to Bel Retiro, on the principle of closeness is next to greatness.

Although the bungalow itself is out-of-bounds to the general public, one can hike up to its gate, a beautiful brick structure with an arch entranceway.

Getting there
Take the Penang Hill Railway to reach Penang Hill then walk along the main road, Jalan Tuanku Yahya Petra until the Penang Hill Police Station. From the Penang Hill Central Square, climb the hill towards the Penang Hill Mosque. Bel Retiro is located just beyond the mosque.

What to see and do
Visitors can go all the way to the gateway of the Bel Retiro Bungalow but no farther as it is private property.


What's At Penang Hill