Apr 14, 2012

Penang Hill ZigZag Canopy Walk

There are many canopy walks in Malaysia, but this Penang Hill version will feature a zigzag canopy walk and rather long too at 1.6km. It will be under construction so will have to wait and see how it will turn out when it is completed. Other canopy walks that I know of include FRIM in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and Poring Spring in Sabah. There are many others as it is very popular. It started out as a way for botanist and scientist to study the upper habitat of the canopy trees but turn out to be rather popular for tourists and travelers too! If you got a fear of heights, this tree top attraction is not for you!

New attraction on hill
By Christina Chin
Saturday April 14, 2012

WORK on a 200m-long Penang Hill zigzag canopy walk and 1.6km-long educational nature trail will commence early next month.

Access to forest: An artist's impression of the canopy walk which will be constructed in a zigzag fashion.
Access to forest: An artist's impression of the
canopy walk which will be constructed in a zigzag fashion.

The eco-tourism project, estimated to cost over RM3mil, was awarded to local engineering firm Creative Quest Sdn Bhd (CQSB) after the open tender closed on Nov 30, 2010.

CQSB director Harry Cockrell said a project team had been assembled and was waiting to start work.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said work on the project would start once the agreement was inked between the state government and CQSB in "a week or two".

The project will be undertaken in two phases and is expected to be completed in 10 months.

Phase one consists of renovation of buildings and the construction of the nature trail and canopy walk.

The second phase is to complete the nature trail and build the 'heli-pad plateau' rest area, giant swings and remaining rest areas.

Eco-tourism consultant Frederick Walker said the project would leverage on the hill's heritage and the use of green materials for construction.

The 'heli-pad plateau' is located halfway along the nature trail and will be designed with an English-style botanic garden concept. There will be creeks and water features with benches and sitting areas.

"Water will be re-circulated from the hill stream," he told a press conference yesterday.

Other features include solar-powered lighting and interactive informative signage.

He said the existing canopy walk located along Summit Road would be dismantled with the component parts reused.

He said flora indigenous to the hill would be replanted where soil erosion had occurred.

"There is already an existing path so there won't be any massive clearing or tree cutting for the nature trail," he said.

Cockrell said ticket prices had yet to be determined but assured the public that it would be affordable especially for locals.

Lim said out of five companies which attended the site briefing, only CQSB submitted a development proposal.

"Cockrell is a long-term resident on the hill and we are confident that CQSB will deliver an eco-tourism attraction that is of international standards," he said, adding that the project's concession period was 30 years.

Penang Hill Corporation is the agent for the state government in the project to be fully financed by the firm.

The canopy walk was closed in 2006 due to a termite problem but reopened in July 2007 after repair work.

It was closed after being partially destroyed by falling trees during a thunderstorm in September 2008. -- Metro