The Bungalows of Penang Hill

Mike Gibby
Design and layout by Adrian Cheah

The Bungalows of Penang Hill

From the first colonists to the towkays and millionaires of modern Malaysia, a bungalow on Penang Hill has always been an aspiration and a dream. How better to confirm one’s position in society, than with a home at the top of the Hill?

The Bungalows of Penang Hill

Thanks to the kindness of the current owners, this book invites us to step into the exclusive world of Hill living. Explore these iconic homes, discover their secrets, and meet some of their owners.

Featuring more than 400 photographs, many previously unpublished, The Bungalows of Penang Hill is a richly illustrated account of all 52 of Penang Hill’s unique bungalows.

The Bungalows of Penang Hill


Sponsors’ Messages - vi
Acknowledgements - ix
Introduction - 1

The Age of Atap

  1. First on the Hill - 13
    • Bel Retiro

  2. A Visit by the Doctor - 27
    • Convalescent, Fern Hill

  3. A Place To Call One’s Own - 35
    • Bellevue, Strawberry Hill, RichmondGun Hill

  4. Relics - 47
    • Lomond, Mount Edgecumbe, Green House, Highlands House

  5. The Bungalows on Moniot Road - 61
    • Brothers Bungalow, Mon Sejour

  6. The Crag 71
    • Holland on the Hill - 73
    • The Captain and his Lady - 77
    • Competition for The Crag - 81
    • A New Direction - 87

  7. ‘All Change!’ – Penang’s Hill Railways - 91

    The Age of Stone, Cement and Steel

  8. Friends in High Places - 97

  9. Summit Road - 105
    • Nook, Eythrope, Bukit Pinang, Sri Merdeka, Sri Layang Layang, Aloha, Browhead, Raj Bhavan, Rajawali, Southview

  10. The Tunnel Roads - 135
    • The Rockies, Edgecliff, Tree Tops, Cottage, Woodside, Hillside, Camville, Arun Rangsi, Methodist Centre, St. Brelades, Westspur, CAP Bungalow

  11. Viaduct Road - 169
    • White House, Karangan Cot, Great Wall, Hickory, Soon Cottage, Tosari, Lausanne, Fairmont, 12 Viaduct Road, Buddha Light Vihara Retreat

  12. The Claremont Estate - 191
    • Upper & Lower Claremont

  13. Waterfall Road - 195
    • Grace Dieu, Hill View, Edgecumbe, Ban Hin Lee Bungalow

Endnotes - 209
References - 215
Index - 217

The Bungalows of Penang Hill

The Bungalows of Penang Hill

Mike Gibby
2020, Entrepot Publishing
Softcover. 22.8 cm x 20 cm, 240 pages
Language: English
Illustrated throughout
ISBN 978-967-17008-4-6

Available at

The Bungalows of Penang Hill

About the Author

Mike is a British-born educator who has spent the majority of his life in South East Asia. He holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Leeds and a M.Sc. in Evolution from the University of Liverpool. His primary interests in the life sciences are in the related fields of ecosystems, conservation and evolution and he has a passion for historical investigations. As a committed educator and outdoorsman he has lead expeditions to the mountains of Ladakh, Nepal, Iceland, Norway and Morocco as well as the principal summits of Java, Sumatra, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea. His students have been introduced to the varied delights of mangrove, seashore, rivers and rain forest.

Mike is a keen hiker, biker, photographer and explorer of the many wonders of Penang; his favourite questions are ‘how?’ and ‘why?’

He is the author of several books on Malaysia:
Jerejak: Penang’s Untold Story: Entrepot Publishing, 2018.
Penang Hill: a journey through time: Entrepot Publishing, 2017.
Street Art Penang Style: Entrepot Publishing, 2016.
Crowned with the Stars: The Life and Times of Don Carlos Cuarteron, First Prefect of Borneo 1816–1880: Diocese of Kota Kinabalu, 2005.
Islands of Malaysia: Diamond Sky Publishing, 1994.

Also: In the Best of Company, Postcards from the Hajj: Entrepot Publishing, 2019.

Mike is married with two children and lives in Penang.