Bukit Mertajam Heritage Trail
Bukit Mertajam is at the heart of several other confluences. Sited along the meandering Sungai Juru river near the base of the conspicuous and solitary Bukit To’ Kun hill (popularly known as Bukit Mertajam hill), it is conveniently linked to the town of Kulim in Kedah to the east, Butterworth to the north and Penang island to the west.
It is no wonder that the town was chosen by the British colonial administration to house one of the earliest railway stations in Malaya a century ago. It also became the site of four historic dams around the verdant forested hill and continues to boast a number of the country’s most illustrious schools since the colonial days.
Till today the area also bears a number of historic 19th century religious buildings which stand as testaments to people of diverse faiths and cultures who settled here and contributed to its rich little-told history. Of these, the renowned Church of St Anne annually hosts one of the largest Catholic festivals in the world.
Bukit Mertajam’s legacy however goes much further, to some 1,500 years back. A remarkable remnant of the ancient Bujang Valley civilisation in the form of an inscription on a rock continues to exist in close proximity to the marketplaces, factories, residential neighbourhoods and bustling modern malls.
As an ever-expanding settlement, the area is endowed with a charming mix of culture, heritage and natural ecology. Most of these are quite accessible but have been surprisingly overlooked or left forgotten for decades, as though waiting patiently and sturdily to be rediscovered and put to life again.
Bukit Mertajam Heritage Tour
- Drive thru 2nd Penang Bridge
- St. Anne’s Church
- Wat Rajaphohong (Siamese Temple)
- Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest
- Penang Bird Park
- Return via 1st Penang Bridge