Jul 14, 2020

Not Worth It: Kopi Hutan @ Penang Hill

I’ve intended to go to Kopi Hutan since I saw it online 2 years ago, but I didn’t have the chance to do so because I wasn’t staying in Penang (going up to Penang Hill might take the whole day). Now that I'm living here, it is convenient for me to visit Penang Hill. However, the place suddenly went viral and the owner didn't prepare for the crowd. Adding on to the stress, everyone is expected to adhere to the Covid-19 protocol, but some people had to make things complicated such as not lining up, do not follow social distancing, and not wearing masks. That is why it was quite an unpleasant experience. 

Location: Monkey Cup Farm, Summit Road, 11500, Penang Hill
Business hour: Open daily 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Price range: RM8-RM20
Halal: Yes

1. Pricey

I know that going to such tourist area, I should expect to pay more. But I’m not talking about just the menu price. Take into account that you have to pay RM12/person for the tram to go up hill (in my case I paid RM40/person for the fast pass) and RM30 for buggy service to get to the cafe. The drinks is around RM8-15 and a slice of cake is RM15. Expect to pay somewhat around RM50 per person just for a cup of coffee and cake. 

2. Subpar cakes & drinks

The coffee is pretty average and the cakes were all sold out by the time I reach (around 11AM). I had only 1 choice which is the mango cake, however I taste more cream than the cake itself.

However, to be fair, maybe the cheese cake and Nutella cake were really good that’s why they were sold out so early. 

No food is served during my visit. 

3. The viral crowd

I chose the wrong time to visit the Kopi Hutan - they went viral about a week before I went. The owner didn’t manage to cope with the traffic. There were no system so they skipped our order and serve others who came after us. Usually I won’t be so pissed, but after waiting in line for more than one hour, and being skipped, the feeling is furious! 

Although I had such unpleasant trip, I might go back again after the viral crowd subsided to give it another try. The environment is something special and one-of-a-kind. I really love sitting in the rainforest, under the tree, taking my time to sip the coffee.

Please bring cash because the Wifi is not stable for wireless payment. And there's no phone line in the jungle.

On the issue of mosquitoes - I’m not too sure if there is any mosquito around because I went prepared with mosquito patches. 

How to get there:

Take a tram up to the Penang Hill. Locate your way to the Owl Museum, you will find plenty of buggy services that can take you up to the Kopi Hutan. 

A lot of reviews mentioned that the owner provides free transport with his 4x4, that depending on your luck and I think as long as it is crowded, it is impossible for the owner to shuttle you over. 

Alternatively you can walk for 1.5km towards the direction of the Habitat. It was a pleasant walk even with my sandal. The route is scenic, with a lot of English villa to discover. I spotted a lot of unique plants and wild life  along the way. 

Here's an advice... if you are going on the weekend, do get the fast pass. It cost RM40 (RM28 more than the regular pass for locals), but it was worth it. I skipped the queue when going up the hill, which was estimated 3 tram trips and also I skipped about 200 persons when going down the hill.  

I'll update you guys how it is the next time I visit them. I still want to give them a benefit of doubt that they suddenly can't cope with the viral crowd. I highly suggest you to go on weekdays to avoid the traffic. 

1 comment

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