TIAA Conference Penang 2018: Oct 6 Cultural Adventure

SATURDAY OCTOBER 6 from 11 am - 9 pm @ The Habitat at Penang Hill, 2,700 feet above sea level: Curtis Crest is an observation and events area within the world-class eco-tourism attraction called The Habitat at Penang Hill. The area is surrounded by virgin jungle preserve that we viewed from a world-famous “treetop walk” requiring four-story stairway climb. The day at the Habitat provided conference participants with an authentic, diverse and educational Malaysian rainforest experience, but getting there was not necessarily easy. Our participants rode buses to Penang Bottom Hill Station and waited in line for the funicular train. From the bottom, it’s a surprisingly high-speed seven-minute ride 2,700+ feet up the hill that makes your ears pop while providing stunning rainforest views. Disembarking at Penang Top Hill Station deposited us into the community at the top of the Hill. Just 100 homes have been built in this once-exclusive enclave. A short walk past the restaurants and activities around the Top Hill Station took us through thick forested walkways, with surprising views of Penang from a distance. We felt the instant drop in temperature and noticed the lack of city noise. At the Habitat entrance, a short – but steep – walk uphill to Curtis Crest rewarded us with lunch al fresco followed by our final conference speakers and our third panel of environmental sustainability experts from Kenya, Singapore and Phoenix. Finally, participants split into small groups for various guided hikes around the Habitat before visiting the souvenir shop. Returning to Curtis Crest for dinner, live food and buffet stations served authentic regional flavors while a Malaysian instrumental group set the tone with cultural music performance. And then the rains came. Rain slickers donned, participants said their farewells to one another before riding the funicular back downhill. A fantastic wrap to an incredible conference. (153 images)

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