The International Steam Pages
Penang's Top Ten Walks - The Batu Ferringhi Aqueducts
This is a taster for my 'Top Ten Walks' in Penang, click here for the full list. This is a Grade 1 walk, if it leaves you exhausted then I wouldn't recommend trying the others! Hopefully it will 'leave you wanting more' and willing to shed a little sweat to enjoy the other side of Penang Island..
This walk can be done in the opposite direction, instructions to get started are given at the end.
Important: although technically it is a protected place, in practice no objection is normally raised to visiting the area described but visitors should make a special effort to respect this environment.
Take the 101 bus to Batu Ferringhi and get off just after the traffic lights next to the Holiday Inn complex. Go up Jalan Sungai Satu, bear right past Uplands School and the Eden Seaview Condo and then turn left to the main gate. During the week there is someone here to 'guard' it, twiddling his thumbs watching the joggers and the small boys who bathe in the rock pools. At weekends you have to use the alternative nearby.
Follow the private road for about half a kilometre up to where the aqueduct finishes at the tunnel which goes through the hill to Tanjung Bunga. Given the date of construction, it is not surprising that the buildings are all in a refreshing 'Art Deco' style although most have been out of use for a long time. The main aqueduct is in the foreground, constructed of concrete slabs, :
Turn around and the road winds along the hillside for some considerable way with occasional views downwards including the local Water Works and then there is a tantalising glimpse of the National Park beyond Teluk Bahang marred only by the beautiful Bayview Beach Hotel:
Compare the jungle lined graceful curves of the aqueduct, with masses of pitcher plants hanging from the vines and ferns:
The main aqueduct ends at the 3km mark, the 'egg' building covers the take off for a pipeline (presumably to Batu Ferringhi), the second aqueduct starts at a slightly higher level.
There are three small dams up here:
Necessarily, the aqueduct near the top is much narrower, the terminus is just beyond a small bridge:
Above is the third and last dam, beyond is the trail to Western Hill, the highest peak on the island, probably one of the more demanding walks here for the determined hiker:
Return to the 'Big Egg', taking the small road beyond it on to the concrete road leading down to the main Batu Ferringhi Dam. From there a rough trail leads down through the Chin Estate to the Bayview Beach Hotel, note you will again have to find a hole in the fence.
To do this walk in reverse, take the 101 bus to the corner just after the Bayview Beach Hotel and head inland along the dirt road into what is known as the Chin Farm / Estate. It's important to turn right at the first junction (a small shrine is just a few metres up it) and follow the broken road as it climbs slightly above the valley. Where it bears right, the trail continues straight on to a water tower, and shortly after you will come to the fence shown above. Carry on up to the dam and thereafter the route should be obvious if you read the main account.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson