The International Steam Pages
Penang's Top Ten Walks - Air Itam to Titi Kerawang
Please visit my Penang buses page for information on accessing the starting point.
Start from Air Itam (502, 201, 203 or 204 bus, the 502 being by far the best option as it is the most direct service). If you start early you can get close to getting the optimal shot of Kek Lok Si:
On the road up to the dam, take the motor bike trail going up just to the left of the road behind Yuehong - the sign reads "KWARN INN SAHN POW YIN SIAN TSI(P)". The division points in the trail are obvious. The covered awning leads to the dam and next to it is a small temple, it's yet another to Tua Pek Kong.
From here it is just a short distance to the next junction, yours is the minor path to the left but there is a sign on the rock. You have done most of the initial climbing and it is a pleasant shady path until you come out with a view of the dam.
Walk along the west side of the dam:
When you come to the gate across the road, turn right and follow the concrete road upwards.
There is a 5 way junction at the col, this pictures show only the two wider trails ahead. That on the left leads to Bukit Elvira that on the right to Titi Kerawang which is the one you want. Out of sight to the left is a forest trail to the col on the Air Itam to Balik Pulau road and similarly on the right is a forest trail to the Tiger Hill valley.
Follow it downhill into a largely cultivated valley until it comes to a small temple, arguably the most remote on the island.
It's nothing special but the track continues beyond the temple although it was soon much narrower as you will enter an area which is a mixture of old rubber estates, secondary jungle and durian orchards. Just in case we were in any doubt as to being on the right track, we found that someone had helpfully erected a signpost to Sungai Pinang:
Looking back there are many glimpses of rain forest on the hill tops although it is long gone from where you are. Looking down, you can see Kuala Sungai Pinang:
There are many zig-zags and not a few other paths coming in but as long as you keep going down you'll be fine. The trail finishes on the round-the-island road just below Titi Kerawang rock pools. From here you'll need to catch a 501 bus to Teluk Bahang or Balik Pulau - check the bus guide for the times.
This is a splendid walk, but it really has to be done in the westerly direction as trying to pick the right path going in the opposite direction would be a mug's game for a beginner - the details are given in one of our walks.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson