The International Steam Pages
Penang's Top Ten Walks - Tropical Fruit Farm to Pantai Aceh
This is one of my 'Top Ten Walks' in Penang, click here for the full list. This is a Grade 2 walk with a short challenging Grade 3 section. There is a sketch map at the bottom showing the route followed.
This is a summary of the original reports which appear elsewhere on these pages - Bukit Kecil and Pantai Aceh Descent, part of a series of pages on walking the hills of Penang, click here for the index.
In November 2016, the only suitable 501 departure from Teluk Bahang is at 10.30 (and the last bus back from Balik Pulau is at 17.30), check the Penang buses page for possible updates.
Strictly speaking this walk starts about 1km above the Tropical Fruit Farm where the round-the-island road reaches a summit between Teluk Bahang and Sungai Pinang. To get there you will need to take a 501 bus, probably from the Teluk Bahang end - check the bus guide for the times.
The summit offered four routes, three of them with gates usually firmly shut, so take the one trail on the north side. It is wide and has seen better days, but it is pleasantly shaded. Go through the next set of gates and follow the path as it slowly descends.
Continue past just above a new house, ignoring the steep paths up and down soon you will get a magnificent view down to the Teluk Bahang Dam and the sea beyond.
The wide path winds on eventually ending at an abandoned house, beyond it a narrow path leads up to the left.
Very soon it will reach the ridge and you will have a view towards Pulau Betong. Just below is was a wide new concrete road, turn right and climb up it..
Enjoy the panorama:
At the top is a new house, we climbed up to the second storey to get this view Pantai Aceh and its mangroves.
This was its state in February 2013, when it is finished you'll just have to ask nicely to see the view above. Just below the house, take the ridge path.
You will see a fruit orchard not very far down, but there is no well used path to get to it, so follow the ridge south from the house for about 50 metres until you came to a cleared area before some young rubber. Part of this runs down and at this point there is an opening and a slightly overgrown forest trail.
This is by far the most difficult section and you will need to take care as you drop down through the old rubber levels.
Keep as close as you can to the right edge once you start to see ferns beyond. Keep checking and eventually, you will find that you can step through into the durian orchard, if like us, you are lucky, you will be right by the end of a concrete path...
You will see Pantai Aceh below and can now enjoy walking down.
It's impossible to get lost, the orchard is very well maintained and there's a small Chinese temple along the way which is a nice place to take a break.
Pantai Aceh itself is almost a 100% Chinese village, with a temple integrated into the Chinese primary school. Opposite the nearby bus stop is a traditional coffee shop with full facilities for thirsty foreigners and mahjong for the locals. You'll need to wait for the next 404 bus towards Balik Pulau - check the bus guide for the times.
From Sungai Pinang, the afternoon connections with a possible 501 bus to Teluk Bahang were not good in February 2013 - check the bus guide for the times. Otherwise, you'll have to go to Balik Pulau and take a 502 'over the hill' to Komtar.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson