The International Steam Pages
Selected Penang Walks - Sungai Rusa to Balik Pulau
This is part of a series of pages on walking the hills of Penang.
This is a long Grade 2 walk. There is a sketch map at the bottom showing the route followed.
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.
The walk starts at the bus stop just to the south of the mosque and school on opposite sides of the road in Sungai Rusa You can get here from Teluk Bahang with an infrequent 501 bus or infrequent 404 and 501 buses from Balik Pulau - check the bus guide for the times. For Teluk Bahang take a 101 bus and Balik Pulau a 502 bus, both from Komtar.
This is the view from the bus stop. Go down the Jalan Kampung, basically straight ahead although you will have to slightly bear right where the yellow buses are parked. You will see the hills ahead of you beyond the vegetable plots.
The road starts to climb slightly as it approaches the Chinese house and continues as a motorbike trail behind it to the left. You'll know you are on the right trail because you'll pass the remains of this old house on your left side.
The climb gets steeper, there are nice views back to the vegetable plots and the mosque and slabs of concrete have been laid along parts of the valley.
Eventually the gradient eases and the main trail goes left just to a house. Go straight ahead here and you will reach a new road. To the left it goes to the house so turn right.
This section will soon bring you to another T junction which was protected by a chain when we were here. To the left the track climbs a short way before becoming a motorbike trail at a hut. Instead turn right and follow this trail as it winds up to a summit The picture was taken some way along and the grey red patch is the rubber trees above the chain guarded junction.
The trail skirts the summit before going left and descending. Once you reach the open area there are wide views, the building to the right and above Yuehong is the Ratanagiri Bhavanarama (Forest Meditation Resort).
As you descend, looking back and to the right you can see past Balik Pulau to the hills above Relau and Teluk Kumbar:
Across the valley you can see your next target. a small col. There's no easy way to it, you have to go all the way down, ignoring a dirt road which will be on your left (to the right in this picture).
When you reach the bottom, bear right and continue to a cross roads, turn left here up the hill (!) - if you are exhausted you can go down this hill and out via the new Botanica Estate, but it's far better to keep going. At the next junction, do not continue left up to the Ratanagiri Bhavanarama (Forest Meditation Resort) as shown but go right, continuing to climb past the decrepit Dhammadipa Vihara until you reach the col.
It's worth taking a couple of minutes out here to go up the concrete trail to the right for the view:
At this point all the hard work is done, just follow the broad track down, it will take a while. When you come to the multiple junction shown right below, this trail continues. However, you have the option to turn left and climb over another col following the power lines - this will lead you to another of our walks (which you will have to follow in reverse - dead simple as you just follow the power lines, it will take an extra half an hour or so according to your walking speed)).
The power lines will have vanished if you carry straight on down the valley but it's impossible to get lost. The notes that follow are from our first walk here.
The path gets wider and you will come to a bridge, the only evidence for the Aquatic Farm was the sign, the project seemed to have been stillborn.
No walk of ours would be complete without a temple and round the corner is what appears to be the remains of a rubber processing area.
This is a main 'jalan kampong', passing what might be termed an intensive pig rearing facility and then what must be the island's largest oil palm smallholding.
Round one final corner and you'll find yourself at Titi (Keras) heights with journey's end effectively at the main road shortly after.
It's about 1km from here to Balik Pulau, unless you're very lucky with the buses, you'll have to walk it.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson