The International Steam Pages
Selected Penang Walks - The Titi Kerawang Loop
This is part of a series of pages on walking the hills of Penang.
This is a Grade 3 walk, based mainly on length. 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 kicking off point is quite clear and the gate house sign has its usual warm welcome for visitors and the gate across the road prevents access for any kind of motorised vehicle without the appropriate electronic 'key'. Good news in my book because a space has been left for walkers to pass.
The views get a bit repetitive in the nicest possible way and that's not dirt on the lens but a large eagle. On the right is a novel use for old tyres, foundations for this trail.
If you come in the dry season you'll see the fruit trees getting a drink and hot walkers can cool off too. The houses up here are total class.
Did I mention the view? You just can't miss it...
Above Sungai Pinang village somebody has been borrowing some rock and soil presumably for all those houses to be built on what was formerly quite swampy. Round the bend, the view opens up over Sungai Rusa and down to Pulau Betong.
Shortly after you'll come to a 4 way junction; although I was aware of the perils of the right turn here, be sure to go slightly left and up the hill. A little higher you'll find a nice viewing gallery which is great for a break providing it isn't being squatted in by sleeping dogs.
This is the classiest house of all, a gem only viewed from across a valley. On walks like this, if you want views then you have to accept a certain lack of shade although likely there will be a pleasant light breeze blowing throughout.
At the next junction turn right and follow the power lines which cut the corner hereabouts. Yuehong is standing on the correct route, as you can see, the hill begins to level out, if you don't pass this shrine then you chose the wrong road!
Two more distinctive landmarks appeared in quick succession. Opt for the right fork, left leads to an abandoned Buddhist retreat.
The power lines finish at one last house which seems to double as a dog farm, I lost track after I got to double figures but they appeared well fed.
Durian now gives way to rubber and after one last zig-zag, there is a short 'natural' section before you emerge into a cleared area. The gate seems to be left left wide open, long may it stay that way.
The view changes, now we were looking down to Balik Pulau, there is a way down through what looks like jungle, it's included in the Voodoo Lilly walk.
Continue through the bananas and when you get to the junction shown, turn left.
You now enter a vegetable area, it's not the best part of the walk at all..
The path goes down into a small dip before rising again to a Y junction. It is most important to do a U turn here - follow the sign in Chinese which is to a nearby temple. If you were to continue behind the camera you would eventually arrive at Air Itam Dam.
Soon you'll be at the Da Ba Gong (Lian Jiao Yuan) temple. Yuehong was smiling, it was lunchtime.
Continuing beyond the temple, looking back, the silver globe of the Western Hill station is just visible on the horizon, it's probably still technically illegal to photograph it:
From here on down, from experience, it's only possible to go wrong on one short stretch. After seeing the Sg. Pinang sign, be sure to keep right and downwards at the fork shown.
At the bottom where the path goes right to an abandoned house, a narrow path runs left - take it! According to the season and whether parties of runners and hikers have been here, it may be a little overgrown.
After clearing the rubber, you'll soon hit the durian estates big time and the descent becomes intuitive.
It's a lovely descent even if you have tired knees. If you want to find your way up here, you'll need to read the Voodoo Lilly walk.
Don't forget to thank the gods on our way out, after well over 5 hours on the go, we both smelled like an old Burmese goat. Yuehong had had the foresight to bring a little something along so she was not totally soaked in sweat as we emerged on the road.
This walk is ace, it should be right at the top of the hit list for anyone who wants to see Penang's walks at their very best.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson