The International Steam Pages
Penang Hills and Trails - Hakka Hill
This is part of a series of pages on walking the hills of Penang. Click here for the index. This is a Grade 2 walk. There is a sketch map at the bottom showing the route followed, it includes paths discovered on a later visit.
Please visit my Penang buses page for information on accessing the starting point.
The original version of this walk vanished when I when I used an ill advised 'Save As', but the pictures did survive. Unfortunately a lot of Tigers have gone down the hatch in the 7 weeks since I wrote the original and much spontaneity will have been lost.
We had identified the starting point when we had the benefit of a lift to Pulau Betong with Nathan and Tom on what had not been my most glorious tour guiding. This is the mosque served by the 403 bus and we had reached it from Balik Pulau by its usual circuitous outward journey via Pekan Genting. The Jalan Kampung opposite like many on the island had been sealed in recent years.
Initially, the population seemed mainly Malay but as we approached the hill, the Chinese influence was obvious. We had enquired at this house previously about the hill paths but they knew only about the Hakka Centre. Today was a funeral day and we skipped by and climbed the concrete road up the hill.
This was one which would have been difficult to get wrong, it went straight up without a major junction and then curved upwards to the right.
We could see Pulau Betong through the trees and it was obvious that our initial destination had a web presence - it's mainly in Chinese - http://www.balikpulaulodge.com.
I have to say it was not entirely to my taste and fortunately it was officially closed. However, there was a very nice viewing area...
This is the view in its full glory, it seems only one tree had been sacrificed to get it.
Behind the Hakka Centre the road continued up a short way. The newly installed gates were hardly a deterrent and we walked on in. Behind the house there was an inviting path up.
The best thing about it was the improved view of Pulau Betong.
We managed to follow it to the ridge. To the right was very overgrown rubber, ahead and down was more of the same. I temporarily abandoned Yuehong and walked through some long grass to the left. This produced a concrete trail downwards. I followed this hoping to find an easier way back, but it was a mistake...
Eventually I came out just above the Hakka Centre and then had to climb back to the ridge to bring Yuehong down. On the way back down the road, we were able to talk with a farmer family. According to them, we had done everything right in a funny sort of way but the original path to Teluk Kumbar had not been used for many years. It was not a wonderful day, we had a long wait for the late running 403 bus and as result missed the last 501 but to Teluk Bahang. We had dinner in Balik Pulau and then returned home rather later than usual via 502/101 buses.
When I can summon the enthusiasm, I'll sort out access to the ridge from the Teluk Kumbar side, I don't think it would be impossible to re-establish this as an occasional through route. It was actually very easy as the map below shows and the reports linked at the top of the page describe.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson