The International Steam Pages
Selected Penang Walks - Teluk Kumbar to Kampong Pulau Betong
This is part of a series of pages on walking the hills of Penang.
This is a 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.
Note that the path shown on the map with alternate green and orange squares had several trees down in December 2016 and was passable only with some care.
Take a 401 / 401 E bus from Balik Pulau or George Town to Teluk Kumbar - not the main village turn off but one by Jalan Kampung Masjid (P235 on the map below). In theory a 308 bus could take you to the Sekolah Rendah Al-Itqan, Pulau Pinang on the corner at the end but you will probably wait for much longer than the time it takes to walk. Go down the 'Jalan Kampung' opposite (first picture) almost immediately bearing round to the right. After a while you come to this landmark, turn left here along what looks like a domestic driveway but in fact leads to the base of the hill and a footpath up.
This is not the most obvious of turnings so for the record the electricity pole is JKM 20 24. Soon the path climbs into the durian estate.
This is the first hut, on this occasion the owner was away and there was just one token dog to bark at us, carry on up.
It's pretty, I agree, but you need some creative composition to make the most of the views, only if you have been up here will you understand what this means.
It's all second gear stuff until the original path ends and you join the extension put in when motorcycles had more power. For a couple of hundred metres it is seriously steep.
This is the last hut, at this point the concrete ends but the trail continues to the right, it makes for very pleasant walking.
Ahead is tempting, but it's a dead end despite the water pipes. Instead follow the path up to the right as it zig zags up and gets increasingly shady.
This is old rubber, very little is being tapped even allowing for it being the dry season, when we came this way the path was covered in leaves and barely used. Never mind, very soon you will be on the ridge and it will be time for a pit stop.
At the summit you can go left or right. Going left you go a short way along the ridge before you come to a concrete path down to the right. This is quite a steep descent which comes out on a concrete road above the Hakka Centre. Turn right and follow it down where you will eventually join with the preferred alternative.
The only advantage of going this way is the view from the open area on the ridge: However, having got here it's far preferable to turn around and take the path to the right where you came up. It's a gentle and shady descent and far more pleasant.
You can't go wrong and even when the locals part block the path to discourage the mountain biking community, it's no problem to step around the obstruction. When you get to this junction below, go straight on. It's a gentle downhill walk although the path is not well used. Resist the temptation to go right and eventually you will come down to another small house. From here it's a short distance down to the concrete road, the electricity pole is KC 40 (Kebun Cha).
Along the road there were reminders that if you invite all and sundry into your home on a business basis, then some of them will abuse your hospitality. These are signs for the Hakka Centre (http://www.balikpulaulodge.com) and a friendly reminder to those with no manners.
From here it's about a 10 minute walk to the main road where you emerge by the mosque at the end of Jalan Baru. Check the Penang buses page for the latest 403 bus times but In November 2015, these were leaving Balik Puau at 12.00, 13.30, 15.00 and 17.00 which meant they were on the way back from here some 25-30 minutes later. If you just miss one, consider walking left down to the Hai Ching Coffee Shop at the end of Pulau Betong, it's about 15 minutes away.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson