The International Steam Pages


Penang Hills and Trails - Selected Walks in the South and West
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano

For convenience I have now grouped lifestyle illustrated features by topic:


This is just a selection of the many walks available on this site. 
Click here for the full list of walks.
Click here for Walks Listed by Starting Point
Click here for the Top Ten Walks.
Click here for the introduction.
Click here for a list of the PBA Rain Gauges (15th March 2016).


I strongly recommend using buses to get to the starting points and back from the end of these walks.
I have written a short guide to Penang's Buses (updated 28th November 2016) for hikers although directions are included in individual hikes.


The number of Penang walks available on this website is now so great that a newcomer might find the choice both overwhelming and confusing.  This is a second  selection of my favourites from our preferred area of the island, the South and West where there is a wide choice of paths which are neither too open to the sun nor totally closed in. Compared to the original blog reports, I have reworked these walks to a 'plain vanilla' format to include just the basic instructions but have kept in the most rewarding views. As such, it is easy to forget that in some cases we didn't get it 'right first time'... 

You will note the absence of Penang's better known walks such as those in the National Park, that from Air Itam to Balik Pulau and the notorious 'Moon Gate Path' up Penang Hill - the walks below will take you off the beaten track and the only people you will meet are the farmers and rubber tappers who live in the hills. No special equipment is needed, just good walking shoes, a hat, a stick to wave at the odd dog and an adequate supply of water (I recommend 2.5L per person). Allow 2-3 hours for the first two which are significantly shorter and 3-5 hours for most of the others, maybe longer if, like me, you are of pensionable age. The last two may need 6 hours unless you rush things in which case you won't appreciate the views on offer.

The walks are listed roughly in order of increasing difficulty (Grades 1 to 4), the absence of a 4 in this list indicates that at worst only short amounts of potentially awkward paths are included and such sections are clearly indicated in the text for the walk concerned. There is, however, plenty of hill climbing in most!

In reading the accounts, it will greatly help starting and finishing the walks if you are familiar with the routes followed by buses 501, 502 and 401 / 401E. Be aware that while you can probably ask the 501 driver to stop just about anywhere, the other buses use roads where stopping away from recognised stops will not always be possible, please read the instructions carefully. If you use your common sense and make sensible requests, you will find the drivers very cooperative.

1. Tropical Fruit Farm to Pantai Aceh Grade 2 A downhill walk from the round-the-island road to Penang's most remote village.
2. Teluk Kumbar to Kampung Pulau Betong Grade 2 A lovely walk through fruit orchards with views of the island's south west coast.
3. Anjung Indah to Balik Pulau Grade 2 Down, up and down again in rarely visited countryside.
4. Sungei Rusa to Balik Pulau Grade 2 An area unspoiled by any tourists, through fruit orchards and rubber estates.
5. Genting to Balik Pulau via Malihom Grade 2 A stiff walk up, down, up and down in the Sungei Ara valley.
5A. Genting to Anjung Indah via Malihom Grade 2 A variation on the walk above avoiding a steep second descent.
6. Relau to Balik Pulau Grade 2 Crossing the main ridge comfortably with minimal vegetable farms.
7. Balik Pulau Ridges Grade 3 A circular walk above one side of the Balik Pulau to Air Itam Road.
8. Balik Pulau Horseshoe Grade 3 A longer circular walk with stunning views above both sides of the Balik Pulau to Air Itam Road.
9. The Titi Kerawang Loop Grade 3 A beautiful but demanding walk in the western hills.
10. Titi Kerawang to Balik Pulau Grade 3 Another beautiful but demanding walk building on the loop above.
11. The Cross Island Challenge Grade 3 The ultimate walk in the south of the island.

Trail Locations - Click on a Number for each hike.


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk