The International Steam Pages
Penang Hills and Trails - Kampung Masjid Loop
There are other hikes in the same area listed in the South West Index.
Please visit my Penang buses page for information on accessing the starting point.
With walk '200' due up next, I wanted something simple but nevertheless different from what we had done this time around. Without a car, the selected area would need 4 buses going via the western side of the island and 3 buses going via the despised eastern side. Jalan Kampung Masjid runs off from the north-west corner of Teluk Bahang. As we drove in we noticed that the derelict red car which had marked one path up towards Hakka Hill had finally been removed. The second landmark was the turkey ('Ayam Belanda') farm and that too was no longer in business. We parked up just after it around pole 33 (JKM 20 33 and JKM 19 33 marked).
Mavis (the Myvi) continues to do us proud and we were so glad not to have any low level walking on a day which must have been our hottest so far. It was a long time since we had been up this way, so that I had forgotten what the turning looked like, but this was roughly where it should have been.
It wasn't but it didn't matter because in 100 metres we joined the correct concrete path and carried on up. We passed a couple from the kampung 'liberating' a huge bunch of bananas, as you can see this orchard is sadly neglected.
The order of the climb was 'keep left', this turning would lead towards Bukit Genting, we've been there and it's not high on our list for a return visit. The notes said we would pass a wrecked hut, without them we might not have noticed it but the next hut was still functional. I am told by a usually reliable source that the gentleman is our old friend Tua Pek Kong.
More climbing followed and two paths to the right were ignored.
Looking back, we may yet visit that pimple if Rexy can find the time to show it to us. Today we still had more climbing to do.
I came up this way nearly 3 years ago and I knew the path would soon die and above would be a poorly maintained durian orchard. However, the vegetation is kept sufficiently in check that you can safely climb from one tree to another almost to the top.
"Trust me" I said to Yuehong and took out the secateurs. A gap appeared and we were in old rubber with a somewhat decayed concrete path in front of us.
Two years ago we saw motorbikes here, now someone has put branches across it and the recent storms have added fallen small trees to the obstacle course. It wasn't a problem and soon we were at the designated refreshment spot. Was I drinking in the view or Tiger? Only Yuehong knows.
We'd been here form the other side quite recently, it's one of my favourite viewpoints on the island as it's timeless. The peak is Bukit Pulau Betong, our target for our next walk although the trail to it is said to be more overgrown than ever.
Doubly refreshed, we headed down the wide path and entered the newly concreted section that would lead us back down to Kampung Masjid.
We had been down it some 9 months earlier, since when it seemed almost no-one else had.
Certainly no one had been on this section since the tree came down bringing down all sorts of other plants with it. Time for the secateurs! All that was needed was patience and some 30 minutes later we got through. There was no question of climbing round the mess.
The 'tunnel' through the middle is just that. Thereafter, the path was almost invisible but with experience nothing like impossible. Finally we emerged into a rather better maintained estate!
We were more than half way down and the rest was completely clear. Parts are rather steep and Yuehong wisely adopted 'reverse gear' in places to preserve her knees.
The old man with the dogs who owns the lower orchard said that the top orchard was owned by a doctor in one of the island's hospitals and he had no time to organise its maintenance. As for his orchard, his children had no interest in it and you could see that many of the trees were well past their best. We came out at pole JKM 20 24 which meant we only had to turn left and quickly reach Mavis.
Yuehong dithered a little over the dinner venue but decided we were late enough to go to Sungai Pinang where we had some excellent prawns which were even cheaper than the previous day's Ikan Bawal. By doing a spot of shopping in Balik Pulau we avoided a Sunday visit to the supermarket and I got a fill up at the Magic Tiger Tree. Another great day all round.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson