The International Steam Pages

Penang Hills and Trails - Bukit Genting Exit Strategy
Bukit Genting to Pulau Betong (almost) Again

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 with a short Grade 3 section which can be avoided. 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.

We had been in this area four days previously, the purpose of this hike was to remove the uncertainty about a number of paths in the area (left) which it did (right). If you plan to visit the area, we suggest you read both reports, note I have recycled some of the pictures, Yuehong does not switch clothes mid-hike!.

Please visit my Penang buses page for information on accessing the starting point.

Again we took the 401 bus to Bukit Genting and headed up towards the restaurant, continuing past the 'no entry' signs. 

There are lovely views across the island from the road:

Very soon there is a junction, the road to the left goes up, we again took the one down to the right. Having learned our lesson, we went only as far as the first horseshoe bend. Walking past the two black water tanks, into the trees, almost immediately we could see the required path ahead and below us. This saved us some appreciable time and energy compared to before.

As before, the rule was to climb to the hut and then retrace our steps round the bend before heading off into the fruit orchard.

I have to confess we didn't 100% retrace our previous route, but it was as near as makes no difference.

This climbed slightly to a 4 way junction where we had taken a rest previously. We pressed on, more or less on the same level, and went down past the hut and on to the Hakka Hill road coming out by the electricity pole KC HT 41 and started to climb.

After our snack lunch, it was time for the day to become interesting. We knew there were two paths heading in this direction from below the Hakka centre and we aimed to find them. That meant taking the concrete path to the right opposite a house and electricity sub-station. Almost it immediately it branched and we took the left fork which seemed well used. Unfortunately, after some 200-300 metres it faded out n the middle of a fruit orchard and while we could have bashed on, it didn't seem a great idea given we were unsure of how far we were from our intended connection. 

So instead we tried the right fork, it certainly wasn't well used but it was more than passable and soon we came to first a concrete water tank and then below a black plastic one in a stream bed. We could see out beyond but there was some delicate rock balancing needed to get through. I had to persuade Yuehong not to be 'brave' and eventually she agreed not to use 'route 1' which was almost vertical and soon we came out at a small hut and a road out.

Unfortunately, this just led us back to the Hakka Hill Road at pole HT KC 31, not what was wanted. A little further down was another concrete path left (pole HT KC 28) so we tried this. It too seemed to be a dead end finishing at a house, but we coaxed out the fact that we might get out by following the rough trail up from next to the house whereupon we might then find another hut. The gentleman at home even showed us how to get started. Just after we had thanked him and sent him back home, I noticed another concrete path just below on our right, something which is getting to be a bit of a habit with me.

Not only that, it was actually the end of the path and it was heading in exactly the right direction! So we abandoned the climb, went down and along and just as I would have wanted it very soon came to a junction with an extremely distinctive stone, definitely we had been here four days before descending to Pulau Betong. Problem nearly solved!

It was more than an hour before the 15.00 ex-Balik Pulau 403 bus, so we climbed up to the 3 way junction so as to sort out another 'unknown'. There was still time to appreciate the view of Pulau Betong but we soon reached our junction, entering from the right and exiting straight ahead.  

The idyllic picture lies, the net on this durian tree reached the ground. The next one was anchored by vines and tricky to pass under. Round the bend there were a couple of trees down across the track too. It was clearly not as well used as the alternative and soon we reached the final 4 way junction we had been to before. The final piece in the puzzle was the downward path on the right and this turned out to be a very quick dead end, although we could probably have walked on beyond into the estate there seemed no point.

So with no further obvious paths beyond, the next section would require a completely new approach from the bottom, just how that would be done and what we will find remains to be seen. So we walked out again from the back of the extended kampung off Jalan Pulau Betong. The lower section at least would be accessible from the private road behind these gates but even though the road in is rarely used, they looked more serious than others in the area.

We ambled off to catch the 15.00 403 bus, relaxed over an early dinner in Balik Pulau and made our way home.

Pulau Betong Area


 ____ = Concrete Road

 ____ = Path

 ____ = Easy 'Off piste'

 ____ = Seriously 'Off piste'

(Not all paths are shown, there are many more
which are seasonal or just go to houses.)

Click here for information on the maps.

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson