The International Steam Pages
Penang Hills and Trails - Selected Walks in
the South and West
For convenience I have now grouped lifestyle illustrated features by topic:
This is just a selection of the many walks
available on this site.
I strongly recommend using buses to get to the starting points and back
from the end of these walks.
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.
Trail Locations - Click on a Number for each hike.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson