Hiking In Penang 3 Fun Trails To Hike For Free
If you love nature, you can try hiking in Penang the next time you visit.
Take a break from the city attractions of George Town and escape to the 130-million-year-old rainforest surrounding the abundance of nature.
The locals love to hike to Bukit Bendera, affectionately known as Penang Hill.
The state’s first colonial hill station is a must-visit spot for nature lovers.
At 833m above George Town city, Penang Hill offers fantastic panoramic views and a chilly climate.
With its breathtaking views and cool air, it is no wonder hiking is a popular outdoor activity in Penang amongst locals and tourists!
Best Time To Visit Penang Hill
Penangites recommend starting your hike as early as 6 AM to catch the sunrise view when you reach the top.
You can enjoy the cool air with fewer morning crowds, and several famous rest stops along the way and up at the summit.
Hiking In Penang Hill
Get some fresh air, exercise, and work up a good sweat when you hike up Penang Hill.
For nature lovers and hikers, there are several hiking trails for your next hike.
All the trails are free of charge and are open to the public!
Several trails have different starting points, difficulty levels, and hike durations.
No matter your fitness level, from beginners to hiking enthusiasts – you can find a path suitable for yourself.
If this is your first hiking experience, here’s a checklist of the things you can bring along for an optimum experience:
What to bring?
- Water (bring lots of it!)
- Small body towel
- Mosquito repellent
- Cash (to buy)
- An extra set of clothes
What to wear?
Comfortable cotton clothing such as t-shirts and hiking pants/shorts will help in the humid weather. You will need a good pair of running shoes or hiking boots.
The essential requirement is carrying sufficient water bottles as Penang has a hot, humid climate that gets hotter by noon.
Start the hike after breakfast or at least have a small light meal.
The walk varies from 2 to 4 hours, depending on your pace. As there are no shops along the way, do bring snacks or an energy bar.
Small body towel
Bring a towel, or use a bandana to wipe the excess sweat.
Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection.
You may want to carry natural mosquito-repellent creams, sprays, or tiger balms to protect yourself from mosquito and insect bites.
You can also wear full-sleeved clothes for extra protection.
Although there are arrows and signboards throughout the pathways, carrying a tourist map, a GPS tracker, and a smartphone for emergency purposes is prudent.
Bring along a spare change of clothes in case of rain.
Most trails lead to Penang Hill summit, where you can find food and drink stalls.
There are fresh juices and local fruit; you can bring some cash.
If you visit some attractions in Penang Hill, you may need to pay for entrance tickets.
There are food stalls at the base and summit of Penang Hill. However, there are none along the jungle trails.
Carrying some snacks in your backpack for small energy breaks is best.
There are restrooms only at the starting and ending points of your hike and none in between on all trails!
Many hikers (locals and tourists) have gotten lost by going up Penang Hill.
If you need help, you can hire a local nature guide from your hotel or the Penang National Park.
Penang Hill Hiking Trails
There is over a diverse range of the best hiking trails in Penang.
You can plan your next outdoor adventure on one of the 291 routes with waterfalls or scenic views.
Check AllTrails for a detailed description of each trail, with reviews and photos from nature lovers.
You can plan a family-friendly weekend hike.
We recommend three trails that you can try out.
No. 1 – Heritage Trail
The most popular and relatively accessible route is the Heritage Trail.
It is hidden near the Penang Hill Funicular Train Lower Station.
The Heritage Trail sticks closely to the Funicular Train route and is the direct access to the summit.
There are multiple rest stops along the way.
You can use the stairs in the first half, making it more suitable for hiking even on wetter days.
However, the steep steps will give your calves a good workout!
If you want to avoid climbing the stairs, an alternative route would be to start your hike via the dirt trail near the Bats Cave Temple.
This route interconnects with the Heritage Trail midway.
Starting point: Penang Hill Lower Station
Average Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
No. 2 – Jeep Track
The most straightforward hike is the Jeep Track, which starts next to the Penang Botanic Gardens.
The trail is a tarmac road that leads straight to the Penang Hill summit.
It gets its name as it is used by the 4WD vehicles belonging to the residents of Penang Hill.
Please note that only registered vehicles belonging to the hill residents are permitted to use the Jeep Track.
The hike is steep and more challenging at the start.
It gets much easier after about a kilometer.
Along the way, you can take an alternative trail to Penang Hill called the Moniot Trail.
Moniot Road was one of the earliest bridle paths to Penang Hill that is of particular historical and botanical interest.
The 3.6-mile loop trail is a moderately challenging route that takes an average of 2 hours to complete but offers much better views.
Starting point: Botanical Gardens
Average Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
No. 3 – Moongate Trail
The Moongate Trail, located on the way to the Botanical Gardens, is a popular trekking point amongst the locals.
The trail is named after a moon-shaped entrance archway where you start your hike, with a lively No. 5 rest stop midway.
You will meet hikers along the way on one of the more challenging routes.
While there are plenty of steep uphill sections and tricky steps, the hike is worth the challenge as you get scenic views and an intimate experience with the rainforest jungle!
Starting point: Botanical Gardens
Average Duration: 2 hours 30 mins
Best Times For Hiking in Penang
The advisable timings are from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
Early mornings and late afternoons are generally more relaxed and less humid – to avoid the crowds and to shoot the best photographs.
Avoid hiking in Penang during the rainy seasons.
What the locals’ term rain is sometimes thunderstorms in the evenings.
You may not have your mobile phone working when it is cloudy and overcast.
The paths might get slippery and muddy.
The best time of the year is between November and January when nature is at its best in Penang!
With these three adventurous trail options, go ahead and enjoy yourself by exploring the beautiful sights of Penang!
Source: Best Trails For Hiking in Penang