5 Way Junction to Sungai Pinang (1,5 to 2 hours, red trail)
Once you have arrived at 5 Way Junction, you have several options. If coming from the Air Itam Dam: to your right: Tiger Hill and further to Penang Hill, see this page or continuing on the Old Ridge Path to rain gauge 29. To your left you can hike the Ngoh Han Hill trail. The second to the left, decent road that swindles up towards Bukit Elvira, leads to Balik Pulau but it's challenging to find the right trail as I found out during my 5 times I hike it.
For this trail you have to take the continuing main road (second right). There's a marker to a Tua Pek Kong Temple. Warning, this trail is not well defined, it's easy to get lost and there are few, if any people around to help you out. 5 Way Junction to Sungai Pinang will take about 2-3 hours, mostly downhill.
At 5 Way Junction there is a sign for a Tua Pek Kong temple, so I followed the tar road down. This was cultivated land and soon I found junctions with small tar paths to my left and right. There was even a farm. After about a kilometer going down, I found the Tua Pek Kong temple. It wasn't of much interest but there were some fine views to the west of Penang.
Just after the temple the road splits into 2, the left, wider and in better condition leads just a bit further to 2 farms. I could see the right road swindling slowly down the hills. So here I went. It was an easy walk but soon the tar road disappeared for a wide overgrown trail. There were several junctions but I decided to stay on the main trail. And ... I found a path marker to Sungai Pinang. Without anyone to direct me or even telling me if I was on the right track, I took this as a good sign.
Soon the wide overgrown trail turned into a small forest track. The track essentially ends at 2 huts full of rubble. Just after the hut there's a small well and some waterpipes which go down. There's a small path which follows the waterpipes. In a few minutes you will exit the forest and arrive at a wide open plateau. To your right you will see a cement path.
The path leads directly into a rubber plantation and swindles steeply down. I didn't check all the junctions but it seemed to me that whatever junction you take, sooner or later they all come together. The fastest option is to choose the junction that keeps descending (the most).
Almost 10 minutes later the path joins another cement trail. Keep right and descend further to another junction. The white arrow on the path shows the way, keep descending. From the exit of the jungle to Jalan Tekuk Bahang takes about 30 minutes.
The cement road good split in two, I decided to take the left which went steep down. This was clearly a trail made by farmers to have access to their durian plantation.
Finally I arrived at the junction. Now the small path I had walked joined a wider trail (see photo above). I do not know where the other half of the junction went to but I followed the trail further down. Soon it swindled quickly down and I could hear motorized traffic. Jalan Teluk Bahang (road #6) was just below me. I could see the fruit farm a bit further on.
Once on the main road, I waited for the 501 bus which took me back to Balik Pulau. Should you want to go back to George Town, you can take any 501 as one goes to Balik Pulau from where you can take the 502 to George Town or the reverse 501 to Teluk Bahang and from there the 101 back to Batu Ferringhi and George Town.
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Special Hiking Tours in Penang
Join us on our special hiking tours in Penang. We will bring you around in the jungle of the Botanical Gardens. Our tours include:
Hiking to Tiger Hill and Penang Hill
This is a reasonable popular hiking trail in the hills. The trek takes about 3-4 hours to Tiger Hill and another to Penang Hill.
Air Itam and the Old Ridge Path
Another trail to Tiger Hill following the Air Itam side of the hills towards the Old Ridge Path from where you can hike further to Tiger Hill, Balik Pulau or back to Air Itam via 5 Way Junction
5 Way Junction to Air Putih
From 5 Way Junction it's a nice 3 hour walk through forest and farm fields.
Second trail to Sungai Pinang (blue trail)
The second of the trails to Sungai Pinang, this one, like the red trail) is first class walking!
Balik Pulau, Ngoh Han Hill Temple, Cheng Kon Sze and Paya Terubong
This is a challenging hike of 5-6 hours through orchards, farms, secondary rainforest and back via the United Hokkien cemeteries to Paya Terubong. It's a beautiful hike!.
Hiking to Ngoh Han Hill and Ngoh Han Hill Temple
This 3-4 hours hike is a great alternative if you don't want to do the Tiger Hill hike but still want your adventure in the hills of Penang and find some awesome jungle waterfalls.
5 Way Junction to Balik Pulau
This is, if you can't find the right trail, a very crazy trail. Take the right trail and it takes 3 hours, the wrong trail takes almost double. Here's the story:
Air Itam Dam to Balik Pulau
This is an interesting option. The trail can easily be cycled and hiked. You'll pass beautiful tropical rainforest and cultivated areas with fruit farms, a wonderful day out in the heart of Penang with an option to visit the Ngoh Han Temple with spectacular views to Balik Pulau.
Balik Pulau to Air Putih
A less explored area in the Balik Pulau area leads from the bus station/market via the Catholic Cemetery to Air Putih with some sidetrack excursions possible. This trail can be done on foot or bicycle.