The Anjung Indah Loop via The Hill (Orange Trail)
The Anjung Indah Loop is a challenging one. You could start in Balik Pulau by hiking up to Anjung Indah, a hike of about 45-60 minutes but I would recommend to take a bus to the Anjung Indah pass and make this your starting point.
Once the bus 502 has dropped you at the pass, walk along the P14 road back in the direction of Relau/Paya Terubong for a few minutes until you see a small path to your left which leads up.
The cement path will lead up and after a few minutes it will reach a vegetable field with some good views over Relau to the Second Penang Bridge. Soon after the path joins again the forest. There are a few junctions but the only one essential is a T-junction. Here you have to turn left. The path will come out of the forest and gives you the first look at The Hill.
The Hill is a valley with several houses and farms which are invisible from the P14 main road. The valley is quite deep and has some very steep slopes.
Follow the trail to a hut, see photo above, than pass the hut and keep on the main trail. There are again several junctions but none is essential. However, 5 minutes after the hut, there is an essential junction where you have to go left. This trail leads into the forest and follow roughly the contours of the hill. It's mostly an overgrown trail and I don't think it's regularly used.
After 2 minutes the trail becomes blurry. Keep following the slightly lower trail and after another 6 minutes there is no further path further on. There is however a clear trail leading up the hill.
The trail is not very clear but after a few minutes you will see a small quarry and maybe a red/white tent to your right with a clear path. Once at the open area where I suspect soon something will be build you have a nice view over the eastern part of Penang.
There are plenty of roads to see from this point. None of them except the one going down lead anywhere. However, if you insist, in the continuing direction there is a wide asphalt road which leads steep up. If you follow this road and ignore the junctions (which both lead nowhere), there is an entrance into the next valley with views to the hills and trails coming from the Relau Pass (below).
The old lady in the hut told me there is no continuing path further into the valley but next time I might want to try anyway.
Back at the red & white tent there are some steps leading up the hill. Again there are some views into The Hill valley. After the steps there is a "trail" that follows the rocks but you need to continue straight on. It's a short climb to the forest edge where there is a little entrance into an old rubber estate.
The rubber estate is not abandoned and the rubber trail is for the most very clear. Follow the trail and keep an eye on the blue bags left by the rubber tappers as signs where paths start.
Follow the rubber trail and make sure you keep climbing. The higher you come, the clearer it will be on the ridge there is a thick fern bush stretching over the ridge. At some points you can have a look over the ferns and you will see the Relau Pass area. Keep left and follow the trail which sometimes appears and disappears so if you're not sure, go back a little and have a good look if you're still on the right path.
You have now entered the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve. This means this area stays untouched and that will be clear in the next 45 minutes.
You have to follow the ridge path to Anjung Indah which takes about 45 minutes. At some places the path might disappear but most of the time it's just overgrown by falling trees. Just keep a good eye on staying at or very close to the ridge. You will get glimpses of the Straits of Malacca every once in a while although you have to look very carefully.
The path is slightly climbing but soon will descent to Anjung Indah. That said, even 25 meters before the exit of the forest you still won't see the exit, the jungle is very thick here. On the way you will find remains of the Penang Hash runners, a few papers and an occasional bottle/can.
An occasional open area might generate some confusion. That said, like in the photo above, there is but one trail, so nothing to worry. The path comes and goes but you have to stay on the ridge. It's not always easy walking but certainly doable.
The next 25 minutes will go slow but if you keep focused on staying on the ridge, you will arrive at the point in the above photo, which is just above the Thai restaurant at Anjung Indah. All you have to do now is walk to the T-junction and choose left or right and follow the trail down to the restaurant. From there it's just a minute to the main road and get the 30 minutes regular 502 bus to either George Town or Balik Pulau.
The hike should take approximately 3 hours depending of course how many breaks you take.
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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:
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!.
The Nibbinda Loop
An interesting 3 hours hike steep up to the Nibbinda Forest Monastery and further through the Bukit Relau Forest Reserve back to Balik Pulau.
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 Hill Temple with spectacular views to Balik Pulau.
Cheng Kon Sze (Ching Ji Chan)
The Cheng Kon Sze temple as is, is already a good reason to hike or bike up. However, the trails are worth exploring too.
Take the bike and cycle steep up or go on foot from the main road and hike all the way to Air Itam Dam. You will have a very enjoyable hike or bike adventure.
Paya Terubong to Balik Pulau
There are several ways to hike from Paya Terubong to Balik Pulau, even with different starting points. Links below all show how to hike in between Paya Terubong and 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.
Nibbinda Forest Monastery to Paya Terubong via Ridge path
This is a very interesting and very doable trail which leads from the monastery to the water basin and into the hills to the Nan Shan Hills from where you have several options to continue incl. Paya Terubong
Anjung Indag to the southern Relau Pass
An intestering though not too easy walk, especially when in the forest from Anjung Indah to the Southern Relau Pass.
Anjung Indah to Nan Shan Hills and Nibbinda Forest
A cool and very doable hike which starts at Anjung Indah, following the ridge trail to the Nan Shan Hills and back via a second ridge to the Nibbinda Forest and Balik Pulau