An easy way to walk to Penang Hill
This walk to Penang Hill is probably the easiest of walks to Penang Hill with the exception of walking the Jeep Road from the Botanical Gardens (boring!). This trail however is very interesting and leads via the urban areas near Penang Hill Station to farm fields and via the slopes of Bukit Cendana to 84 (now partly demolished).
At 84 you can either follow the Jeep Road (boring) or the more interesting Moniot Road trail. So here is how it works:
Take the bus to Penang Hill. When you get off the bus at the station, walk 100 meters back and look for the Bendera Apartments on your left (opposite of the temple). The road, Taman Cantik leads to a small bridge, just a minute away at the Happy Family restaurant. Cross the bridge on the small asphalt road and start walking.
It's a popular trail so it's likely you will meet other hikers, especially in the early morning, late afternoon and weekends. Within minutes you will pass a small Chinese shrine. Around 20 minutes after the the start there's a sharp junction to your left. This path gets smaller and starts ascending. A good way of making sure you're on the right trail is to remember to keep the valley to your left.
Another shrine appears on your right side of the path. The path gets smaller and within 10-15 minutes a small stream appears. It's a good moment to cool a little off. After another 10 minutes a new farmer hut is being build (April 2015). The trail gets a bit steeper and smaller.
By now you will walk in the rainforest, where some of the trail is a little overgrown but it's never difficult. Once you see a Hindu shrine, you know you have arrived at the connecting path from 84 to 5, see this page).
Options to Penang Hill:
This is a terrific option. Just next to 84 Moniot Road starts. There's a sign board with some of it's history. I've written this page with a complete description how to walk, click here for details. This is a highly recommended option and takes 2-3 hours depending how fast you want to walk it.
Jeep road to Penang Hill
A very uninteresting (though many consider this the safest) option is simply to follow the main road to Penang Hill. I've never walked up this way though I did it several times from the Crag Hotel down. It's steep and there's not a whole lot to see except a few lesser interesting bungalows. I do not recommend this road.
One interesting option is to follow the jeep road to the Crag Hotel and from there backtrack to the Botanical Gardens. This is a serious hike and you should bring food and water with you. Here's more about the Crag Hotel walk. If you are not interested in Moniot Road and more into serious hiking, this is an excellent option despite you have to follow the jeep road for a bit.
There are several options to walk back to the Botanical Gardens. The coolest trail starts where the trail connects to the trail to 5 (for 48 you go left, for 5 go right). This page describes the trails leading from Moongate to 5 and 84. You can connect at 5 to a trail that leads to the Youth Park.
A great alternative is to follow the trail further up to Bukit Cendana and the haunted house. To get to that trail, turn left when you come from Penang Hill station, you will see a trail almost immediately to your right which leads in about 20 minutes to Halfway House. There's nothing than a few pillars left but some locals told me it's still haunted, especially at sunset. I was once there at sunset but didn't find any ghosts. It is however a nice walk through secondary rainforest.
You can of course also follow the jeep road down to 46 and either choose to continue on the jeep road or to pass 46 and take the steps down into the Botanical Gardens.
Is Penang Hill worth visiting? According to the sign boards, it's essential for visiting Penang. And yes, there's some excellent views (providing the weather). But apart of that there's little of real interest. Most travelers coming here take a golf cart to drive a little up and down the summit road but few make it further than a kilometer or 2 or so.
Nowadays there are sign boards leading you via steps to lower roads as Moniot and Viaduct Road. This is more interesting as here you can see a little of Penang's past (old bungalows, Moniot Road is Penang Heritage too!).
If you don't want to walk up to Penang Hill, at least explore a little of Viaduct and Moniot Road. You won't be disappointed!.Back to the top
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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:
Kek Lok Si to Penang Hill
An attractive and challenging hike of about 4 hours including a visit to the Lean Wah Tong temple.
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.
The hike to Crag Hotel and Penang Hill
A very good hike from the Botanical Gardens via the trail to Western Hill to the abandoned Crag Hotel. This trail leads through some beautiful secondary and untouched rainforest.
This is a great hike for several hours through the forest reserve and cultivated lands of Penang Hill with some amazing views towards north and east Penang and the mainland.
Moongate to #5 and Youth Park
This 2 hours hike which is popular with the locals. It's not too difficult but makes you sweat plentiful.
Both the trails to and from #5 are scenic regardless which path you choose. Here's what you can expect: