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Hiking Ngoh Han Hill


Another excellent hike leads to Ngoh Han Hill and Ngoh Han Hill Temple. It starts and finishes at the Kek Lok Si in Penang. It follows the same trail to the 5 Way Junction as in the Tiger Hill hike.

Waterfall on the way up to 5 Way Junction

On this page I will offer you some more ideas about the first part of the hike to 5 Way Junction and how the path continues to the hill and temple and back to Air Itam Dam and Kek Lok Si.

On the way up to 5 Way Junction

It's a moderate hike which should take about 4 to 5 hours. The uphill road is quite good, though at parts a little steep. After the junction it's all small forest trail until you reach the tar road which leads further to Ngoh Han Hill Temple and back to Air Itam Dam. The part after 5 Way Junction is certainly not doable by bicycle.

First small stream on the way to 5 Way Junction

The trek starts, as mentioned at Kek Lok Si. Find the Kwarn Inn Sahn Pow Yin Sian Psi (P) gate and hike in about 20-30 minutes to the Air Itam Dam. Do not cross the dam but walk along the reservoir until you pass a small bridge where you might spot some tortoises. A minute further there is an iron gate. Just after the gate, take the junction to your right with the (red) Tua Pek Kong temple signboard which leads all the way up to 5 Way Junction.

This trek gives you the possibility to explore a little more about this particular road.

Waterfalls

Very soon after you start walking up, you will hear fast running water. There are several places where you can check the streams. Probably the best is to be found just after half way on your right hand.

2nd of the falls  on the way to 5 Way Junction 2nd of the falls on the way to 5 Way Junction
Left: View from the top of the second fall downwards
Right: Same fall from the side

It's also the first waterfall on your right hand (the previous -all tiny- are all on the left). You will see it through the bushes. There is a small path going down (though not much) which leads you to the middle fall (there are three).

The water is cool and perfect to relax your feet for a while and enjoy the surrounding jungle. However, be very careful, the rocks are slippery. I found it was easier to walk on these rocks barefoot than on my shoes.

3nd of the falls  on the way to 5 Way Junction

The third fall is located just behind the second. There's a small stone bridge, just move down and you will see it.

Last of the falls before reaching 5 Way Junction
Last of the falls before reaching 5 Way Junction

Back on the road, continue for a few minutes. There is a larger fall to your right. A small path lead all the way to the foot of this fall (photo above). In the rainy season, this fall can be doubled in size.

The Ngoh Han Hill trail

Once arrived at 5 Way Junction, take a break. For this hike you will want the far left trail (photo below).

5 Way Junction for Ngoh Han Hill

From here on it is almost all the way slowly down. In fact, it's a beautiful forest trail although further on the forest trail makes space for a half broken small brick trail. A farmer told me that before the road from the Air Itam Dam was build this was the connecting trail between Balik Pulau and the farms near the Tua Pek Kong and Tiger Hill.

The first few meters on the forest trail to Ngoh Han Hill
The first few meters on the forest trail to Ngoh Han Hill

Contrary to what I expected, this trail is mostly nicely open except for a few places where trees fell over the path. That said, over the time of the last year and a half since I walk this trail, I see the path changing. Landslides have dropped trees down like matches. There are 3 or 4 places where you have to climb over and under falling trees. Also, at some places, the surrounding vegetation is marching on and occupying the path more and more. The path however is still easy to use.

You might be lucky to have to nice views to Air Itam and George Town if the weather is clear.

Ngoh Han Hill trail

There are no junctions, so you can't go wrong. After about 30 minutes, the trail will go a bit steeper downwards but this doesn't take long.

further on the trail to Ngoh Han Hill

Ultimately the trail ends on a proper tar road at electric pole HT NH2 21. Go right to visit the Ngoh Han Hill Temple with spectacular view on Balik Pulau. The temple is about 10-15 minutes walk. Follow the signs and stay on the main trail. You will have to come the same way back for another km to the Air Itam Dam-Balik Pulau road. There is an alternative way for going to Balik Pulau, check this page for details, the trek is described in opposite direction but is easy to find.

Final part of the Ngoh Han Hike Final part of the Ngoh Han Hike

Tortoise on the Ngoh Han Hill Trail
Found this little fellow crossing my path on a rainy day on the Ngoh Han Hill Trail

Back on the main road connecting Air Itam and Balik Pulau, take a break and turn left for a 20 minutes almost all the way down walk to Air Itam Dam. Should you continue to Balik Pulau, expect a walk of about 45-55 minutes steeply down

The small trail to your right is where the Ngoh Han Hill trail end.
The small path to your right is where the Ngoh Han Hill trail ends.
It might be a little difficult to find it, so look for the electric pole HT NH2 21

Alternative, you may leave the forest by going right. This road leads in about 20 minutes to the Ngoh Han Hill temple with some spectacular views. There is no need to come back the same way as there is a trail via the orchards to Balik Pulau possible, see this page for details (albeit the opposite way)

The small trail to your right is where the Ngoh Han Hill trail end.
The breathtaking view from the Ngoh Han Hill Temple to Balik Pulau

Air Itam to Balik Pulau map

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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:

  • Botanical Gardens: Lily Pond - Waterfall
  • Moongate - Hikers Resting Spot #5 - Youth Park
  • Trails to Crag Hotel and Penang Hill

Read more and book your hiking tour.

Hiking in Penang around Botanical Gardens

or check the hiking and biking pages


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.

Hiking to Tiger Hill and Penang Hill


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 Hill Temple with spectacular views to Balik Pulau.

View to Balik Pulau from the Ngoh Han Temple

Air Itam Dam to Balik Pulau


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

Air Itam and the Old Ridge Path


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.

Cheng Kon Sze


Trails to Sungai Pinang

There are two excellent trails leading from 5 Way Junction to Sungai Pinang.

5 way junction to Sungai Pinang


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!

5 Way Junction to Balik Pulau


Air Itam Dam Off The Grid

This hike doesn't take too long, about 3.5 to 4 hours but it's seriously challenging. Check out why.

Air Itam Dam Off The Grid


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!.

Balik Pulau, Ngoh Han Hill Temple, Cheng Kon Sze and Paya Terubong