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Cycling and hiking to Tiger Hill, Penang (green trail)


Tiger Hill is one of the lesser known hills in Penang. You can cycle up but a more interesting option is to hike. First, lets explore the cycling options (See the map at the end of the page: green trail).

The main 4 way junction to Ngoh Han Hill Temple, Titi Kerawan, Air Itam, Balik Pulau and Tiger Hill

The main 5 way junction to Ngoh Han Hill and Temple,
Balik Pulau, Sungai Pinang and Titi Kerawang, Tiger Hill and Air Itam

Cycling to Tiger Hill

The start of this bike ride is at the Botanical Gardens. Take the Summit Road to Penang Hill and continue to Tiger Hill and Western Hill. It's pretty straight forward but ... there are some seriously steep parts especially on the first part to Penang Hill (up to 30%!).

Cycling up to Penang Hill
The first kilometer from Botanical Gardens to rest place 46 is very steep.

Bike warning near Tiger HillAfter reaching the funicular railway station it's all quite easy. You can cycle in about 15 minutes to Tiger Hill and further to Western Hill. In the afternoon, if the weather is good, you can have spectacular views to the whole eastern part of Penang and even to Butterworth and further to Kulim Hill.

The ride from the Botanical Gardens is the same way up as down.

It is possible to continue from Tiger Hill to Air Itam via the road described below. This path is at points very steep and requires a good mountain bike with good functioning brakes, especially descending into Tiger hill Valley. After that, the path might be small in the valley but doable. Further on the path climbs to 5 Way Junction and descents towards Air Itam Dam.

Hiking to Tiger Hill

This is a far more interesting (and time consuming) option. There are several paths I like. All of them start in Air Itam at the Kek Lok Si temple. This page describes one particular path that leads to the Air Itam Dam, 5 Way junction and from there to Tiger Valley and Tiger Hill. For other options, see the drop down menu at the bottom of this page.

Hiking to Air Itam Dam

Walk up to the gate reading Kwarn Inn Sahn Pow Yin Sian Psi (P) and follow the main road which goes quite steep up and leads to the Air Itam Dam. Stay on the main road until you see a rock with direction sign to the dam. This will take about 30-40 minutes.

Junction at Air Itam Dam for the 4 way junction
The Air Itam Dam junction where the path branches off to the main 5 way junction further uphill

Once at the dam, do not cross the dam but follow the path along the reservoir for about 15 minutes. You will pass an iron gate (actually 2 gates). Just after the (2nd) gate there is a junction to your right with a sign to a Tua Pek Kong temple (the red board). Follow this road for about an hour until you reach a major junction, this is 5 Way Junction.

Trail to the 4 way junction

On the way up, you will pass cascading waterfalls and fast running streams. The forest is protected secondary rainforest. You won't meet many other hikers except maybe in the weekends. You might see an occasional motorbike on the way to the other side of the hills where the land is cultivated.

Waterfall on the way up to 5 Way Junction

At 5 Way Junction, the small trail to your far left will lead along Bukit Elvita to a connecting road to the Ngoh Han Hill Temple. The road to the left leading up to Balik Pulau but it's quite challenging to find the right connecting trail once you passed the top and certainly NOT recommended to do this in the rain.

Path that leads to the Tiger Hill Valley
The small path after the junction, which leads to the valley and Tiger Hill.

The middle road leads to a remote Tua Pek Kong temple (follow the red sign) and eventually to the connecting Teluk Bahang road not far from Titi Kerawan and Sungai Pinang.

5 Way Junction to Tiger Hill
Highest point on the path to Tiger Hill.
Left, the continuing path to Tiger Hill, right the trail to rain gauge 29

For Tiger Hill, take the small path (which atm, 2015, is being cemented) to the right. It's a slow ascending trail which after 10 minutes reaches its highest point. At this moment, you can choose to start climbing the steep trail to your right. That trail leads to rain gauge 29.

View over the western hills of Penang

For this trail to Tiger Hill, we continue straight, the path levels for a while. Should you turn short in water supply, there are several streams here you can fill your water bottles. By the time you have some views to your left towards the western hills of Penang and here and there you might even get a glimpse of the Straits of Malacca.

Tiger Hill Valley
Tiger Hill Valley

Stay on this path. soon you will reach the Tiger Hill Valley (surrounded on all sides) which is cultivated with rubber trees, ginger flower, durian and other fruit trees.

The path will getting very small (only one person can walk here). Once the path starts turning back to your right it will again ascend very steep. You will pass some farm houses, cross ginger flower orchards and ultimately arrive at a small junction. To your left you will see the small Tiger Hill Dam and its transmission station.

Transmission station at the Tiger Hill Dam
Transmission station at the Tiger Hill Dam.

After leaving the ginger plantation, the trail gets wider and turns into a damaged concrete road. At some points it is very steep. Follow this road and you arrive at the Summit Road in about 25 minutes.

Road from Tiger Hill Dam to Summit Road
The trail Tiger Hill Dam to Summit Road

Once you arrive at the Summit Road (the only junction on the way), turn right. In a few minutes you will find a junction to your right and within 5 minutes you will reach the summit of Tiger Hill.

Tiger Hill

There is transmission station at the top of Tiger Hill but there are no good views from here. You might be lucky that one of the workers let you in and offers you to make a photo of the Paya Terubong area but even this is disappointing and in my case, useless as it was too hazy.

Tiger Hill! The Transmission Station
Tiger Hill! The Transmission Station.

Walk back to the Summit Road and continue to Penang Hill (going right). This is a slow rolling road that leads to the funicular railway station at Penang Hill. Here you can decide to take the train back to Air Itam (RM 18 for a single trip), continue hiking to the Botanical Gardens or hike to the Kek Lok Si. The hike from Tiger Hill to Penang Hill takes about an hour.

Time schedule to expect:

  • Kek Lok Si - Air Itam Dam: 45 minutes
  • Air Itam Dam - 5 Way Junction: 60-70 minutes (up)
  • 5 Way Junction - Tiger Hill Dam: 70 minutes
  • Tiger Hill Dam - Summit Road: 40 minutes (Penang Hill, 45 minutes)
  • Summit Road - Penang Hill: 60 minutes

Schedule is not to be taken exact.

Hiking from Air Itam to Tiger Hill and Penang Hill

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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


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.

View to Balik Pulau from the Ngoh Han Temple

Air Itam Dam to Balik Pulau


Bukit Laksamana

A full day trekking through the rain forest south of Batu Ferringhi. This is a trail for the more seasoned hikers with great rewards in terms of views and animal life to be found.

Bukit Laksamana


The Batu Ferringhi Loop

Batu Ferringhi is more than beaches and 4/5 star hotels. One of it's lesser known attractions is the Chin Farm Waterfall and the secondary rainforest further in the hills. Here's a description of a beautiful trek in that rainforest:

The Batu Ferringhi Loop


Kek Lok Si to Old Ridge Path via rain gauges 28 & 29

This is a very challenging trail with a 2 hour climb to rain gauge 29, the highest point in this trail (almost as high as Penang Hill). The trail goes through secondary rainforest on very good paths.

Kek Lok Si to Old Ridge Path via rain gauges 28 & 29

Rain Gauge 29


Kek Lok Si to Penang Hill

An attractive and challenging hike of about 4 hours including a visit to the Lean Fah Tong temple.

Bukit Kerajaan

Kek Lok Si to Lean Fah Tong 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:

5 Way Junction 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


Trails to Sungai Pinang

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

5 way junction to Sungai Pinang


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:


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.

Waterfall to be found on the hike to Ngoh Han Hill

Hiking to Ngoh Han Hill and Ngoh Han Hill Temple


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


Western Hill and Tiger Hill

The trail to Bukit Laksamana can be extended by continuing to Western Hill and Tiger Hill. It's a very challenging trail and not for the fainthearted.

Western Hill and Tiger Hill