Moniot Road (east and west)
The Moniot Road trail starts at resting place 84, see the Moongate to 84 trail. This trail was one of the first trails in the Penang hills. The first who surveyed the area was Frenchman Michel Jules Moniot, around 1844-1845. The trail is nowadays divided by the funicular railway. There is a railway station (Viaduct Station) where you can board the train.
East Moniot Road
It takes about an hour to hike from 84 to Viaduct Station, about half way the hike. At the beginning of the trail at 84 there is a signboard with some historical facts of the 160 years old trail.
At first the trail is easy. It follows the hill slopes. You might see some capuchin monkeys making noise above you but they're not aggressive towards humans.
On the way you will have some views towards the green hill slopes of Bukit Cendana.
Within 10 minutes or so the trail starts to climb slowly up.
Walk until you arrive at a Y-junction. To your left is a warning for dogs, so take the right path which start climbing up further. Parts of the path are stone slabs and/or cement but most is natural.
At one point you will have to use your 4 limbs to climb up but that is soon over until you reach the landslide area. In 1995 a landslide destroyed this part of the Moniot Road.
Just a few minutes before reaching the landslide area, there is a fork in the path. To your left the path levels moderate while on the right it ascends steeply. You can take both as both paths join further on.
Both the diversions brings you up to Viaduct Road and Viaduct Station. You can take the train up/down from here.
West Moniot Road
From here on the road is paved and wider. You're now in cultivated lands. After about 10 minutes you will pass the junction to Fairmont. Keep direction to Brothers Bungalow (yellow marker boards) which is about 20 minutes away. It's all a pleasant walk up to Buddha Light Vihara where you have some good views over the north and east part of Penang including the Penang Bridge.
The road is nowadays in excellent condition. It ascends slowly up to a point where it will swindles steeply up to the Nature Lodge and ends a bit further at St. Brelades and the Summit Road. There are countless other connecting paths from Moniot Road to the Summit Road. These will give you possibilities to see more bungalows.
You can make the hike longer by taking the forest trail before the steep ascending to St. Brelades to your right. This trail runs along a hill, will pass a junction in 20 minutes which crosses a stream and continues in another 20 minutes to the Summit Road (Penang Hill is 45 minutes from here). The junction offers possibilities to reach Tiger Hill and Air Itam (Kek Lok Si) via an alternative way.
Although on the way there are some nice bungalows, to me, this trail was less satisfying than the eastern part.
Once on the Summit Road you have several choices:
Cycling the Moniot Road
The Moniot Road East is only partly to be cycled, some parts are simply too steep and too rough to bring your bike (and it really should be a mountain bike!). You can however cycle from Penang Hill to the junction Brothers Bungalow and further to Viaduct Station. If you cycle this way, on the way to Viaduct station there is a road (the first after Brothers Bungalow junction) which leads to Air Itam.
Below are 2 maps of Moniot Road East and West:
Map is taken and modified from: Nature Trails of Penang Island,
Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Branch, Currently Out of Print.
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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.
Moongate to 84
The partly steep hike to 84 from the Botanical Gardens' Moongate is surely a trail you wan to explore. Here's why:
Kek Lok Si to Penang Hill
An attractive and challenging hike of about 4 hours including a visit to the Lean Wah Tong temple.
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:
An easy walk to Penang Hill
A very nice and relatively easy walk leads from the Penang Hill funicular railway stationto 84 from where you have several options to reach Penang Hill.
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.
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. Thbis trail leads through some beautiful secondary and untouched rainforest.