Paya Terubong to Anjung Indah Ridge Path (Blue trail)
This hike takes the first part from the original Paya Terubong to Balik Pulau hike although you can easily start at the Relau Pass, see the first part of this page for deatils). This page has a short version of that part. Should you want to read this in full, check this page. After the 6 way junction, the path follows into the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve using the Ridge Path which is at least partly less easy accessible as you will see on this page. Main warning once entering the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve, once on the ridge, stay on the ridge.
Get off the bus at the Nan Shan Eating Stalls in Paya Terubong and take the junction next to the 7-Eleven store and the next road to your left. In 40 minutes or so you should reach the temple (see above). Follow the cement trail to the right behind the temple. From the following 3 junctions take the left fork. In about 20 minutes you will reach an important 6 way junction.
The trail you need is the second left that leads slightly up. In case you want to continue first to the top of the hill for a nice (if weather permits) view to George Town, First and Second Penang Bridge, Balik Pulau and Bayan Lepas, follow the main wide trail to the right. It takes about 15-20 minutes and on the way you will pass the junction (left) which connects the Nan Shan Hills with the Air Itam Dam (purple trail).
Back at the 6 way junction, take the second trail to the left. 5 minutes later you will pass the junction which leads you to the Balik Pulau Road (yellow/brown/orange trails). Just a minute later there is a shelter build over the path. The path before the junction leads back to the brown/yellow trail. Behind the shelter there's a fork in the road. The right trail leads to another farm and is described in the brown/yellow trail with an option to hike further to Balik Pulau via the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve and a rubber estate..
Take the left trail. It leads along a recent clearing of land to the left side and the secondary rainforest hill on the right. After 5 minutes there's another farmer shelter and a minute later there's the entrance to the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve. This is the Ridge Path.
The Ridge Path is thought to be "inactive". I've hiked it several time and found the condition of the path surprisingly good and I did find remains of human activity (plastic bottles, path markers by the Hash Runners and illegal logging). I guess it's still in use by some of the active hiker groups in Penang.
Follow the forest track for about 5 minutes until there's a clear T-junction. The right trail leads steep down to the stream as described in the green trail. Should you want to use the right junction, know it's a very difficult trail back to Balik Pulau and it will require quite some time because there is no proper trail and if it has been raining it's even more troublesome. All you have to do is to follow the stream further down which might take anything from 30 to 60 minutes.
The trail to the left continues ascending lightly. There are some obstructions here and there with fallen trees and leaves over the path but essentially the trail is very clear. At this point you will start to see paper markers from the Penang Throttle Adventure Club (PTAC). It makes the hike considerably easier but ....
You can easy follow the paper markers (probably put there in January 2015). There is a big danger, as I found out on my 5th hike here. I blindly followed the marker papers and ... went wrong.
Follow the paper markers as long as you ascend. At some point the marker papers want you to descend quite steeply. The trail to Anjung Indah however leads to your right. From this particular point you can a large fallen tree to your right. It blocks the view of the continuing path and is therefore easy to miss but at the fallen tree the trail is clearly visible.
Should you follow the paper markers leading down, you will eventually enter The Hill, see this page for details. Although you won't have much view towards The Hill, you can see glimpses of a blue roof. If you see that, you're already too far down and you have to climb back.
The trail is clearly visible after the fallen tree (and the paper markers from the PTAC will direct you further) and continues to ascend and descend while following the ridge. It's a little difficult to figure out if you're still on the ridge, but keep in mind you should not going down steeply.
It is also possible when you're not paying enough attention you will go around the hilltop This is difficult as you may start getting to walk in circles (I had that once).
Back on the ridge path, it starts climbing again. Stay on the ridge path, you will pass a yellow sign board (actually it's the second!) telling you this is the Relau Permanent Forest Reserve. The path is quite clear for the most although some of the time the path only shows directly when you're on it.
After the 2nd top you might find a kind of junction. This depends which trail you follow (the main trail will not come to this junction, so my advice, stay on the main trail. Turning right leads to a lighter area and once you climb up there it's another rubber estate, this time on the Balik Pulau side. It's possible to follow the rubber trail down to the Balik Pulau market (see my Nibbinda Loop page).
After the top, the trail gets a little bitt more challenging to follow although the PTAC papers are very hepfull. The trail itself is good but sometimes a little difficult to see and only becomes clear for a few meters.
In the next minutes the trail starts swindling through the hillslope down. You can hear the traffic of the P14 on your left side.
Should you by accident come at the forest edge (right side), two options are possible: 1. try to walk down through either the rubber estate or banana plantation (challenging but not impossible) or, much better, get back to the ridge path and continue to Anjung Indah.
If Anjung Indah is your endstation (to catch a bus), it's much easier to continue through the forest.
Anjung Indah is only about 200-300 meters away! Follow the trail which now gets clearer again (PTAC guides you). In about 10 minutes you should reach the Thai restaurant which is just above the view point of Anjung Indah. A good help here is the sun, it should (even if you leave early in the morning) be in your left eye!
The hike from the point where you enter the forest in the Nan Shan Hills to Anjung Indah should take about 1 to 1.5 hours providing you don't loose the trail
Once at Anjung Indah, you can take the 502 to either George Town or Balik Pulau, every 30 minutes.
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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 Anjung Indah Loop
The loop starts and finishes at the top of the pass on the road to Balik Pulau. It's a cool trail with at parts some serious challenges.
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.
Crossing into the Nan Shan Hills
The trail leads through farmland into the forest continuing into the Nan Shan Hills before it turns again into the forest and rubber plantation before joining the main road 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.
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 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
Relau Pass to Paya Terubong
It starts at the Relau Pass and leads through vegetable and flower gardens to a short steep hike up towards the Nan Shan Hills and from there to Paya Terubong. It's a nice track.