Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang)
A great day trip is to travel out to the Penang National Park located on the north-west corner of the island in Teluk Bahang.
The park is easily accessed from George Town by public transport (Bus 101, more than 1 hour, 4 ringgits) and there is a whole range of things to do for all the family. The entrance is free but kindly register and get a copy of the hiking trails at parks office. Note that the Canopy Walkway is still closed in April 2018.
With some of the best beaches on the island located along its shores, you can choose to travel around by boat or do some jungle trekking over the headlands and hills, where if you are lucky you will come across some of the parks wildlife, or you can just find a quiet spot for some bird watching or fishing.
There are two main trekking trails in the park :
The most popular and easiest route follows the coastline, over headlands, to Monkey Beach (Teluk Duyung). If you want to continue further, you can then go on a steep climb up to the Muka Head Lighthouse (at an elevation of 227 m).
The second route, harder, takes you on a fairly steep climb over the hill through the jungle to some of the more remote beaches, Pantai Kerachut where you will find the Turtle Sanctuary (During the months of April and August, Green Sea Turtles come to the beaches here to lay there eggs), and Teluk Kampi. Just at the bottom of this trail you will come across a rare meromictic lake (a lake of two separate layers where sea and fresh water do not mix).
If you want to do both trails, you will probably need a couple of day trips, unless you decide to get a boat part of the way.
The trails are often wet, can be steep in parts and you may have the odd fallen tree, or group of rocks to climb over. So wear some closed footwear with good grip. You will need to take all your own drinking water and food. Wet weather gear if you have some, along with plastic bags for your camera and valuables. A good idea would also to bring some spare dry clothes if you are travelling back to Georgetown on the bus. Being wet on the very cold A/C bus for an hour or so is really unpleasant!
Trekking through the jungle is not for everyone, so if that’s you, hire a boat from the entrance of the park to take you to a beach or take you on a tour of the whole park. Boats can usually accommodate up to 10 people, so if your on your own it can be quite expensive unless you find someone to share with.
The Penang National Park is open every day of the year from 8.00am until 5pm.
These are the opening times of the park registration office, where you have to register to get your permit, although the park itself is not closed off by any gates.
If you are looking for somewhere to camp in Penang, the park offers plenty of camp grounds.
Telephone Number : +604 8813500 or 8813530
Address: Jalan Hassan Abbas, Teluk Bahang.
Official Website : www.wildlife.gov.my