Oppa's youngest brother - Albong visit us in Penang during winter break. We going to visit Penang Hill today and I challenge them to hike up to the top instead of taking the tram, they agreed. We chose to hike up via Jeep trail. In case you never hike up before, there are 3 major routes that can be use to trek up to the hill top if you wish to start off from Botanical Garden.
Jeep trail: winding tar road where only permitted vehicle (of Penang Hill residents) to drive up to hill top. Located on the left of the Botanical Garden's main gate, with a guard post next to it. Easy route for walk up but the path is very steep compare to others.
Heritage trail: stating point is located inside of the Botanical Garden. After main gate, keep walking on left and as you ascends the slope, look for a unmarked small steep trail on your left (between trees and plants). It will lead you hike up via approx.1000 steps staircase through the forest and eventually link back to the Jeep trail - almost half way towards the hill.
Moon Gate trail: Located outside of the Botanical garden, along Waterfall Road. Look for a Chinese archway with a round moon shape in the middle as entrance, around 100 meters before reaching Botanical Gardens. The path is less tougher compare to 1st and 2nd route, somehow will lead you out to the tar road too halfway up to the hill.
I've hike up via all 3 routes before numerous time. I prefer Jeep Trail as it is simple & straight forward - just need to walk all the way up to the hill top without entering into jungles.
The first 0.7 km is very steep, more like 45 degree elevate, we practically walk up by bending our body a little forward as it is difficult to stand straight. p/s. This is taken after 0.7km. None of us has the strength to talk or take picture, just keep going up with heavy breath!
After 0.7 km onwards, the hike will become less steep and much easier than before. Since it is a Jeep trail, beware of 4WD vehicles that travel up or down along the way. Usually the vehicle will honk at every winding corner to warn hikers that there is incoming car going to pass by them. Beside Jeep and 4WD, motorcycle probably is the next vehicle that we see the most during the hike.
Make pit stop if necessary, to catch a breath! Usually the after 2.4 km onwards, we don't pit stop anymore as the road has become easier to hike, also maybe because we started to catch up our breath after a coffee or tea break.
This is a Tea kiosk run on donation - locals called it 84, located at about 2.4 km and managed by regular hikers. Almost every morning, these volunteer hikers will boil hot waters to make hot Chinese tea and local black coffee, serve with biscuit for hikers to enjoy it while take a rest. Don't forget to to donate (any amount) to the donation box after enjoy the food and drinks. There is a public toilet not far from the tea kiosk in case hikers need a place to loo.
Discover some wild fern with rare and unique pattern along the way up.
Albong find the monkeys very cute and those are his photo collections of monkeys. lol.
When we see this old colonial bungalows built by the British with inscription Grace Dieu 1927 at 4.7km. We know that it is not far from the peak. The bungalows has a panorama view of Georgetown, Penang. Do look back for the magnificent view after pass by it and ascending a little.
At 5.1km, we arrive to the peak. Total journey takes about 2 hours 30 mins including a long pit stop at 84 Tea Kiosk. As a regular hikers in the past, my fastest record hike up to the top is 1.5 hours without pit stop. That record now has become a history lol. It's been 4 years since I last hike up Penang Hill and now I did trekking at Penang National Park more often.
Albong & me, at the top of Penang Hill. After short rest, we went to the food court for ABC (Ice Kacang) to quench our thirst and fill our hunger with fried rice and Nasi Lemak before we head down via the same route.
Can't take my eyes from it. You will feel all your effort to hike up is pay off when you finally standing here looking at this beautiful view from hill top.
Some years back, life is not going smooth and I was very lost and sad. I begin to hike up to the hill top via Jeep Trail whenever I feel down or heart broken. Every time when I started to hike up, the tough beginning always makes me regret, think of turning back and go home. I am glad I never give up even once. I force myself make it to the top with tears and sweats. When I finally reached the top, it makes me feel that there is nothing that cannot be solve in our life.
Penang hill heal my heart & soul. I am glad that today we make it to the top again with our effort & strength.