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“Don't go - at the moment!”

Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang)
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Penang National Park Half-Day Trek
Ranked #20 of 237 things to do in Penang Island
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We arrived at the national park eagerly anticipating a great time having read the previous reviews. We got the 101 bus from komtar bus station which took around 45 mins and deposits you directly outside - good so far. We were then told by the park attendant that some `immigrants` - presumably some kind of asylum seekers had landed on one of the beaches in the south western area of the area and that meant the park was largely closed. No canopy walk, no turtle beach, no saltwater/freshwater lake etc. All that we were allowed to do was take a boat to monkey beach then the short hike to the lighthouse and back. You were not even allowed to walk to monkey beach - you HAD to take the boat. We were disappointed but having took us so long to get there we paid our 80 ringgit (we asked around for prices) and took the 10 minute boat trip to monkey beach. The previous reviews were correct when they said there was a litter problem on the beach and the `catering establishments` were somewhat run down. There was clearly little point in remaining on the beach and set off on our walk to the lighthouse. Halfway there we met a French gentleman who was coming down and told us there was no view to be had at the top and invited us to turn back. Not to be put off we continued up and despite having our expectations tempered we were more than disappointed to find the path led to the lighthouse which was also shut and the only view to be had was of the perimeter fence - no sweeping vistas of the bay, nada, nothing...
We returned down the path to the beach slowly as we had told the boatman we would be staying for two hours and didn't want to spend any more time on the beach than we absolutely had to - up and down took us one hour or so.
In fairness the highly rated things to do here were all those that were closed. If I were planning another trip I'd make some enqs as to whether it was open before setting off. We didn't see much wildlife but to be honest we didn't expect to. Just some butterflies and one solitary monkey.
Our advice is if the other parts of the park aren't open defintely don't go..

5  Thank foggypc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"monkey beach"
in 322 reviews
"boat ride"
in 68 reviews
"turtle sanctuary"
in 51 reviews
"meromictic lake"
in 41 reviews
"kerachut beach"
in 40 reviews
"canopy walk"
in 56 reviews
"tree roots"
in 25 reviews
"muka head"
in 28 reviews
"jungle trekking"
in 16 reviews
"baby turtles"
in 23 reviews
"lots of water"
in 19 reviews
"monitor lizards"
in 22 reviews
"light house"
in 13 reviews
"closed for maintenance"
in 12 reviews
"hour minutes"
in 7 reviews
"great hike"
in 8 reviews
"long hike"
in 7 reviews

549 - 553 of 780 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2013

We arrived by bus 101 and found out it was closed. A local lady who took the same bus told us the closure is due to some illegal immigrant. Then the couple at bus stop said the receptionist said it would be closed for two years! Finally I checked with my hotel and they said it did close from time to time but they didn't know what happened this time. What a mess! And huge disappointment!

1  Thank Qian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

What a great experience, walking through the rainforest, experiencing also a canopy walk through the rainforest, ample vegetation along trail-walking tracks.. Difficulty would be medium based on duration and some steep down-hills, the up climb in all cases was a gradual climb - not severe.
Another highlight was then once we exited the rain forest canopy, was then the book trip around to a small beach where we experienced fantastic Malaysian BBQ food.
Need to plan careful;ly, ours was a conducted tour also with hotel transfers, as we needed to travel from Georgetown to the eastern side of Penang - a trip of around 20-30 mins.
We did this is February and it was humid, unsure what high-summer would be like completing this hike....

Thank DougieTr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We organised a 1/2 day tour of the national park, that included a hotel pickup/dropoff, delivery to a boat ride in the mangroves with a NGO guide who focused on conservation and wildlife. There was a lot of wildlife to see from snakes, monitor lizards, geckos, chameleons, mudskippers, various birds, monkeys and turtles, at the Turtle Beach conservation facility, where the boat leaves you for a 2-2 1/2 hike back to the main entrance of the park. On the way, you see a merimectic lake which is interesting. You can also take a swim at Turtle Beach, if you are prepared to risk the jellies.

The hike is quite steep, and the path is not well maintained in parts, and my wife had thongs on her feet, so it was slow going in parts. The rainforest is well worth the experience, but humidity can make the walking hard going. TAKE LOTS OF WATER.

Nothing is provided so food or snacks are also a good idea. At RM240 each (~AUD80), it's not cheap, but there is a lot to experience. The guide was great, sharing knowledge of conservation, wildlife etc.

We really enjoyed this activity, but it's not for the faint-hearted. Great for the adventurous, or those that are cultured out.

1  Thank Stan59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

Went to the park early afternoon, the hike to turtle beach took us 1 and 3/4 hours with a few stops to rest here and there (we are not very fit). We thought we could just take a boat back, however arrived on turtle beach and waited for 30 minutes with no boats in sight. With half an hour left before sunset we had to push ourselves to walk as fast as possible before it becomes too dark. The walk back took us 80 minutes, the last 30 minutes lit only by our mobile phone screens. We arrived at the park entrance completely exhausted and glad we came out alive!

1  Thank maynoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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