You can’t eat all the time in Penang, you really can’t. As much as you’d like to, there are 3 limits as to why it is not possible: the physical limit, the humanely limit and the dignity limit. Someday you will understand.
For the other hours when you are not eating, there are activities to be had. Places to go, things to do. To cut a very long story short, we decided to go to the Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang (a few km after Batu Ferringhi).
Entrance into the National Park is free but you’re required to register at the counter, most likely for safety reasons. There are two trails: one through the jungle leading to the meromictic lake, Pantai Kerachut and Teluk Kampi. The other at the edge of the shores, leading to the USM Marine department, the more famous Monkey Beach and a light house.
Which way to turn?
We chose Pantai Kerachut because it was noted to be more pristine and less crowded. Bunch of sociable dudes, us. It was about 3km from the park entrance. We took an hour and 15 mins to get there, shaved off 5 mins from the brochure’s recommended time, yay!
This view was slightly before the splitting signs in the photo above. Great seaside, possible great sunset view. Will try to come here for sunsets next time instead of Batu Ferringhi.
The first few steps…
Lots of uphill walking. Which I hate. But it’s good for my arse. The trail is very clean and well-maintained. Compared to Genting Trailblazer, this was like the Hilton with 10,000 thread count sheets and the softest duck feathered pillows.
Also we were lucky that it was dry, the land paths (without stones) were hard and not muddy. Yay because I wore my very pretty Nike Free, would hate to see it not pretty any more :(
There were a few interesting information signs, such as this one below. As mature adults, we had a couple minutes of fun with the “Yes! Hoes!”. Also wondered at the copywriting, which was corny but significantly better than that at Fort Cornwallis.
Nah, here’s the mentioned dug out hill if you’re interested:
Throughout the trek, we were rewarded with lovely sights such as these:
Unfortunately it was the dry season so the meromictic lake was dried up :( Pity, would have loved to see it when it’s filled. If you’d google, it’s quite a pretty sight.
Just a few steps from the lake is Pantai Kerachut.
It’s quiet, relatively unspoilt and clean. Facilities are only a few tables and a public toilet, so bring your own food and drinks if you so desire. But remember to take back your rubbish with you! I hate beach litterers, hate hate hate!
Oh, here’s Kevin stretching at the beach. We don’t know why.
There was an information sign about the beach morning glory, saying that they’re useful as medicine if you were stung by jellyfish. But picking any plants and flowers on this beach is prohibited and against the law so don’t!
Random family with kid.
This is bliss. You, the gentle breeze, sound of the waves crashing to the shore.
Jetty to the boat.
Before we entered the park, we’d paid for a boat ride back from Pantai Kerachut to the park entrance. We were to drive back to KL later and didn’t want to be tired out. We were charged RM80 per one way back. I reckon we were conned big time because I just googled and it seems that you don’t have to pay more than RM20 per person. Well, learned it the hard way!
The boat dude did try to make our money worthwhile by going near some rocks and telling us that they resemble assorted animals. The first time he yelled out, RABBIT RABBIT! I was bewildered and expected to see a white fluffy rabbit sitting atop a rock.
Also learned that Monkey Beach is a better beach for families because the sea ground goes deeper gradually. Pantai Kerachut is quieter and cleaner, but the sea ground slops suddenly so it’s more dangerous for kids.
We had a brilliant time, actually. Will definitely return, probably go on the other trail and spend more time at the park.