Penang National Park

Taman Negara Penang

The Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang) is located all the way at the end of Teluk Bahang and is also currently the smallest national park in the world. Nature lovers and outdoor fans who enjoy hiking or trekking would be pleased to know that the place offers a number of treks at this park covering 2563 hectares.

Having said that, I visited this place in October 2010 only to find that it was indeed a hidden gem of Penang Island. Formerly known as Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, the new name was given in 2003 together with a revamp on infrastructure and amenities here.

Trekking at Penang National Park
Start of the trek at the national park

My trips are usually self driven around Malaysia so as I arrived towards the end of the road, there was a parking lot in the main registration area of the park headquarters. It is here where everyone who intends to go into the park needs to register with the park office for security purposes.

For those seeking a park guide, there is a charge of RM5 where he will take you on your trek. For me, I had arrived a little after lunch so my options were narrowed down to a simple trek to the center of the park.

With this being said, I would recommend that you visit the park as early as possible to see the many interesting places and beaches here. Some of the treks here can take up to three hours one way.

Photo of Penang National Park
Gets interesting as you go in further

A local wooden jetty seen from the trek

The good thing about this trek was that the main pathway was paved with concrete for the first 1-2 kilometers so walking here was easy for all levels. As I got in about one kilometer, a lot of flora dominated the pathways with some unique plants seen.

From a report back in 2006, there are an estimate 417 flora and 143 fauna species found in the park here. At one point after you start, you suddenly see the sea on your right side with the trek running alongside.

Wooden tables and benches are strategically placed along this part for those coming here to have a picnic. A small beach is also scattered throughout the area here while sea breeze blows towards the park.

The natural trek begins

After the first stretch of beach, the trek slowly turns into a proper pathway where the concrete ended. The journey still continues alongside the sea here while the path starts to go a little uphill.

I recommend some proper trekking or hiking shoes for this place and bring a poncho just in case it rains. It can get a little slippery while there are railings of rope and wood at various sections of the hike.

The first junction and lookout area

One of the natural beaches at the Penang National Park

As we arrived at the first intersection of the hike, there was a modern wooden structure providing shelter and a bridge over one of the rivers. Crossing the bridge, you come to an intersection with multiple signs showing the directions of the many other treks and places at the park.

Also in the signs are the distances to these places. Educational boards are also put up here with information on the Mangrove, Flora and Fauna here.

Best Beaches In Penang

For those who want some private time on a beach, the Penang National Park boasts of 8 of the best beaches in Penang Island! They are located throughout the park and these are the beaches;

1. Teluk Bahang
2. Teluk Tukun
3. Tanjung Aling
4. Teluk Duyung (Monkey Beach)
5. Teluk Ketapang
6. Pantai Kerachut
7. Teluk Kampi
8. Pantai Mas

Directions Penang National Park
Signs showing the many places around the park

Map of Penang National Park
Detailed information on the park

Penang Canopy Walk

After a brief exploration around this area, I headed to a Canopy Walk which is right in the center of the park. The total time it took me to reach the canopy walk was about 25 minutes as I had made various stops along the way.

For those eager to visit Monkey Beach, it would take an estimate 2 hours to trek there one way. But I was told that the place is amazing and one of the nicest beach in Penang and most likely, I will make another visit here on my next trip to the island. By the time we reached the Canopy Walk here, it was time to turn around as nightfall was around the corner.

Overall I have to say that this was indeed a surprise for me because all the years of visiting Penang Island, I never did explore the nature apart from usually doing the food and heritage run here. 

If you have kids, this would be a lovely place to introduce them to the Flora & Fauna of Malaysia. An estimate half day here would be sufficient and if you would like to plan a picnic, this would be perfect. because of the amenities provided. Barbecue (BBQ) Pits are also provided at various spots in the early trek of the park.

Bird Watchers would also find this place interesting as there are quite a number of species to be found here. When I was trekking the park, I noticed a number of locals who came here for their evening walks too so for the expatriates living in Penang, this would be a fantastic place to exercise.

Park Opening Hours: 7am till 6pm

Getting to Penang National Park; 

  • Buses: From Komtar Building in Georgetown, take Hin Bus No.1-1 or ask the bus companies.
  • Taxi: From anywhere around the island. Note it takes about 30-45 minutes from Georgetown to the park.
  • Self Drive: Drive along the main Batu Feringgi Road and head towards the end of Teluk Bahang. You will see the park entrance on the left just before the jetty. There is parking available.
  • Picnics/BBQs: Allowed at allocated areas
  • Camping: You need to contact the Park Headquarters


Admission to the park: Free. However if you need a guide/trekker, there is a charge of RM5.
Check Penang National Park on Wikipedia for additional information. 

Address for the National Park in Penang;
Penang National Park
Jalan Hassan Abas,Teluk Bahang,

11050 Penang
Pulau Pinang
Telephone: 6 04 881 3530/ 881 2016,
Fax: 6 04 881 2016


Apart from the great food and Unesco Heritage Site Zone in Georgetown or even exploring the famous Chulia Street Penang, there are also other beaches and markets around the island to visit.

Photographers will find that taking Pictures of Penang will be exciting as there are many old colonial buildings around the main George Town area. There are quite a number of temples, churches and shrines where some of them date back over a hundred years old too.

For those who love the outdoors or simply nature, you have many choices to explore the island and one of them is right here at the Penang National Park, which is very near to the popular Batu Feringgi area. 

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