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Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island


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TRAIL 12 : MUKA HEAD TO TELUK KETAPANG


(c) Forest Ang

Length: 1.2 km 30 minutes
Recreational grading : 2-3
Condition: disturbed but some natural character remaining
Use: light
Status: orchard and forest reserve

Teluk Ketapang is a small sandy cove just past Muka Head lighthouse. It is accessible from Teluk Duyung, the beach before Muka Head lighthouse. You can reach Teluk Ketapang from Teluk Duyung in 15 minutes if you know the trail. For those who are unfamiliar with the trail, it will take about 30 minutes. Although the trail is short, many hikers have lost their way. Several years ago, a Japanese tourist was lost in the forest for several hours.

Teluk Duyung is also known as ‘Monkey Beach’ as it is frequented by long-tailed macaque monkeys. They have the habit of taking people’s belongings so keep your rucksack close to you.

The trail starts from the first big casuarina tree near the abandoned Boon Siew Bungalow. Find the trail that leads away from the beach towards the forested valley. You have to walk through thick overgrown lalang. There is a small canal with a makeshift bridge over it. Cross the canal.

The trail tends to be overgrown with lalang except during the fruit season. If you persevere you will eventually reach a shed. If the bushes have been cleared you should be able to see a hill slope with durian trees and also the forest edge beyond it. Walk along the flattened shoulder of the hill towards the ascending hill slope. There may be several seasonal trails. Follow the one that heads towards the corner where there are many large, overgrown wild ginger plants skirting the edge of the forest. Enter the forest edge to the right of the overgrown wild ginger plants.

From here the forest trail begins. A word of warning - you can easily get lost on this forest trail. Keep walking parallel with the valley on your right and zigzag at some parts of the trail. Look for signs and markers made by hikers over the years. Backtrack if you are not sure of the trail. There is a part where you need to make an abrupt 90 degrees ascent to the left near a giant tree. The trail will level off when you come to the ridge between the two hills. Then continue walking towards the other side of the hill where it descends to the beach. The valley is now on your left.

As you approach the beach, you should hear the sound of the waves and, perhaps, tourist boats. Welcome to Teluk Ketapang. It is quite safe to drink from the stream. Look out for pokok ketapang also known as the sea almond tree.

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