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Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island


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TRAIL 18 : GERTAK SANGGUL TO PASIR PANJANG


(c) Forest Ang

Length: 6.1 km 2 hours
Recreational grading : 1-2
Condition: degraded but with some natural character remaining
Use: moderate to light
Status: orchard and private land

Pasir Panjang beach is very popular among recreational sites in the south-west corner of the island. It is now under the supervision of Kem Bina Negara, a government training centre for personal development. The beach is small with clean white sand and washed by a pristine blue sea. Pasir Panjang beach reveals its beauty only to those with the perseverance to seek it out. The trail starts from a picturesque site at Gertak Sanggul, doubly endowed with an attractive setting of a sandy beach with swaying palm trees on one side and a hill on the other. The bus from Georgetown stops at this point which is about 100 meters from the Gertak Sanggul Police Station.

Walk past the houses and follow the cement motorbike trail. This track is popular with weekend anglers heading for various spots along this southwestern tip of Penang Island. There are many well-trodden paths leading off to the coast so do not take any left turns for the first ten minutes if you do not aim to go fishing.

The area is confusingly dotted with huts and sheds belonging to owners of orchards and rubber estates. There is a tangle of tracks along the way. However, confusion will be avoided if you keep to the trail closest to the coastline.

The trail is isolated and beautiful, offering far ranging views and seascapes. It has gentle gradients and ambles through the orchards and rubber estates which border the coastline. There is an uninterrupted view of the Straits of Malacca to the left and the accompaniment of birds singing on many stretches.

If you walk non-stop from the starting point, you should reach the junction marked as 4.7 km (refer map) in about one hour and ten minutes. The junction is about four minutes after the big stream.

Follow the path downhill and you should see a shed. About five metres before the shed there is a path. If it is overgrown, you may have to blaze your way down for another ten metres to meet the main trail. Follow the main trail down for another seven minutes to meet a jeep trail. The jeep trail will take you down to Pasir Panjang beach. Kem Bina Negara is located there.

The beach is beautiful and many picnickers come here to swim. When you have rested and enjoyed the scenery, there is a choice of either returning the same way or continuing on to Pulau Betong village. This takes about half an hour of leisurely walking along the beach and on the tarmac road. The road leads right to the village and there is a bus stop opposite the coffee shop.

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