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Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island


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TRAIL 5: MONIOT ROAD WEST


(c) Forest Ang

Length: 5 km 2 hours
Recreational grading : 2
Condition: disturbed but substantial natural character remaining
Use:
  • light (where not connected to dwellings)
  • well used (where there are tracks connected to dwellings)
    Status: Heritage Trail

    Moniot Road is named after a Frenchman, Michel Jules Moniot, who surveyed it between 1846 and 1855. Moniot Road West is a continuation of Moniot Road East (Refer to Trail 4). The Moniot Trail is divided by the funicular railway. If you are coming from Moniot Road East, cross the railway line only when the cables are not moving. Use the steps provided to cross it.

    At Moniot Road Halt, you will see a level, well-defined path leading away from the railway line. Follow this path. After 7-10 minutes you will come to a junction. Take the right-hand path which ascends moderately. It is seldom used and may be overgrown so you may need to bash your way through the bushes. The track is also heavily eroded. Look down and you may see traces of tarmac beneath your feet, a reminder of the long history of the Moniot Trail.

    After about ten minutes of hacking your way along this overgrown and eroded track, you will see a house below you on your left. Here the trail joins a cemented track. There is a gate. Go through it. Continue on the track for about one minute until you come to a junction. Take the left-hand fork, (the path on the right leads to a private dwelling).

    Within a minute you will come to another junction. Take the right-hand path which ascends. Eventually you will cross a bridge and make another ascent before coming to a four-way junction.

    The track descending to the left leads to a bungalow belonging to the Lasalle Christian Brothers. This handsome establishment is called 'The Retreat' and is complete with a chapel, dining hall, tennis courts, swimming pool and large dormitories for the priests. There are also ancillary domestic quarters and a statue of Christ with arms outstretched, showering His blessings down upon the panorama of Georgetown and the mainland. If you would prefer to end your walk here, you can take the right-hand fork at the junction. It will lead you to Viaduct Station.

    Moniot Trail is straight ahead. The path may be densely overgrown and you may need to bash your way through. After about three minutes you will come to another junction. The path here is level and tarred. It is the beginning of Viaduct Road West. Take the road that continues straight ahead.

    Shortly you will come to an old mansion with a French name, ‘Mon Sejour’ – it may be translated as ‘My Resting Place’ or “My Retreat”. From the bungalow you can enjoy a good view of the Paya Terubong Valley. ‘Mon Sejour’ was built by a Chinese philanthropist and millionaire, Loke Chow Kit, in the late nineteenth century. What we see today are the remains of a singularly attractive dwelling and ornamental garden, both of Italianate and baroque design and character.

    Returning to continue on the path, you will descend into a forested trail. The path is wide and along the trail you will see a survey stone placed there by Moniot. Average hikers should be able to reach Summit Road in about an hour. On reaching Summit Road you will have to walk another 45 minutes to reach the Top Station.

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