Why Penang National Park is worth a visit
Lush will be the first word that comes to mind when you enter the park. Try not to go green-eyed when you’re taking in your surroundings as the trees are breathtaking. Holding the title of ‘smallest national park in the world’ doesn’t stop this space from playing host to a large diversity of wildlife, where over 500 types of flora and fauna co-exist peacefully. From macaques to eagles to dolphins, the assortment of animals here cannot be found in any other part of the country. Jungle trails, beaches and natural swimming holes throughout the reserve make this a worthy option for a reasonably-priced weekend getaway.
What to do in Penang National Park
You might need a full weekend to make the most out of Penang National Park. Hiking is a go-to choice of activity, with 2 main tracks going deep into the jungle. A trip to a reserve wouldn’t be complete without a good old-fashioned trek. Explore on your own or go with a guided park tour. Either way, don’t underestimate the well-marked jungle trails; they can prove to be a challenge. Remember to bring water as refreshment facilities are one and a few. The hikes usually end at one of the park’s many calming beaches. A total of 8 stretches ofif sandy beaches line the coast. Monkey Beach (Teluk Duyung), in particular is known for the primates but there’s also Pantai Kerachut, a white-sand beach that doubles as a sanctuary for endangered turtles. Free camping sites are available around the reserve. The park offers an abundance of sights; on a lucky day, animal lovers will spot a rare creatures such as the dusky leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, slow loris, flying lemur, sea otter or pangolin (especially around Pantai Kerachut). Not forgetting the bird watchers out there, the renowned regional species such as the crested serpent eagle and the Brahminy kites can be seen flying in the skies. Get a glimpse of a rare seasonal meromictic lake (where layers of freshwater and saltwater do not intermix), one of only 16 in the world! Unsurprisingly, the park presents a myriad of opportunities for photography enthusiasts. You’ll be snapping away without a care in the world.
If you’re looking for the Penang National Park map, head over to this page.
How to get to Penang National Park
The park is a 45-minute drive from Georgetown, Penang’s capital city. All-day parking is available at a very reasonable rate of MYR3. If you’re going there by car, drive all the way to the end of Jalan Hassan Abas where you see the park entrance. Bus rides are available from Georgetown as well; the Rapid Penang Bus 101 takes tourists from Teluk Bahang straight to the entrance of the park. To make for a more relaxing journey, boat rides to and from the beaches are available at a fee of MYR10 per seat. Hiring a whole boat costs MYR40 - MYR70 and cuts down on waiting time. When you arrive at Penang National Park, entrance fee is absolutely free. Guests are however, required to sign a register at the park entrance counter.