TRAVEL: PENANG NATIONAL PARK

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Here’s a little known fact about me you may not know: I love walking, trekking and going on hikes. I’m not a sporty girl – I’m bad at every sport ever created – but my two legs can function as my brain instructs. I haven’t been on too many treks, but I do find myself looking out for trails when I’m out of Singapore.

After a day in Georgetown, Becks and I needed to get out. Not because we didn’t enjoy the city, heaven knows we love it, but we wanted to consume most bits of Penang within our 3 short days. There are a couple of available trails at the Penang National Park and we chose the Turtle Beach (Pantai Kerachut) route. Only after we’d paid for the SGD 16 ferry to whisk us back at the end of the trek were we told that we’d have to try and spot the two baby turtles on the beach. I MEAN…TWO?? Whatever, I didn’t care, I was just excited to burn off all the calories I’d piled on from our food gorge the day before.

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The trail only took us about an hour and 15 minutes to complete, excluding a couple of time we stopped to take selfies and stare into the trickling creek. As most trails are, this one took us upwards for about a good half hour, saw us on flat land for about 15, and then it was downwards to the beach for the last half hour. Pretty uneventful in the sense that there weren’t any insanely elevated bits nor were there wild boars / monitor lizards. I saw two tiny lizard-like creatures and that alone made my shudder – I can’t imagine encountering anything larger than my palm.

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At the end of the trail, we arrived at Turtle Beach! We couldn’t be damned to search for the baby turtles and decided we’d walk along the shore that leads to the jetty to pass time before our boat arrived. Wrong move. I’d never seen so many jellyfish in a cluster before. Didn’t take any photos for fear that my camera would drop into the abyss of creepy transparent demons (gentle, see-through sea animals). For real though, that must be where all tired trekkers go to die.

We’d arranged for our boat to pick us and head back to the main jetty. Definitely recommend anyone to do this – you don’t want to turn back around and walk another 75 minutes.

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Getting to Penang National Park

Our Airbnb was housed near the bus interchange at Komtar, and we hopped on bus 101. The journey to the park took about an hour and 30 minutes cost as much as a regular bus fare would. However, if Komtar isn’t going to be your most accessible starting point, check out the alternatives here.

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