Hike: Bukit Zizai Trail

TRAIL GUIDE
Duration : 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes
Length : 2.3 km (Uphill most of the trail)

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Bukit Lang or now more commonly known as Bukit Zi Zai is one of the lesser known hills in the island. Before the trail to Bukit Zi Zai was upgraded by YB Teh Yee Cheu and the local residents in 2015, most people only knew this hill as the hill on which Teik Quarry is, a huge quarry which has defaced the western slope of the hill. Amongst the adventurous hiking circles, this hill was known for the “haunted house”, a dilapidated century old house at the top of the hill which looked eerily haunting before it was spruced up. Today, a good trail winds its way up Bukit Lang/Zi Zai from the Tanjung Bungah area, making access to this once remote and isolated place all the more easier.

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The “Haunted House” or now known as the Bukit Zi Zai Lodge. It has been given a new coat of paint and has undergone minor repairs ever since the trail was spruced up in 2015.

To get to the starting point of this trail, one has to come into Jalan Lembah Permai which can be accessed from the Tanjung Bungah coast or the hilly and winding Guilemard Reservoir road from Pepper Estate. Once you are along this road, lookout for the Tenby School (Tanjung Bungah Branch) and turn into Lintang Lembah Permai 1, which is the road in front of it (If you are coming from Pepper Estate, you will be turning left at the traffic light in front of Tenby).

Keep going for about 500 meters straight along this road. At this point you will notice that the road takes a bend to the left and continues to TAR College Penang. Do not take the bend but turn right instead,and continue for about 300 meters till the end of the road. At this point you will notice that the road hits a dead end and a signpost in front of two rocks greets you to Zi Zai Lodge. This is the trail head.

 

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Getting to Bukit Zizai Trail Head

This trail head is not just the trail up to Bukit Zizai but also a connecting trail which leads you to the Botanical Gardens, Penang Hill,Western Hill,Batu Ferringgi and Mount Erskine . The signpost at the start does depict that quite vividly.

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A welcoming signpost to all hikers.

From the starting point continue up for about 1 minute before you come to a junction where you notice a huge rock right in front with a painted arrow pointing left. Take the left junction and you will soon be bashing your way through some grass into a small stream at the edge of the forest. Cross this stream and you’ll notice that the trail takes an upward fork and continues up the hill slope. Continue along this trail, uphill. The trail is dotted with DAP flags which have been stapled to the trees as markers.

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DAP everywhere!

Continuing for about another 30 minutes, you will come to a small rock ledge which has been named the “Peace Ledge”. From the “Peace Ledge” you’ll be able to get a glimpse of Tanjung Bungah through a small opening in the forest. Take a short rest here, as you are only half way through the trail.

 

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Looking into a different world.

Continuing along the trail, it continues upward and comes to another junction in 1 to 2 minutes. At this junction, you have the option of going to “Living Waters”, a small stream along the slope about 10 minutes from this point, or continue upward with our Bukit Zi Zai trail.

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Thick forest along the trail.

The trails continues upward in a similar fashion for another 30 minutes, leveling at a few parts but generally, steep.
Here, you will come to another junction where the left fork leads you to the “Bolster Rock” , an oblong rock, 30 meters away, which supposedly has the shape of a bolster.

 

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Bolster Rock Junction.

Take the main trail (right fork) which continues upward. Within 10 to 15 minutes you will be at the Zizai Lodge, which is our destination. Take a good rest here and check out the century old bunglow which has been spruced up but has retained a few of its age old relics among which is a beautiful altar and a table. You have the option of continuing up to Penang Hill along the trail to the right of the house entrance (which is another 2 hour 30 minutes away) or continuing the same way downhill. Happy Hiking!

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The Zi Zai Lodge.