Pantai Acheh to Pantai Mas

Today me and Peter did a seven hour hike from Pantai Acheh to Pantai Mas and finally back to Pantai Acheh. The route taken was via RG25-Bukit Batu Itam and scrambling down to Pantai Mas and back to Pantai Acheh via Tanjung Gemuroh.

The map below shows this 11km hike. The green lines indicate the Penang National Park boundary while the purple line shows the trek we did.

Pantai Mas

We parked at the Pantai Acheh Chinese School and proceeded to start at about 9.45am. Pantai Acheh to RG 25 and the peak of Bukit Batu Itam is relatively an easy trail to do, albeit finding it might be a slight challenge. It starts off at a cement trail not too far away from the school and rises through durian and rubber plantations, passes Rain Gauge 25 and finally enters the Penang National Park through its southern border for an onward ascent to the peak of Bukit Batu Itam.

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Walking through the Durian Orchard

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Not many people take selfies with rain gauges these days

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Tall trees along the Penang National Park border

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Nearing the peak of Bukit Batu Itam

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Bukit Batu Itam and RG26

The walk seemed very doable at this point, however a difficult part started when we descended down to Pantai Mas from Bukit Batu Itam. Initially the trail is well marked after which it totally disappeared into the thick jungle!

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We had a spectacular view of the Pantai Acheh Mangroves soon after leaving Bukit Batu Itam

Me and Peter had to rely on intuition and predicting the trails which went down. A lot of scrambling and getting the old trail down was like looking for a needle in a haystack! There were points we had to rely precariously on trees,roots and rocks to get down.

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A huge landslide in the middle of the forest!

We followed the sound of a stream and kept pushing downward, finally ending up at a beautiful waterfall all by accident! (This was the second time on a hike with Peter. Unfortunately I do not know how to trace my steps back there,as this was during our scramble down).

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The hidden waterfall near Pantai Mas

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Another shot of the hidden waterfall

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When was Peter not excited about new waterfalls?

We reached Pantai Mas at about 3.10pm while it was high tide and it was quite a disappointment as the beach totally disappeared under water! The only thing visible there were the stands of old coconut trees from the time this beach was a private plantation and the newly planted mangroves by National Park Authorities (Perhilitan).

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Stands of coconut trees at Pantai Mas

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A beach? When it is high tide its more of a mangrove swamp!

We took a few photos and continued along the National Park Border trail which skirts along Tanjong Gemuroh, to Pantai Acheh.

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The well marked border trail from Pantai Mas to Pantai Acheh

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Signboards from a time when the Penang National Park was the Pantai Acheh Permanent Forest Reserve.

This trail is usually used as a ‘shortcut’  and ended up at the ‘infamous’  Pantai Acheh pig farm. Pushing our way through the unbearable smell, we finally came out to the Pantai Acheh Village. We ended our little adventure at the Kopitiam opposite the Pantai Acheh Chinese School about 5.00pm. And its back to work as usual tomorrow!

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At the pig farm. The pigs here are a lucky lot, they spend their last days enjoying the sight of a rain forest, before ending up as bacon.

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