Trail: Nanshan aka Namsua (南山)

This is another killer hill in Penang but don’t be despair. The trail is wide enough for you to do a zig zag and it is cemented track. Yes… it is cemented. 😦 Nanshan (南山) or literally translate to English is South Hill and Penangnites called it Namsua (in Hokkien). This hill is located in Paya Terubong which is in between Sg Ara and Air Itam Dam (AID). In fact, it is connected to Hilton stop but today I will not blog about it as I have yet to explore there.


This trail is a very good training ground for those who are staying around or want to do a quick 30-45 mins intense hill climbing training. It was like me trained at Pearl Hill. It is definitely not for enthusiastic mountain bikers as it has zero technicality and the trail is nicely paved. Not to mention it is wide too. The only difficulty is endless climb. Average gradient is ~8 degree climb but some part is around 14-25 degree. It is a category 3 climb in Strava. So, it is not as bad as in Hye Keat or TSLK.

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To get there:- Turn into Jalan Oriental 6 from the main road – Jalan Paya Terubong.

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There are always bond to have a good view when you ride in Penang. Whether you are riding along the coast or up on a hill. At the middle of the hill you will see the Paya Terubong suburb.


Continue on with the journey…

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Normally, people will stop once they reached a Chinese temple but that is not at the top of the hill yet. If you opt to continue after the Chinese temple, you will see a wider view of Penang. After the temple, it is easy riding with gradual climb and part pf the trail is cemented and non paved road.

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If you wish to continue, the trail will lead you to a fruit farm. Highest elevation at this place is 432m.

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Trail: Hill-turn and Ngor Hean

This is another area where it branches off from Air Itam Dam (AID) trail. After doing 1200 steps and climbing Air Itam Dam trail, if you still have more energy left then this is another area you can explore.



From the dam to Hill-turn is not a difficult climb as it is quite gradual and I would estimate 3-5 degree gradient climb at max. It is only the last 30m climb to the hut is the hardest. This trail is for anyone who has some physical fitness able to do it. Hill-turn is where it branches off again to 3 other areas – Ngor Hean, Oh Kio (Balik Pulau) and Nam Sua (South Hill). In this blog, I am going to write more about Ngor Hean.


The entrance to Hill-turn (some call it Hilton and I still have no idea why) is just next to the AID car park. Do ride slowly here as there are a lot of joggers that run around the dam.

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The last 30m climb

To proceed further to Ngor Hean, you will need a bit more physical strength as the slope is getting steeper (5-10 degree gradient) but very wide path. They just paved the trail again with cement. It was really smooth this time and no moss which I find them a little bit less challenge or unnatural. Upon almost reaching the top, there is a split of 2 paths. One is to a Chinese Temple and one is to a vegetable farm. Just follow the pic below and follow the red arrow. The vegetable farm has a lot of dogs which is not advisable if you are afraid of one. But, reaching the destination (Chinese Temple) was breath taking. It has an open area for you to rest and chit chat which you can see a lot of people during weekend’s morning. The breeze was really nice and you can get a beautiful view. The highest elevation here is 484m.

Ngor Hean

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A relaxing feel..

A relaxing feel..

These trails are share among hikers, joggers and mountain bikers, so please do be very careful when coming down hill. I know each of us love the adrenaline fill up our blood stream when coming down hill fast. Just be very careful especially during weekend’s morning or evening.