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Traveling

Overnight Camping at Turtle Beach Jun 10, 2016

Overnight Camping at Turtle Beach

GPS waypoint: 5°27'03.1"N 100°10'57.9"E
Location: Turtle Beach, National Park, Penang, Malaysia

Turtle Beach at the National Park
Penang is blessed that only an hour's bus ride away from Georgetown is the lush green forest of the National Park offering treks, picnics, camping and beach bumming. From the main entrance, there are several hiking paths leading to various sections of the park - to Monkey Beach, to the Lighthouse and Turtle Beach. Together with 3 traveling friends I met from my hostel, we briskly hiked 1 hour to the Turtle Beach. Two returned back to the hostel while me and Luna, a Turkish lady, made camp on our hammocks. Swimming was not allowed due to strong undertows and jellyfish infestation. There is a dedicated camp area equipped with showers, toilets and sink. It even includes a small kitchen were you can cook food by using firewood. On the beach is a jetty-bridge extending about 50 feet into the water.

Overnight Camping at Turtle Beach
jetty on stilts

Meromictic Lake
En route to Turtle Beach, we came upon an unusual lake - Meromictic Lake. The incoming salt water tide goes into the fresh water lake fed by river tributaries and rain water. But because of varying water densities, the two waters don't mix. The denser salt water stays under the fresh water. It wasn't stated, but since fresh water is cooler and salt water warmer, it should also be producing a thermocline! This natural phenomena is made possible by several variables all coming into place - the placement of the river mouth together with the unique natural placement of the boulders, tide levels and current and the flow of the monsoon wind. Meromictic Lake is one of only 20 such lakes in the world!

Sasha
We had a Good Samaritan Russian at the beach in the person of Sasha who gave us his spare battery and offered ropes for my hammock. He is a frequent denizen of the beach and stays there for a good length of time. He has completed the rituals of a Theravada monk but has not yet been ordained. He is proficient with yoga, meditation and other spiritual and worldly pursuits. His far-reaching knowledge is equalled only by his experience as he has been traveling for 10 years now. He is a fascinating character with layered dimensions to him. Just a few minutes with him and you get a sense of all that.

The Dutch Traveler
The mosquitoes were killing me inside the camp site so I decided to sleep on the floor of the jetty close to the edge where the sea breeze throws off the mosquitoes. There was a Dutch traveler there who didn't bring any camping provision so he also decided to sleep by the jetty. We spent a good deal of the early morning just talking about life, traveling, and world current events. It was a good sharing. It was dark, so I don't even remember his face or even his name. He was gone by daylight and I never saw him again. Another typical here-and-now for a traveler on the go.

Ending Thoughts
There are many reasons to come to Turtle Beach. It is such a nurturing place that people like Sasha choose to stay there for weeks. For the budget-challenged, it offers a refuge as admission is free - you just have to trek 1 hour each way to the main entrance for your supplies and errands. The hiking opportunities from a base within the National Park make the possibilities almost limitless.

No, I didn't see a turtle :(

--- TheLoneRider

Luna and myself listening intently as Sasha talks the camping site is groomed with plenty of shade expansive space perfect hammock setup - with mosquito net and tuck-away privacy
this particular beach stretches to maybe half a kilometer from the sandy beach lies the forest by the jetty with the bubbly Luna
a pumpboat is an alternative to trekking back...specially if there is not enough daylight left the jetty from another angle beach stroll as Luna limbers on a tree trunk like a leopard Leopard Luna
the shaded beach area with picnic tables heading back to the gate accompanied by Sasha    

How to Get to Turtle Beach from Georgetown, Penang

  1. from Georgetown, take the #101 bus all the way to National Park. It's the last stop, MYR 4/pax, 1.5 hours, 22 kms
  2. register at the main gate of National Park and advise if you will camp. Admission is free. Follow the trail signs to Pantai Kerachut (Turtle Beach). Brisk pace with one short selfie-stop gets you there in about 1 hour.
  3. upon arrival at the Turtle Beach, make a courtesy stop at the Ranger's Station and they'll advise where to camp, dos and donts, etc.
  4. set-up camp at the camp site
  5. on the way back to the main gate of the park, you can opt for a boat ride instead of a hike. The boat charges MYR 80/trip, but the boatman may charge people individually.

Google Map Penang, Malaysia



tourist attractions in Penang tourist attractions
  • Batu Ferringhi in Penang Batu Ferringhi - beach resort town 30 minutes from Georgetown
  • Turtle Beach (Pantai Kerachut) in Penang Turtle Beach (Pantai Kerachut) at the National Park (Taman Negara) - free admission, beach, camping, trekking and maybe you get to see a turtle lay eggs
  • Penang Hill in Penang Penang Hill - panoramic view of Penang from 830 meters above sea level
    Hours: 6:30am–10:30pm, Phone: +60 19-750 2139
  • Botanical Gardens Penang Botanical Gardens - developed in 1884, the garden is 29 hectares of prime evergreen tropical rain forests just on the outskirt of Georgetown
    10470 George Town, Penang | 5am–9pm | +60 4-227 0428
  • Botanical Gardens Penang Penang National Park - with 2,562 hectares, the park is home to 46 species of birds such as the stork-billed kingfishers, white-breasted waterhens and great egrets. The sandy beach of Pantai Kerachut is also a nesting place of Green turtles from April to August
  • 
Pinang Peranakan Mansion Pinang Peranakan Mansion - a stately home has been renovated to back to its former glory to showcase the opulence, lifestyle and times of the Peranakan a century ago. Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission: MYR20.00
  • 
Dark Mansion - 3D Glow In The Dark Museum Dark Mansion - 3D Glow In The Dark Museum - modern interactive 3D art Museum with the "Glow in the Dark" theme | 145, Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 Georgetown, Penang | Adult MYR 18, kids MYR 10 | Mon-Fri: 10:00 - 18:30, Sat-Sun: 10:00 - 21:30
hotels in Penang - hotel
  • Le Dream Boutique Hotel Le Dream Boutique Hotel - central location, fitness gym, jacuzzi, compli wine hour, all day treats, movie nights
    139, Jalan Pintai Tali, Georgetown - 5°24'55.9"N 100°19'58.4"E
  • Just Inn Hotel Just Inn - central location, clean, affordable, helpful and friendly staff
    155,157,159, Carnarvon Street, 10100 George Town, Malaysia - 5°24'53.8"N 100°20'05.3"E
restaurant in Penang - restaurant
  • My Voice - Big Bowl Ramen My Voice - Big Bowl Ramen - 2 locations to serve you, biggest ramen bowl for everyone to join
    1. C-5-1, Lorong Bayan Indah 3 Bay Avenue, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, George Town
    2. big bowl ramen, Penang Penang Chew Jetty

Penang FYI / Tips

  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is in Georgetown's Old City (the UNESCO Heritage Site area). Any lodging in Old City puts you in the heart of things
  • getting around Penang by bus is convenient as there are many buses to several destinations. However, the bus takes the longest and circuitous route so be prepared for a long ride. For more information about Penang buses, go to Rapid Penang

How to Get to Penang (Georgetown) from Kuala Lumpur

  1. train - with the modern ETS fast train, the travel time has been reduced to 3 hours 50 minutes. It's not necessary to take the sleeping train or bus anymore. And you can buy train tickets online at the KTMB website **. Go to KL Sentral and buy your ticket at the KTM InterCity office on the 2nd level, B79. Wait in the waiting area until the train comes and the staff opens up the gate to let you down to board the train - 3 hours, 50 minutes. ETS train schedule
  2. ferry - from the train station, it is a 5-min walk to the ferry station (Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal) to board the ferry for Georgetown - 20 minutes, MYR 1.20. Ferry leaves every 40 mins. First ferry from Georgetown departs 5:40 a.m. and last ferry departs 1:00 a.m. From Butterworth, first ferry departs 5:20 a.m. and last ferry departs 12:40 a.m.
  3. bus - from the Jetty (Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal, aka - Jetty), walk to the bus terminal in Georgetown for a trip to the city center. There is a free bus - Free Cat, which takes you around the Old City of Georgetown, where most of the backpacker hostels are located. The free bus departs every 15 minutes. The free Jetty-Georgetown bus takes a different route from the Georgetown-Jetty free bus
** I initially booked the train ticket with Easybook.com. They confirmed it by email and charged me for it. They said a 2nd email will come with my seat number. The 2nd email never came. When I had the confirmation email checked at the KTMB office on my departure, they said my purchase was not on their system. I had to buy another ticket. I later complained to Easybook.com and requested them to reverse the charge. They arrogantly said they don't do refunds. You'd been warned!

Things to do, Places to go in Penang

  1. food - needless to say, there is no bad food in Penang. Every local has a recommendation on the must-haves, the food bloggers all have their opinion on where to eat and what to eat. But again, you don't have to search far and wide - the eating stall across you is probably a good bet already
  2. street art - in Georgetown, there are numerous street art adorning the walls. Walk around and be surprised. There is even a Penang street map devoted to street art - ask for one from your hotel concierge
  3. Batu Ferringhi Batu Ferringhi - beach resort town 30 minutes from Georgetown, MYR 2.70 by 101 Rapid Penang Bus
  4. Turtle Beach (Pantai Kerachut) Turtle Beach (Pantai Kerachut) at the National Park (Taman Negara) - free admission, beach, camping, trekking and maybe you get to see a turtle lay eggs, MYR 4 by 101 Rapid Penang Bus, 1.5 hours, 22 kms
  5. Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera) Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera) - 6 kms, bus 204, 1 hour, MYR2 from Comtar to Penang Hill. Penang Hill rises 833 meters up a tram system. It covers several hills and could take a whole day to explore on foot. Tram fee MYR30 round trip
  6. Botanical Gardens in Penang Botanical Gardens - developed in 1884, the garden is 29 hectares of prime evergreen tropical rain forests just on the outskirt of Georgetown. 10470 George Town, Penang | 5am–9pm | +60 4-227 0428
  7. Penang National Park Penang National Park - with 2,562 hectares, the park is home to 46 species of birds such as the stork-billed kingfishers, white-breasted waterhens and great egrets. The sandy beach of Pantai Kerachut is also a nesting place of Green turtles from April to August. Phone: +60 4-881 3530
  8. 
Pinang Peranakan Mansion Pinang Peranakan Mansion - a stately home has been renovated to back to its former glory to showcase the opulence, lifestyle and times of the Peranakan a century ago. Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission: MYR20.00
  9. 
Dark Mansion - 3D Glow In The Dark Museum Dark Mansion - 3D Glow In The Dark Museum - modern interactive 3D art Museum with the "Glow in the Dark" theme | 145, Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 Georgetown, Penang | Adult MYR 18, kids MYR 10 | Mon-Fri: 10:00 - 18:30, Sat-Sun: 10:00 - 21:30

Suggested Destinations after Penang

  • Cameron Highlands -
  • Perhentian Islands -
  • Langkawi Island -
  • Taman Negara -
  • Hat Yai -

Penang Cost Index

(US$1 = Malaysian Ringgit 4.116 = Php 46.67 as of June 1, 2016)
  • MYR 40/hour tri-shaw (pedal-powered rickshaw) around the city
  • MYR 5-8 small bottle of beer
  • MYR 5-8 standard price for a soup noodle or rice topping dish
  • MYR 6 hot coffee in a decent cafe (cold coffee is more)
  • MYR 10 bicycle rental, 8am to 6pm
  • MYR 5 coin operated laundry
  • MYR 1-2 local bus rides, no change given, have exact fee
  • MYR 18 cheapest dorm room, shared toilet during low season
  • MYR 2 one hour, internet cafe
  • MYR 2.70 1.5 liter drinking water
  • MYR 79 ETS fast train from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth (Penang pier area)
  • MYR 18 standard admission fee for museums for 1 adult. eg - Dark Mansion - 3D Glow In The Dark Museum
  • MYR 7 haircut

Malaysia Blogs by TheLoneRider

    Cameron Highlands

  1. Cool Climate of Cameron Highlands June 19-23, 2016
  2. Kluang

  3. Overnight in Kluang, Malaysia Aug 13-14, 2016
  4. Kuala Lumpur

  5. Funky Flow Yoga with Lora Lorenzo at YogaOneThatIWant Studios July 27, 2016
  6. Deja Vu Kuala Lumpur with Karine July 21-26, 2016
  7. Layover in Kuala Lumpur June 22, 2016
  8. The Kuala Lumpur Experience Jan 21 - Feb 20, 2015
  9. Police Harassment in Kuala Lumpur Feb 17, 2015
  10. Visiting Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur Feb 18, 2015
  11. Walking Tour of China Town Feb 5, 2015
  12. Breaking New Ground in Kuala Lumpur Jan 21, 2015
  13. Malacca

  14. A First-Timer in Malacca July 28-Aug 8, 2016
  15. Art Scene of Malacca August 6, 2016
  16. The River Charm of Malacca August 5, 2016
  17. About Malacca July 28, 2016
  18. Penang

  19. Penang (Malaysia) Immersion May 27-Jun 19, 2016
  20. Exploring the Emergent Cafe Culture of Penang Jun 18, 2016
  21. Encounters with the Guru-Types of Penang Jun 17, 2016
  22. Overnight Camping at Turtle Beach Jun 10, 2016
  23. Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation in Penang Jun 10, 2016
  24. Daytrip to Batu Ferringhi Jun 9, 2016
  25. Savouring the Food of Penang May 27 - Jun 6, 2016
  26. Surreal Glow-in-the-Dark 3D World at Dark Mansion June 3, 2016
  27. The Animated Street Art of Penang Jun 3, 2016
  28. Exploring the Lush Greenery of Botanic Gardens May 29, 2016
  29. Up up and Away to Penang Hill May 28, 2016
  30. About Penang May 27, 2016

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Penang Hotels

Hotels

Le Dream Boutique Hotel, Penang hotel


Just Inn, Penang hotel


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Attractions

Dark Mansion 3D Glow In The Dark Museum, Penang hotel






Penang Hotels

Le Dream Boutique Hotel, Penang
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Boutique Hotel

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Penang, Malaysia



Just Inn, Penang
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clean | affordable
Penang, Malaysia



Dark Mansion 3D Glow In The Dark Museum, Penang
Dark Mansion
3D Glow In The Dark Museum
Penang, Malaysia



My Voice Cafe, Penang
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