This post was contributed by Boon's Gallery
Penang National Park, the world smallest national park covering area of approximately 2,500 ha located northwest coast of Penang Island was officially launched in April 2003. It was formerly known as Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve Area, lying away from the busiest city of Georgetown allowed nature lovers to explore its myriad of natural treasures. Just to name a few, the park uniquely being famous with its Muka Head Lighthouse atop of Teluk Duyung cape, Meromictic Lake located at Pantai Kerachut (Kerachut Beach), the mangroves as well as the Turtle Nesting Sanctuary.
The park also acts as a heaven to avid hikers and fellow athletics who keen on exercising and health. Penang National Park is all lush green and the sea breeze is definitely enchanting. Swaying forest trees and bird chirping, a warm welcoming to everyone to explore.
Tanjung Aling located en route to Muka Head and Pantai Kerachut, housed the USM research centre (CEMAC) which specially cater for marine and biotechnology research. The concreted pier stilted on the sea bed is to enable supplies bring in and out from town. The beach is easily accessible and it is a suitable camping site for campers as well as a resting place for nature explorer wandering around Penang National Park.
Teluk Duyung literally being called Mermaid Bay, it is an en route beach to Muka Head’s cape and one of the small isolated beach northwest from Penang Island. Teluk Duyung is came from Malay word, Teluk means 'Bay' and Duyung is derived from the legendary word of 'Mermaid'.
Teluk Duyung also known as Monkey Beach to the local beside Teluk Ketapang. It has been well known as Monkey Beach since old days until today where monkeys roam the beach scavenging and ransacking campers. There might be a little bit confusion why there are so many beaches being called as Monkey Beach. In fact, Monkey Beach is just simple generic term to describe since many people have no idea the exact name of the location. Take for example, anyone can call any beaches on the island as coconut beach or what so ever. In order not to confuse yourself, let's learn the correct name of the location.
In term of the accessibility to the beach, ones may hire a boat at the registration area or alternatively where most people did is by foot. It is only 30 to 45 minutes walk from the National Park entrance, however, it is still depending on individual hiking skill and stamina.
Muka head located just northwestern from Teluk Duyung, it is well known with its Muka Head’s peak stands a majestic lighthouse builts in 1883. An interesting historical artifact of Indonesian Acheh resembles from a burial ground of at least 80 years old.
Besides, Teluk Ketapang known as Monkey Beach but the fact that Teluk Duyung is also popularly known as Monkey Beach or Mermaid Bay. Here, a Long Tailed Macaque can be seen by visitors.
Pantai Kerachut, a coarse-yellow-beige sandy beach located west coast of Penang National Park and south from Muka Head. It is famous with its seasonal Meromictic Lake where the seawater and fresh water meet. Other attraction such as Turtle Hatchery is worth to pay for visit.
Pantai Kerachut is an ideal location for nature lovers and hikers to spend their time here, being as a popular beach for picnic, sunbathing and camping. Attempt to steal or collecting turtles’ egg is prohibited.
Visitors may either reach there by boat or foot. If you are an avid photographer and hiker then wandering by foot is the best choice. Hiring a boat is not a good idea if you plan to visit alone or two.
Pasir Pandak, located just 10 minutes away from the entrance of Penang National Park an en route rest point and gateway to Pantai Kerachut, Tanjung Aling, Teluk Duyung and Muka Head. A well-paved trail a long the way, a well-maintained hanging bridge marked a great location for visitors to enjoy a short break and chat.
Fishing boats and fisherman often seen along the sandy beach of Pasir Pandak since its location not far from Kampung Nelayan.