Dont-Get-Lost-in-Froghill-Penang

Frog Hill is the nickname for this abandoned tin mining site.This hidden gem is surprisingly close to Penang. Its existence has become quite well known among locals through word of mouth.

Those stunning Instagram photos help drive up its popularity too! Some people say that it resembles Jiuzhaigou in China.

Here’s everything you need to know before visiting this iconic natural beauty of Penang!

Topics:

Best Time To Visit Frog Hill Penang

If you’re scared of getting lost, go on a weekend. There will be plenty of people to follow!

For avid photographers, go for sunrise or sunset – either view is breathtaking!

Next, how do you get there?

How To Go To Frog Hill Penang

Besides Frog Hill, this place has a few other names:

  • Lombong Kampung Guar Petai,
  • Froghill Tasek Gelugor or Guar Perahu.

Its location is in North Seberang Perai which is on the mainland rather than the island of Penang.

We made this trip from Ipoh one weekend since we happened to have a wedding to attend in nearby Bukit Mertajam too.

Driving To Frog Hill Penang

We started early in the morning from Bukit Mertajam. Yes, the mainland and not actually from Penang. Although you can still make that journey if you want to.

So let’s get started:

How do you go to Frog Hill?

Bukit Mertajam to Frog Hill – roughly 30 minutes’ drive

Penang to Froghill – around 40 minutes’ drive

You have to drive on through a kampung (a.k.a small village in the local lingo) area.

Driving to the mining site-Frog Hillfrom Bukit Mertajam
Driving to the mining site-Frog Hill from Bukit Mertajam.

How about a map?

Frog Hill Penang map

There are apparently two ways to enter the site.

The signboard is not obvious and we had to rely on coordinates that we found online through other blogs and Facebook posts.

We’ll do you one better:

Coordinates For Frog Hill Penang

We have 2 sets of coordinates for you:

These are the exact coordinates to the entrance –> 5.442677, 100.473271

And here are the coordinates for the address of Frog Hill Penang –> 5.435507, 100.484705

Why are there 2 separate coordinates? Read on to find out.

Side road to the brick factory
Side road to the brick factory.

You see, the site of the old tin mining grounds is further in, past a red brick factory.

Road condition inside the site
Road condition inside the site.

So?

  1. You can either opt to park your car a little way off the brick factory and walk to the mining site.
  2. Or drive in through the mud and clay and everything until you reach the foot of the hill (Frog Hill Penang).

Scroll down for pictures.

Tip: Motorcycles and a 4-wheel drive aren’t necessary but they certainly will make the passage easier.

The red brick factory near Guar Perahu
The red brick factory near Guar Perahu.

We chose to leave the car and walk in. It’s about 15 minutes’ walk from the brick factory site.

You can see the entrance from the picture below – the track goes in between all the vegetation.

Parking near the red brick factory at Guar Perahu
Parking near the red brick factory at Guar Perahu.

At this point, GPS signal may not be as strong anymore. We have more pictures and directions below so you don’t get lost (like we did)!

But first,

Entrance Fee For Frog Hill Penang

There is NO entrance fee.

With that, you can’t expect any proper facilities either. Make sure you prepare accordingly.

Preparing for the hike at Lombong Kampung Guar Petai

If you’re wondering whether it’s better to bring hiking shoes or flip flops:

We would suggest flip flops unless you have an old pair of sneakers you don’t mind getting dirty.

If you happen to have wellingtons, that might be a better option instead of flip flops.

Dirty feet after the hike at Guar Perahu
Dirty feet after the hike at Frog Hill Penang.

Tips For Visiting Frog Hill Penang

Other must-haves to bring:

  • Slap on some sunscreen before you go.
  • What about…bugs? I worry about bugs too (because I’m a mosquito magnet) but I think the water chemical composition is too high in iron and other minerals for them to breed. In fact, we hardly saw any insects, let alone frogs.
  • Make sure you use the bathroom before you go to Guar Perahu – there are NO toilet facilities here.
  • Eat ahead of the trip. Or bring something to eat (just don’t litter!!!).
  • Bring some water. It can get really hot! There is no shade on the hill.

Caution, beware of rain:

If you’re going in the rainy season (like us), avoid having your car washed the day before.

Because it’s only going to get dirty again with the red clay that is prevalent and unavoidable when you enter the tin mining grounds.

Now, here’s how you don’t get lost:

How to avoid getting lost at Guar Perahu

You know you’re going the wrong way when the path becomes gross.

The mud is sticky and thick. The clay is slippery. There are cow hoof prints and cow poop. More pictures below.

Mud in the pathway
Mud in the pathway.

It gets worse:

We turned around when we realized we hit a dead end. We kept moving because we could see people climbing the hill from where we were.

More mud (wrong route)
More mud (wrong route).

Felt such despair that time!

We had started our drive from our hotel in Bukit Mertajam early in the morning at 8am but it was almost 10am and we still weren’t there.

Pond view (wrong route)
Pond view (wrong route).

If you take the correct path, you will not be as close to the ponds (as seen in the photo above).

No worries!

If you do get lost, backtrack the way that you came from.

More Tips:

  • Don’t rely on GPS here, you’ll end up getting lost like us.
  • Also, limit the number of personal belongings that you bring with you. You might drop your phone (like I did) while hiking and not realize it’s missing until you need to turn the GPS back on to get out of the place.

Read more: Penang Hill – Must-Visit Penang Attraction With Panoramic Views


Here’s a big tip for you:

The Right Track To Lombong Kampung Guar Petai

Again, if you refer to the picture above of the “entrance” (with two cars parked):

Walk straight in and you will reach a fork in front of an old structure that is over a small stream (pictured below).

Continue straight past this landmark, keeping it on your left. And just keep going straight from there onwards!

Landmark at the forkroad near Guar Perahu
Landmark (green circle) at the forkroad near Guar Perahu.

Prefer a map? Look no further.

After the landmark (shown in picture above, and marked with a green circle in the map below), we chose the other path this time.

Note: The red cross in the picture above is the wrong route we took that day.

direction or map to Frog Hill Penang
The correct direction to Frog Hill.

You know it’s the right way when:

This path is much easier than the previous path we had taken. Less mud but still a lot of wet clay.

Soon enough, we came across an old uncle on a motorcycle who assured us that we were going the right way.

Don’t be discouraged!

Presently, a four-wheel-drive full of people came up on the opposite lane. As they passed us, they said we should turn back cause the road was much worse closer to the hill. We just nodded and smiled at them.

Truth be told:

We were already dirty from ankles to calves so we just went on despite their warning. Turns out, the path was not nearly as bad as what we had encountered earlier. We walked on the grass instead.

Worst of the wet red clay around the tin mining site
Worst of the wet red clay around the tin mining site.

Still,

It looked like it was about to rain though. We had no umbrella with us – debated about it for a bit and pressed on. Our hopes increased the closer we got to the hill.

Luck at last:

The drizzle stopped. In about 20 minutes or so, we had finally made it to the hill.


Read more: Penang National Park (Complete Guide) – Spend A Delightful Day Hiking In Nature


Ready?

Hiking At Frog Hill Penang

The start of the hill is loose red clay which gives way to rock as you go higher. It’s a short but steep climb (~5 minutes or less depending on your fitness) to the top.

Tip: Be careful what you grab on to and where you put your feet.

The aqua pools of Frog Hill Penang
The aqua pools of Frog Hill Penang.

Anyways, the view is so worth it!

The pools range from a forest green to a dark aqua and even something close to turquoise on that cloudy day.

And the water is clear enough at the shallow parts that you can see some metal scrap pieces, probably remains of the previous tin dredge.

Sometimes there are monkeys swimming! But don’t follow their example!

View of the cliff at Frog Hill Penang
View of the cliff at Frog Hill Penang.

From up here, you can see:

  • more people making their way to the hill
  • a bit of the highway
  • a train track
  • a glimpse of the water buffaloes
The foot of the hill at Guar Perahu
The foot of the hill at Guar Perahu.

We stayed until the next group came up. Plus, we were starving and hadn’t had breakfast yet.

Continue down this post if you want to see what to eat in Bukit Mertajam.

Our next question was where to go for our much needed breakfast/ lunch.

What to eat at Bukit Mertajam

Yam Rice At Bukit Mertajam

Okay, so now we could go back to town and find the reputed BM yam rice we had been thinking about the whole morning.

Here is the meal we had (it cost us RM 17 for everything).

Yam rice at Bukit Mertajam
Yam rice at Bukit Mertajam.

Rice with yam, pork soup with pork meatballs, a hard-boiled egg braised in light and dark soy sauce and tofu. The restaurant has a somewhat commercial feel to it and the portion of yam is somewhat small.

But the food is really delicious.

Note: This restaurant has changed location before so make sure you go to the new location. Google “BM Yam rice”. Of course, there are other people trying to leech off the success of this original restaurant. Do be careful of similarly named stores that are also nearby.

After our meal, we headed back to the hotel to shower, pack up and check out and make our way back to Ipoh.


Further reading:


By the way:

Where To Stay In Bukit Mertajam

We chose Chariton Hotel Alma as it was close to the wedding venue.

Chariton Hotel Alma

Booking.com

This boutique hotel shares the ground floor with a non-halal coffee shop called Brava. You can have breakfast or lunch here (But there are many places to eat around this hotel too).

Where to park?

Just walk in the shop from the front after parking your car at the corner lot which is reserved parking space for hotel guests. The counter should be at the back of the coffee shop.


Read also: 15 Best Hotels In Penang For An Unforgettable Stay


Need something for your trip?

AEON is not far away if you need to pick up something.

How much was a night at this hotel?

We paid about RM130 for one night in the king standard room (breakfast not included). Got RM20 ringgit off from an Agoda coupon.

What we thought about our stay:

The room is small but clean, well equipped with basic facilities and has free WiFi. We did not use the TV as we had brought a laptop to plan our upcoming Hanoi trip in December 2017.

Tip: For RM10, you can get the yearly membership and check out late at 3pm. Not sure if they still have that promotion but it’s worth checking it out. There is a Chariton Hotel in Ipoh too.



Booking.com

Conclusion

Try and find the time to visit the hidden gem, Frog Hill Penang before all the tourists do. Or before the owners realize the money-making potential of this rather unique and enchanting place.

It helps that the beautiful location isn’t too far from Penang (Or Ipoh) too. It’s not everyday that you can see an abandoned tin mine. =)

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