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!
- Best Time To Visit Frog Hill Penang
- How To Go To Frog Hill, Penang
- Frog Hill Penang Map
- Entrance Fee For Frog Hill Penang
- Preparing To Hike At Lombong Kampung Guar Petai
- Tips For Visiting Frog Hill Penang
- How To Avoid Getting Lost At Guar Perahu
- The Right Track To Lombong Kampung Guar Petai
- Hiking At Frog Hill Penang
- What To Eat Near Frog Hill (Bukit Mertajam)
- Where To Stay (Bukit Mertajam)
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.
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.
How about a 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.
You see, the site of the old tin mining grounds is further in, past a red brick factory.
- You can either opt to park your car a little way off the brick factory and walk to the mining site.
- 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.
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.
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)!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If you take the correct path, you will not be as close to the ponds (as seen in the photo above).
If you do get lost, backtrack the way that you came from.
Read more: Penang Hill – Must-Visit Penang Attraction With Panoramic Views
Here’s a big tip for you:
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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).
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.
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By the way:
We chose Chariton Hotel Alma as it was close to the wedding venue.
Chariton Hotel Alma
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.
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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.
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. =)