Walking in Penang for the non-suicidal – Walk 8 – the beaches near Gurney Drive

If the tide is not too high you can walk along a few quiet beaches on the way to George Town.  But don’t expect pristine beaches with golden sand and palm trees waving in the soft breeze as you paddle in the azure water.  Expect instead some rubbish, the odd dead fish, a few rocks to carefully negotiate, and opaque sea water you really don’t want to enter.

However, you may see some nice scenes with fishing boats, a nice sunrise over the sea if you are up early,  you can walk barefoot along the sand so long as you watch where you step, and it is quiet and peaceful with very few if any people around. It can be quite pleasant.

Basically, you start at the George Town end of Gurney Drive and simply clamber down to the beach and walk along.  You pass an entrance to the Northam Hawker Centre, climb up and cross a couple of storm drains along the way – there are steps or a bridge, and eventually you can go no further, so you walk up to Northam Road, or retrace your steps.

The photos were taken around sunrise on a dull, overcast morning, and so are not very bright.

the end of Gurney Drive

the end of Gurney Drive

get  down to the beach from here - I hold on to the railing on the right as I go down, and then it's quite easy

get down to the beach from here – I hold on to the railing on the right as I go down, and then it’s quite easy

the first beach - here you can sometimes get nice photos of fishing boats with the sunrise

the first beach – here you can sometimes get nice photos of fishing boats with the sunrise

further along the same beach are some steps up to the Hawker Centre

further along the same beach are some steps up to the Hawker Centre

first thing in the morning the hawker centre is closed - but if you want you can walk through it to the road

first thing in the morning the hawker centre is closed – but if you want you can walk through it to the road

you cross the storm drain here - there are steps up

you cross the storm drain here – there are steps up – nice view of washed up rubbish

but after the drain you have to negotiate the rocks

but after the drain you have to negotiate the rocks

this next stretch of beach is the nicest - it was clean the day I was there and had no boats and no one around

this next stretch of beach is the nicest – it was clean the day I was there and had no boats and no one around

the moon behind the palm trees

the moon behind the palm trees

continuing along

continuing along

near the end you have to walk through some rocks you can see ahead

near the end you have to walk through some rocks you can see ahead

you need to go to the right a little to find a bridge across the storm drain

you need to go to the right a little to find a bridge across the storm drain

little bridge ahead

little bridge ahead

bridge

bridge

the last stretch of beach

the last stretch of beach

you can't continue after this

you can’t continue along the coast after this

only about one quarter the way along you need to head to the right - keep to the right of the blue boat and there is an entrance to the street

only about one-quarter the way along you need to head to the right – keep to the right of the blue boat (left of the restaurant) and there is an entrance to the street

this is what you see as you head up from the beach

this is what you see as you head up from the beach

you pass the restaurant on the right

you pass the Ocean Green Restaurant on the right

continue up the street

continue up the street

and then this is the view if you turn left onto Northam Road towards George Town.

and then this is the view if you turn left onto Northam Road towards George Town

Keeping on this side of the road you will hit a proper footpath after a few minutes.  I guess it’s about 20 minutes walk to George Town from here.

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