During our time in Penang, we took a day to walk through Penang National Forest, known locally as Tolek Bahang Forest. This is a small rainforest on the edge of the island with trails that go around. The signs at the entrance to the park do not accurately indicate distance or time it will take to walk through--we chose to walk to Monkey Beach, which is supposedly 45 minutes (but everyone else said an hour and a half).
We took our time to wander along--the first part of the trail is fairly easy, it got more difficult a bit before we reached a beach with a university that was a little more than midway to Monkey Beach. From there is was difficult to find the trail again, but we managed.
Until arriving at Monkey Beach, we only met one couple that was returning from the interior of the forest. Quite a few tourists take a boat to and from the beach and spend the day on jet skis.
The only downside to the hike was that we were not adequately prepared. It was, of course, hot and humid, without any rain to cool us off. We also should've brought something other than water--something with a little sugar in it to keep us going. But we did make it.
Rather than return the way we came, we paid 70 Ringgits to take the boat back to the park entrance and our ride to Georgetown. Ramli, the boat driver, immediately knew that we weren't walking back after seeing us soaked in sweat and downing whatever cold drinks were on offer on the beach.
I still think the highlight of the trip was watching the monkeys steal all the food from a scooter left on the trail, not far from the entrance. They did manage to break open the plastic containers to eat what was not meant for them.