Exercising out of doors has been shown to improve people’s mental health and what better exercise is there but running. Running not only helps lift the spirits, but is one of the best aerobic exercises to improve heart and lung health. Keen runner, Jo Bradnam, has written about one of her favourite places to run.
I moved to Penang three years ago from Northumberland in the United Kingdom. Northumberland is an area of outstanding natural beauty with wide open spaces to explore. As a keen runner I was desperate to find a safe and peaceful place to run whilst being able to appreciate the open countryside and fresh air I was used to.
Having talked to many people, I eventually heard about the Batu Ferringhi aqueduct. At the back of Uplands school, the tarmac path follows the aqueduct which carries water from the hills down to Batu Ferringhi. There are gates to enter the aqueduct which open at 8am ‘Malaysian’ time. If nobody appears to unlock the gates, there is a path to the side where you can access the aqueduct.
It is a 10km run to the end of the aqueduct and back, with a few small hills on the way to challenge your ability. The beauty of this place is that it’s closed to motor vehicles and far enough away from fumes, making the air cleaner and easier to breath. The other huge plus point is that most of the path shaded by beautiful trees, so it’s a cooler place to exercise. This is bliss when you live in a tropical climate.
Not only is the aqueduct popular with runners and joggers, but with people out for a stroll or power walk with or without their dogs. Apart from seeing people and dogs, you may occasionally spot some local wildlife such as monkeys and snakes. Luckily they seem very disinterested in us passing by.
It is easy to find the aqueduct by following the signs to Uplands school in Batu Ferringhi. Pass by the main entrance and a few hundred yards down on the left is a turning leading to a free car park just in front of the big blue gates. This is the entrance to the path.
To enjoy the outdoors in Penang and get fit and healthy at the same time, head up to the Batu Ferringhi aqueduct.
NEWS UPDATE JULY 2013
The Batu Ferringhi Aqueduct grounds are now closed and out of bounds to the general public as it is a restricted area. However, visitors will be allowed who are registered to enter the aqueduct. To gain access you need to submit an application with details as follows and address your application to:
The General Manager
Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd
Level 32, KOMTAR
10000 Jalan Penang, Penang
2. Identification Number or Passport Number
3. House Address
4. Contact Number
5. Latest passport size photo (2 copies)
6. Person to contact in emergency (Name, House Address and Contact Number)