Penang Botanical Garden – Discover the Tranquil Beauty
Penang Botanical Garden or also known as “Waterfall Gardens” is one of the most popular places for tourist and local alike to visit. It is situated at the foot of Penang Hill and have a land size of about 50+ hectares and is located in George Town, Penang.
It was established in 1884 by the British as a plant cultivation site for commercial purposes and have ever since become a popular spot to visit. It is an ideal one stop destination for anyone especially nature lovers who interested in natural habitat.
- Penang Botanical Garden History.
- Flora & Fauna.
- Walking Trails.
- Picnic Spots.
- Admission Fee & Operation Hours.
- Attractions in Penang Botanical Garden.
- Best Time to Visit.
- Nearby Attractions.
- In Summary.
Penang Botanical Garden History
Established 19th century in 1884 by Charles Curtis from the Gardens and Forests Departments Straits Settlements for colonial officials use from a very old quarry site. Initially, the garden was established for the sole of study and research purposes particularly in spices and plants.
Years later, the garden was officially opened for public and manage by Botanical Survey of India. For over the next decades, the garden had gone through huge development and expansion to become that it is today.
Did you know during World War 2, it was said the garden were used as a camp for Japanese soldiers? Yes, it was and the garden had suffered significant damage during the war time period.
But after the war, the garden was fully restored and continued to play an important role as plant conservation role in Penang.
In 1970s, the Penang Botanical Garden was declared as a heritage site by the Penang State Government. It was done so in order to protect, preserves and restore the gardens. Several huge development and renovations were made including newly constructed visitor center after it was declared as heritage site.
Flora & Fauna
The garden is a home for over of 1,000 more or less species of plants, ferns, palms and last but not least orchids. Besides, there are at least some trees were over 100+ years old which were well preserved until today.
You can expect to see natural habitats such as birds and animals especially monkeys like lots of monkeys. Moreover, you will notice the garden surrounding were wetlands, hillside and tropical rainforest.
You can find there are a lot of walking trails that are perfect to explore and walk around inside the Botanical Garden. One thing for sure you won’t miss is the Cannon Ball Tree (Couropita guanensis) as well as the roots of Sengkuang Tree (Dracantamelon dao)
Along the way, you will also notice Pinang Palm (Areca catechu), Black Lily (Tacca integrifolia), Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum barbatum) and the Ginger (Geotachys Penangensis) which can be found here as well.
Rest assured, all the walking trails are well maintained and suitable for all ages regardless of physical abilities. The walking trail basically is a perfect way to explore and enjoy beauty and peaceful surroundings.
There are several picnic spots for you or your family and even with your friends to enjoy a peaceful relaxing day in nature. You are allowed to bring your own food but beware of monkeys which could steal your food away from you.
Below are some of the popular picnic spots inside botanic garden:
- Lily Pond.
- Lawns near the lake.
- By the canopy walk.
- Hillside overlooking the gardens.
- Orchid garden.
Do not worry where to find toilet when you need it or hunting for food when you go hungry. There are already several facilities already in place for visitors which include toilets and food vendors. If you tired, you can find several benches located throughout the botanic garden for you to enjoy the scenery while resting. There are also trails for running and jogging tracks if you plan to run or jog.
Admission Fee and Operation Hours
The botanic garden is open from 6.30 AM until 7.00 PM daily including weekend and public holidays.
There are no admission fees (free entrance). However, certain services such as tram services will be charged for a small fee.
Attractions In Penang Botanical Garden
- Aroid Walkaway – A focal point where over 100 species types of aroids of the Araceae family can be found here.
- Cactus House – Over 60 varieties of cactus are grown and displayed such as Agaves, Aloes, Opuntia, Yucca, Euphorbias dan Sanseviera and more.
- Fern House – Contains various species of higher plants compared to other species of plants which considered to be special.
- Fern Rockery – Special characteristic feature of rocky river banks where water gushes form waterfall and cascades into the stream below the middle bridge.
- Formal Garden – A British styled highlights with borders and beds of foliage and flowering plants.
- Lily Pond – Covered with natural vegetation and surrounded with cool, tranquil and serene ambience. A beautiful landscaped where rippling waterfall flows into the pond decorated with aquatic plants.
- Nursery – Wide choices of plants are available to rent or buy at reasonable prices. For renting purposes, you will need to fill up the application form which can be done at the garden office nearby and open to the public, government and private agencies alike.
- Orchidarium – With over 200 species were grown on soil as their natural habitat rainforest.
- Perdana Plant House – Showcasing a wide variety of colourful ornamental flowers of Malaysian flora. The ornamentals come with various shapes, forms, colours and sizes.
- Quarry Recreational Park – It was expanded and developed from 29 hectares to 242 hectares to cater a larger crowd of visitors. The purpose of the park was to provide a better recreational facility as well as space for physical activities.
- Tropical Rainforest Jungle Track – A perfect place for those who loves jungle tracking. The track begins from Gazebo and proceeds all the way for 1.5 KM (0.9 miles) and covers with granite cemented path. It stretches through hilly terrain with the natural vegetation of primary forests.
Best Time to Visit
Recommended to visit in the early morning hours when the weather is much cooler. Avoid visit during the mid-day afternoon where the heat is much hotter.
Penang Botanical Garden is strategically located with others popular nearby attractions including: –
Penang Botanical Garden is truly a unique garden place and must visit whether you are first time or a season traveller. It is said to be one of the most peaceful and beautiful oasis gardens in the heart of Penang Island.
Perfect one stop destination for anyone who is looking to escape a hectic and busy life of city. And not to mention is also a wonderful destination for nature lovers. Lastly, don’t forget to include Penang Botanical Garden into your travel itinerary and enjoy the serenity of this beautiful garden.