The Botanical Gardens (monkey park), Penang
Botanical Gardens, the green lung of Penang. An outdoor recreational venue to come for morning and evening walk, exercise, enjoyed the greens, big trees. Have a walk around the garden or take a buggy ride for RM2 per person, see what Botanical Garden have to offer.. so relaxing and yet so boring.
Picture 2 : Botanical Garden was more fun during the 1970s, more monkeys of course, and there was a Zoo with 2 Orangutans, deers and many more animals, hmmm...I can't remember now.
In the picture - me, gerard, hock lai (he in penang bridge pictures), Mei Fong, Lee, Bee and smallest one Fong. All family and cousins and thanks to my uncle (who always takes us for visiting)
In the Botanical Garden, you can find a lot of Monkeys especially Macaques. Dusky Leaf Monkeys they are more shy monkeys who prefered to stay on the tree tops and eating fruits. The Macaques monkeys are the Kings of the Garden, running freely, hanging around on the trees, Well, they are monkeys so they monkey around, like me. Oh yes, do not offer them any food, they might get nasty when come to food. I got stiffed when every monkeys come and pull my bag looking for more food (served me right, I bought some bananas for the monkeys).
During school long holidays in Malaysia, one in early June and November, I will take my family to visit the Penang Floral Festival. Colourful flowers like Orchid, Dairies, hmmm...and many more flower plants to look, buy and take pictures.. Well, I not interested in flowers, so I leave my sisters here and I go inside the Botanical Garden to see Monkeys..
The festival held from 10am to 7pm and entrance is free.
The Penang Botanic Gardens, more popularly known as "Waterfall Gardens", was established by the British way back in 1884 from an old granite quarry site. It lies in a deep valley, at the foot of 366 feet jungle clad hills, bound by evergreen tropical rainforests, divided by a cascading stream that meanders through a sprawling 29 hectares of prime and undulating grounds.
The Penang Botanic Gardens is Penang's unique asset, being the only gardens of its kind in Malaysia. Various floras unknown to many are found in these gardens. Besides being a botanic centre, the garden is a popular recreational spot.
Early in the morning, many people come to the Gardens to jog, exercise and enjoy clean fresh air. As the day goes by, hundred of visitors come to sit at the lawn, by the stream or underneath the shade of trees.
Come morning … from dawn to dusk a lot of people from all walks of life, individuals or in groups, old or young converge at the gardens to perform their daily exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, running, trekking, aerobic dance and performances like 'Tai Chi Kuan' or 'Qigong'.
The Botanic Gardens has been the main focal point for these groups to perform their daily exercises and to breathe in cool and refreshing air. Not only that, the presence of lush greenery provide a good source of oxygen to help refresh the physical and mental well being of an individual.
During special occasions, the atmosphere in the gardens will turn pomp and splendour when droves of people of all ages, both male and female will participate merrily in the annual 'Merdeka Run', the Governor's birthday occasion and other related sports event. Added to this gaiety, school sports event will transform the image of the Botanic Gardens into a hive of special carnival activities temporarily.
The stream that runs through the Botanical Gardens is perfect for a little dip and children do often come here just to do that. If you are not equiped for a full dip, why not just take off your socks and shoes, and dip your toes in. It is a lovely way to cool yourself off and give yourself a break.
Due to the mature trees and bamboo groves providing much needed shade, on weekends, you will find local families sitting on the grass for a little rest or having a picnic.
Indeed, within the 29 acres of these lovely gardens, you will certainly find a way yo enjoy yourself.
There are a number of unique species of trees in the Penang Botanical Gardens. During the early days when this gardens functioned as part of the then Gardens and Forests Department for the Straits Settlements (i.e. the states of Malacca, Singapore & Penang), it was used in the cultivation of commercial plants such as spices, pepper, nutmegs, and cloves. The diligent curator of these gardens, a Britisher named Mr Charles Curtis, a tireless and diligent gardener obtained and planted seedlings from around the world - including the cannon-ball tree which was from Guyana, in Africa.
The official Penang Botanic Gardens website describes it thus:
A beautiful fast growing tree which reaches 25m in height. The leaves have a life span of approximately 6 months after which they are shed rapidly so that the crown is usually bare for a day or two.
A remarkable flowering tree bearing large pinkish red, fragrant waxy flowers borne on tree trunk on long woody twigs. Later, followed by large reddish brown globular fruits, which attain the size of human head** and contain a mass of sour smelling pulp, take 8-9 months to ripen.
Flowering continues for many weeks. Ideally suited in large gardens and parks.
The cannon balls that I saw here and also in Bali were the size of large oranges or grapefruits, but certainlty not that of a human head!
The crew of Harper's Bazar visited the Botanical Garden for a fashion-shoot try-out, with its offering peace and tranquility amidst lush green surroundings, tropical plants, the vibrant colours of Penang's flore and, a lot of butterflies. Well, the ladies weren't that fond of some huge butterflies and, agreed some of these beauties looked like creeps when alighted on your shoulder and head, we decided to shoot at the hotel. The garden revealed even more beautiful spots, in fashion-language ... though we could not "see" the creatures housing the tree-area (snakes ... ?). See next pics of a beautifull >>>
Created in 1884, the gardens is spread over 30ha of forested hills and lush green tropical trees and plants. The garden has a wide collection of both local and tropical trees, flowery plants and ferns. There are also dozens of plant houses and nurseries, waterfalls as well as lily ponds scattered throughout the park. A popular sight here would be the mischievous monkeys which can be found dangling from the branches of the trees overhead or roaming freely in groups on the ground.
The garden is a favourite spot for jogging, picnics & also wedding shoots. On weekdays, common scenes are groups in Tai Chi, Xi Gong, Line Dancing.. Weekend scenes - mixture of ages, students on school trips, family outings..
Lots of good memories here for me since young.. taking part in art competition at the garden, dating days (lots of lovebirds during the evenings), picnics. about 10 years ago, the garden even keeps a pair of black honey bear.
Opening Hours : 5am to 8pm daily
Admission : Free
The gardens cover 30 hectares. They are also known as the "Waterfall Gardens" due to water cascading through them from Penang Hill. While I was there they seemed to be a very popular place for locals to relax in. My highlight was coming into close contact with some of the many monkeys that live there.
The Botanical Gardens is a great place for a walk or run and of course also to see some of the Malaysian Flora. And of course, you also see the monkeys, which would cover the Fauna.
The Garden is more than 100 years old and spans over 30 hectares.
5am to 8pm
One of the most popular tourist spots in Penang island is the Botanical Gardens. In Malay, "Kebun Bunga" means "Garden of Flowers".
It has been known as the "Waterfall Gardens" because if you look at the sign that points to a waterfall, there is actually a high natural waterfall up the valley.
There is a stream and a miniature Penang Bridge. There are locals having a picnic and kids wading in the water to catch small fish or watch water skippers.
At certain season, many of trees will burst into blooms of flowers. There are ferns, orchids, cacti, palms but many are in cages because of the monkeys.
Wild monkeys are found outside and inside the Botanical Gardens. Inside the Garden, you are not suppose to feed the monkey.
There is a row of cannon ball tress at the entrance. Not to be missed. As well as a small nature shop and a formal garden with fountain.
If you drive, you can park further before the Garden for free and take a 5 minutes stroll along paved trail or along the road.
Bring an umbrella or hat if you are here in the hot part of the day. Many locals hike, jogged or exercise through out the day.
There is a public bus that stop near the entrance but not that frequent. Or you can just walk from near the junctin of Burmah Road and Gottlieb Road where you will pass by the famous Hindu temple.
The lush green surroundings, tropical plants and vibrant colors of Penang's flora make the Botanical Gardens a nice place for a relaxing stroll. There is a considerable amount of plant specimens on display, which I imagine would be better appreciated by someone more botanically inclined than myself.
Hours: 07:00 - 19:00
Bottom-line: Peaceful setting away from the busy city with plenty of walking trails. Also a good place to go if you're interested in seeing some Rhesus monkies up close.
We met up with Audrey and her hubby and Pehsan (who organised it) and her friend Ed.after lunch they took us to the botanical gardens where we had a lovely walk around and Grump got chased by a monkey when he trtied to take photos of her and her baby.....it was funny
The Penang Botanical Gardens are certainly worth a visit. With an easy walking path, you will find a veritable display of old shady trees that have been around since the days of Merdeka (Independence). Apart from the more common flowers such as pink ixoras, orange & yellow cannae lillys, multicoloured heliconia, varieties of orchids and other flowering shrubs, you can also learn about epiphites and other parasitic plants.
It is common to see students and school groups visiting the Penang Botanical Gardens with their teachers to learn about the different types of tropical and sub-tropical plants.
The monkeys are a big draw at the Botanical Gardens. You will find them everywhere at the gardens.
There are signs to say "Do Not Feed the Monkeys", but it was difficult to resist as they are quite cute, but do so at your own risk. Once my son threw them some peanuts, they continued to follow us around and even tried to grab the packet from us. Thereafter, we learned to keep our distance did NOT feed the monkeys!
Having said that, they're quite good fun to be around-see the pics of this monkey drinking from a Coke can.