Penang Nature Discovery
Some of the country’s most beautiful beaches are located in the northern part of Penang. Visitors have been known to flock to this island for some time off on its beaches as much as to sample a piece of its history and culture.
Penang is a highly-developed island. However, some vestige of precious rainforest is still preserved for locals and visitors to remind themselves of the importance of nature in a developing world. Visitors can engage in a variety of nature-based activities, such as a train ride up Penang Hill, trekking in Teluk Bahang Recreational Forest or playing with snakes in the Snake Temple.
The first and largest of its kind in Malaysia, Penang Bird Park’s 5-acre land area is home to more than 300 species of birds from all over the world, including some rare and exotic ones. More than 150 cages, including two massive walk-in aviaries that imitate the birds’ natural habitat, house thousands of birds for breeding and conservation purpose. Its beautifully-landscaped gardens feature an impressive collection of flora amidst free-roaming pelicans, flamingoes, swans, storks and ducks. Penang Bird Park is also a home to a variety of wildlife species such as deers, reptiles and tortoises.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 09:00 – 19:00
- Address: Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, Seberang Prai (near Sunway Hotel)
- Tel: (604) 399 1899
Bukit Jambul Orchid & Hibiscus Garden
Encompassing two hectares of beautifully-landscaped gardens, Bukit Jambul Orchid & Hibiscus Garden is home to an astounding variety of flora and fauna, some of which are unique and can be found only in this part of the world. Other than the obvious – orchids, hibiscus and reptiles - the garden also has a cacti collection, a deer park, a pottery shop, a waterfall and an ornamental Japanese pond. You can even take some of the plants home by purchasing them from the garden shop. Its residents include a 20kg albino python, a 100-year-old tortoise, a pair of Bengal tigers, a talking parrot, 6 arapaima gigas, the world's largest tiger orchid and a green anaconda.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 09:30 – 17:30 (a snake show is performed twice daily during weekends and public holidays at 11:30 and 15:30)
- Location: Persiaran Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (near Hotel Equatorial)
- Tel: (604) 644 8863
Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest
Rising 457m above sea level, Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest sprawls over 37 hectares of lush, hilly terrain. This forest reserve is equipped with camping sites and numerous streams pouring into shallow ponds. The four-kilometre hiking trail that leads all the way to the mountain’s summit is extremely popular with hikers and joggers alike. A small waterfall also passes through this area, providing visitors with a refreshing cool dip.
- Location: Nearby Bukit Mertajam town, approximately 18km from the Butterworth Ferry Terminal
- Tel: (604) 539 1743
Bukit Panchor Forest Park
A small but well-developed recreation park, Bukit Panchor Forest Park is a 8-hectare lowland forest located in Nibong Tebal near Seberang Perai. With flowing river and lush vegetation, the forest provides a welcome respite from the hectic city life. There’s plenty to see and do here, such as unique mangrove life forms, bat caves and a wetland boardwalk.
- Location: Bukit Panchor, Nibong Tebal
Penang Botanical Gardens are usually simply called the Botanic Gardens by Penang islanders. Also known as the Waterfalls Gardens, the gardens are located in a valley along Jalan Kebun Bunga. It is a well landscaped place that contains a huge variety of indigenous and exotic plant species. Set up by the British in 1884 by Charles Curtis of the Gardens & Forests Departments Straits Settlements, it used to be an old quarry site and is divided into 12 sections: the Formal Garden, Lily Pond, Perdana Plant House, Tropical Rainforest Jungle Track, Fern House, Fern Rockery, Aroid Walkaway, Cactus House, Orchidarium, Horticulture Centre, Nursery and Quarry Recreational Park. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily, 05:00 – 20:00
- Address: Waterfall Road
- Tel: +604 227 0428
- How to get there: It is possible to walk to Penang Botanic Gardens from Pengkalan Weld, if your feet could carry you far. Cross Pengkalan Weld by the pedestrian bridge, turn left and walk until you reach the junction with Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right and walk the distance until you arrive at Penang Botanic Gardens. Alternatively, you can also take the transit link bus No. 7 from KOMTAR.
Opened in 1986, the Penang Butterfly Farm – located in Teluk Bahang – is one of Penang’s best known and most popular tourist attractions. The eight-hectare butterfly sanctuary houses an impressively varied collection of butterfly species as well as an assortment of other insects. The farm sits at the foot of the Teluk Bahang hills – between the Taman Rimba Park and Teluk Bahang village. It features more than 4,000 butterflies from more than 120 groups as well as other insects and reptiles. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:30 Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 18:00 Saturday & Sunday
- Address: No. 830, Jalan Teluk Bahang
- Tel: +604 885 1253
Penang Hill was the first colonial hill station developed in Peninsular Malaysia. Comprising Western Hill, Bukit Laksamana, Tiger Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Government Hill, it is located six km away from Georgetown. The hilly and forested area is the state's primary hill resort. Set 821m above Penang’s capital, islanders call it Bukit Bendera and it is generally about five degrees cooler than Georgetown. It is the last patch of tropical rainforest in Penang so the flora and fauna here have been protected since 1960. It does not have the same prominence as Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands but it is one of Penang’s best-known tourist attractions due to its fresher climate. Read More...
- Location: Penang
Penang National Park is the world’s smallest national park. Within the park are well-marked trails that lead into the jungle and to the bays around; it contains about 410 species of flora and 143 species of fauna ranging from snakes, macaques and leaf monkeys to otters, hawksbill turtles and dolphins. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00
- Address: Jalan Hassan Abas, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang
- Tel: +604 881 3530
Sungai Tukun Recreational Forest
Cover 23-hectares of rainforest, Sungai Tukun is a small but charming place to enjoy the treasures of nature. For bird-watchers, the Sungai Tukun area attracts white-bellied eagles, eaglets and kingfishers while those who want a panoramic view of Teluk Bahang and Batu Feringgi can climb up to the observation tower. Camping grounds and dormitories are available for those who wish to spend a night out in the forest.
- Location: Sungai Tukun
Teluk Bahang Recreational Park
Measuring a whopping 32 hectares, Teluk Bahang Recreational Park is a popular and well-maintained recreational park equipped with park benches, picnic and camping areas, waterfalls and a playground. Showcasing a wide variety of flora and fauna, it provides an interesting introduction to the Malaysian rainforest with a good network of hiking trails and a well-manned forestry museum.
- Opening Hours: Saturday – Thursday 09:00 – 17:00, Fridays closed from 12:00 – 14:45
- Location: Northwest of Penang, approximately 24km from George Town (near the Teluk Bahang Dam)
- Tel: (604) 885 1280/2388
Tropical Fruit Farm is a 25-acre organic orchard in Penang with more than 250 types of tropical and subtropical fruit trees and is located approximately two km down the road from Teluk Bahang. The garden was developed in 1993 in an effort to conserve rare and exotic fruit trees. The fruit farm’s collection of trees include species from far-flung corners of the world including Central and South America, Central Africa, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands. This eco-tourism venture only utilizes organic fertilisers. Read More...
- Location: Teluk Bahang
- Tel: +6012 443 9298 or +6012 497 1921