Visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens
I was in search of a place to visit where I will see and experience the true nature has to offer. On my research have come across on beautiful place the Penang Botanic Gardens. I hope you will be visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens, in this case, I will inform all you need to know about the Penang Botanic Gardens from its history to all sites you visit and explore.
The Penang Botanic Gardens is a place with over 100 years old trees, giant water lilies of the Amazon River basin and forested hill among other treasurable places in the garden.
It is a worthy place to visit and as prompted me to write this article to tell you Visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens to have a lifetime experience.
The place is also known as the Waterfall Gardens. The name came about due to the cascading waterfall nearby which is a public situated on JALAN Air Terjun in George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
The Penang Botanic Gardens was initially being established by the British in 1884 with the aim of it being the research center studying the commercial viability of beautiful plants across the world.
Today, the garden stands out to offer tranquility from the urban rush as well as an education in the botanical environment. Penang Botanic Gardens is the pride of Penang. Its beauty is spread across the 50 hectares of land.
When you were visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens, there are twelve sections to explore the Formal Garden, Jungle Track, Horticulture Centre, Nursery Fern House, Fern Rockery, Aroid Walkaway, Cactus House, Lily Pond, Perdana Plant House, Tropical Rainforest Orchidarium, Horticulture Centre, Nursery and Quarry Recreational Park.
Penang Botanic Garden History
the gardens can be dated in 1884 when Nathaniel Cantley, who was the superintendent of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, laid its foundation and mandated Charles Curtis to be the assistant superintendent.
Mr. Charles Curtis took over the garden and worked hard to transform it from abandoned granite into a magnificent park equipped with thousands of native and exotic trees, herbs and shrubs.
The gardens are unique places, today, still having the earliest trees surviving and having matured.
Despite British colonial administration in Malaya having their downfalls, they live to be remembered by igniting the establishment of Penang Botanic Gardens. The garden more so its setting is on Penang Hill where there is a cascading stream running through it to offer welcoming cool breezes.
Currently, the garden is under the Penang State government. Still, the garden is eroded with its role in research and botanical activities. The garden, however, has shifted the position to function as a park more than botanic gardens.
Some of the primary objectives of the garden are; conservation programs, offer clean, safe and conducive public recreation environment, gardening and education as well as raising of public awareness in the appreciation of nature.
When you visit the Penang Botanic Gardens, there is the provision of programs that focuses on the historical and cultural heritage of the gardens, natural landscape, the plant collections, and rich diversity of flora and fauna. There is also the provision of professional advice concerning botany, horticulture, landscaping, and taxonomy.
The garden is located in the valley described as an “amphitheater of hills” and covered with lush tropical rain forest. It is also a trendy recreation spot as well as other recreational activities such as walking, jogging, aerobics, and trekking.
Top places to Visiting in Penang Botanic Gardens
At Penang Botanic Gardens, there is so much to do. There are very attractive places you can miss to visit while there. Recreational activities are always appropriate due to the soothing greenery around and the cool fresh air. All this makes the Penang Botanic Gardens have visitors from the morning to the evening.
The most important trees in the gardens:
- The Rain Tree
Botanical Name is the Samanea Saman
This magnificent tree will be greeting you at the main entrance when you access the Penang Botanic Gardens. Since 1800’s is always standing there at the entrance! It is a very fast growing shade-tree, which usually can grow up reaching 35 meters in height, with a uniquely large umbrella-shaped crown. The flowers of this tree are very popular, forming a really lovely pinkish-white cluster.
Locals call this tree the “Pokok Pukul Lima”
- The Canon Ball Tree
Botanical Name is the Couroupita Guaneensis
This tree usually reaches 25m in height, it’s leaves have a seasonal life span, just approximately 6 months, bearing together lovely and large pinkish-red flowers caring a kind of waxy fragrance.
- The Argus Pheasant Tree
Botanical Name: Dracantomelon Dao
Family: Anacardiaceae (Mango Family)
This is a typical village fruit tree, nut also a very appreciated handsome ornamental tree.
- The Candle Tree
Botanical Name: Parmentiera Cereifera
An evergreen tree, very ornamental, with a brown trunk, it usually grows up to 6 to 10 meters. It’s flowers are big, white and bell-shaped.
- The Ebony Tree
Botanical Name: Diospyros Embryopteris
Another evergreen wonderful tree to picture. It is a very shady wide-spreading tree, it’s leaves are glossy with dense dark-green colors.
Here are some other places to visit in the garden.
Visit the Penang Botanic Garden waterfall
The waterfall and reservoir remain private property but can be accessed by visitors by arranging with the Penang Water Authority. Non-governmental, friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens do organize monthly visits to the waterfall.
The main reason for the restriction it was a safety measure which came up during the confrontation in between newly independent Malaysia and Indonesia in the 1960s.
Some of the earliest visitors to the waterfall, which is the key attraction place of the island hold positive descriptions. In the 19th century, the waterfall was important as the main source of water for the ships.
The British government in 1804 established the first water treatment plant in Malaysia here to supply water need to over 10,000 people in Penang. The following year 1805, an aqueduct was built to channel water from the fall through Pulau Tikus to a reservoir near the port. It was discovered that the water filtered via the aged rocks of Penang Hill was very high in terms of quality such that was described by the earliest sailors as “sweet.”
In 1892, British engineer James MacRitchie constructed the oval-shaped reservoir of the Penang waterfall in the garden. As of now, people of Penang don’t get their water from the waterfall. In fact, approximately 10-15% of people in Penang do obtain water from there. Most of them are supplied with water from Sungai Muda which borders Penang and Kedah.
The waterfall is comprised of three main falls and each of them entering into a pool. The third fall is unique as it separates into two parts which join back to form a Y. When it’s the wet season, the two sections of the fall are said to merge and forms a single cascade of water. The waterfall height is estimated to be around four hundred feet.
When you near the waterfall, you will hear it at a distance. You will see the Sungai Air Terjun which runs on your left on your way to the waterfall. The sight of this famous waterfall is beholding these words. Visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens to experience for you today and have a story to tell.
Visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens monkey path
In the garden, there is one special path in the Penang Gardens moon Gate which leads up to Penang hill. The path takes you an hour walk away. It is a steep path but delightful and highly rewarding trek.
There are Macaques along this path which makes it bit cheeky and frisky. You are advised no to get near them neither feed them as they can bite. There is a fine set if you go against the rule. There is other wildlife as well inhabiting the garden such as dusky, black giant squirrels, myriad of insects, leaf monkey, and butterflies.
Entrance fee to visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens
As of now, there is no fee charged for entering to this magnificent place. However, in the future, some attractions are said could be chargeable in the future.
The Penang Botanic Gardens jogging distance
There are routes in the garden ideal for joggling. The place offers a favorable climate with the cool breeze, thus giving you good jogging time. There are many jogging paths around the garden. The best way to know which route is safe to contact the garden office to get the actual map and recommendation.
How to get to the Penang botanic gardens
The best way to get to the garden from George Town is via the bus No.10. It will take you all the way to the garden and stop in the large car park just outside the entrance.
When you want to go back to George Town, you will have to leave the car park and walk down the road for a couple of minutes where the bus waits to take you back to town.
The bus departs every 45 to 60 minutes. The bus leaves the jetty at 6:30 am, and the last bus leaves the garden at 22:15.
To reach the garden administration use
Penang Botanical Gardens, 673A, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
For Inquiries, please contact:
The garden is open daily from 05:00 to 20:00
The plant houses (Fern House, Cactus & Succulent House, Orchidarium and Bromeliad House) are open as follows:
Tuesday & Thursday
9.30 am – 12.30 pm
2 pm – 4.30 pm
Saturday & Sunday
9.30 am – 12.30 pm
2 pm – 6 pm.
Other attractions in the Penang Botanic gardens include;
the Formal Garden
the Begonia and Bromeliad House
the Fruit Arboretum
the Cactus Garden
the Secret Garden
the Herb Garden
the Aroid Trail
the Lily Pond
the Sunken Garden
the Japanese Garden
the Aquatic Garden
The Penang botanic garden gives you a chance to experience the true nature has to offer in Malaysia. The garden has been a central tourist attraction over the years now. I know you love nature walks and trek visiting the Penang Botanic Gardens to explore it.