Penang is well-known for its street food, fascinating heritage buildings and street arts. Meanwhile, it is also a highly-developed state. However, there are also many options of escape into nature. Penang’s rainforests and beaches are some of the popular and favourite destinations among the people. Today, let’s find out some of the must-visit parks and nature attractions in Penang!
- Penang Botanic Garden
Penang Botanic Garden also known as the Waterfall Gardens because of the cascading waterfall nearby. In 1884, the British colonial administrators in Malaya established the original gardens from an old quarry site. The Garden consists of a huge variety of ancient and exotic flora species. For instance, slipper orchids, pinang palm, cannonball tree, black lily and more. The Garden is not only a popular attraction for tourists, but also a perfect place for jogging and other exercises.
- Penang National Park
Located at Teluk Bahang, Penang National Park is the smallest national park in the world. With a total area of around 25 square kilometres, this park is known to harbour about 410 flora and 140 fauna species. Formally known as Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, it was declared as Penang National Park in 2003 to preserve and protect the flora and fauna.
There are two main trails in the park, leading towards Pantai Kerachut, or along the shore towards Muka Head. If you choose the trail heading towards Muka Head, you could actually arrange a boat ride from Monkey Beach to Teluk Bahang Jetty, where the park entrance is. The boat costs around RM 40. On the other hand, the other trail would be more challenging as it’s steeper and slippery.
- Penang Municipal Park
Penang Municipal Park, which is also known as Taman Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, or “Youth Park” is maintained by the Penang Island City Council. It is a large recreational park at the edge of George Town. In 1972, the park was opened, located near to the Penang Botanic Garden. There are a number of facilities for kids and teenagers. For instance, a giant chess set, jungle gym, water park, skating rink, children’s playground and more. Alternatively, you could even choose jungle trekking on a bumpy path.
Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm is a giant glass-house conservatory featuring the largest butterfly and dragonfly garden with more than 15,000 free flying butterflies. Previously known as Penang Butterfly Farm, Entopia began its journey with David Goh in 1986. Entopia is located at Jalan Teluk Bahang, sitting on eight hectares of land. Entopia consists of two ‘worlds’, namely The Natureland and The Cocoon.
In particular, The Natureland is a shared ecological space for a variety of insects, invertebrates and small reptiles living in their re-created natural habitat. It features more than 200 species of plants along with ponds, waterfalls, caves and other artistic garden features. Meanwhile, The Cocoon is a two-storey indoor discovery centre that features a learning exhibition and indoor activities. You may get the tickets through https://entopia.my/calendar-select.php?token=access&date
- Penang Hill
Penang Hill is also known by its Malay name, Bukit Bendera, which actually refers to Flagstaff Hill. It covers a number of hills, for example, Western Hill, Tiger Hill, Government Hill and Bukit Laksamana. Established by the British during their administration time in Malaysia, it is the oldest colonial hill station. The most popular way to the top of the hill is the Penang Hill Railway.
In addition, another way to the top of Penang Hill is by a five km drive up a private road accessible only to the vehicles of hillside residents: this jeep trail is a popular hiking route and starts out from the quarry at the entry of the Penang Botanic Gardens. It features the best lookouts in Penang, offering panoramic views of the island and mainland. For instance, you may catch the beautiful sunrise, spectacular day views and magical backdrop of the evening sky. For more ticketing info, you may visit http://penanghill.gov.my/index.php/en/tickets.html
- The Habitat
A short ride away from Penang Hill, is The Habitat that offers the most complete and educational Malaysian rainforest experience. It is a must-visit destination for nature lovers as you have the access to experience one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Previously, the British built the original Nature Trail to maintain the drain that runs the entire length of the trail.
Besides the beautiful and greenery landscape and nature, The Habitat also features the Nature Trail, Canopy Walk, Treetop Walk, Fragrant Garden and more. Moreover, the various trails and walks are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Walking on the Curtis Crest Treetop Walk, you may reveal yourself in the 360-degree views of Penang Island and the mainland. To experience the signature rainforest, buy your tickets from https://thehabitat.my/buytickets.html
- Monkey Beach
Monkey Beach which is also known as Teluk Duyung. It is located at the fringe of Penang National Park on the north-western coastline of Penang Island. As its name suggested, the long-tailed crab-eating macaques occupy the beach. This bay has miles of white sand, clear water, campsites, and numerous fishing spots. You can reach the beach by two methods. First, is by a short boat ride from the National Park Entrance (which costs around RM 50 per boat). Secondly, is by a one and half-hour hike along the coast through the National Park.
- Batu Ferringhi
Besides George Town, Batu Ferringhi is the second most popular destination and attraction among the locals and tourists. Batu Ferringhi Beach comprises a string of international-standard beachfront hotels and resorts, a long strip of white sandy beach, a popular night market and a range of water sports activities. For instance, parasailing, jet-skiing and windsurfing are some of the favourite activities among the tourists. Besides, you may immerse yourself in the beautiful sunset view on the beach. And when the sun sets, Batu Ferringhi comes alive with its famous night market that offers a wide range of merchandise such as local arts and crafts.
- Pulau Jerejak
Pulau Jerejak is a 362 hectares island, which is the biggest of the many islands surrounding Penang. It was formerly the main leper asylum for the Straits Settlements in 1868, a Quarantine Station in 1875 and a penal colony in 1969. Then, Pulau Jerejak has been transformed and refurbished into Penang’s main ecotourism destination over the years. With a compilation of a rainforest resort, spa centre, restaurant and a number of recreational facilities, Pulau Jerejak is now a new staycation gem in Penang. On the island, you may also enjoy a few interesting activities such as kayaking, paintball, beach volleyball and more.