Na­ture

Time Out Penang Visitors Guide - - Explore -

Air Itam

Air Itam Dam

Jalan Ba­lik Pu­lau.

This pic­turesque dam is a pop­u­lar week­end es­capade. Pack a fam­ily pic­nic and spread out un­der the sun. Lo­cated next to Pe­nang Hill, the dam boasts panoramic views of the is­land, so don't for­get to bring your DSLR. We wouldn’t ad­vise hik­ing even if you’re in the pink of health; it’s best to drive up the steep peak. A des­ig­nated park­ing lot for visi­tors is lo­cated about 100 me­tres from the dam. While you’re in the area, why not visit the Kek Lok Si tem­ple nearby? Daily, 6am-7pm.

NEW The Habi­tat

Bukit Ben­dera (+604 826 7677/ the­habi­tat.my).

If Ge­orge Town’s hus­tle and bus­tle starts to get to you, a day at this lush rain­for­est and na­ture re­serve should help. Ex­otic flora and fauna loom around ev­ery cor­ner with the Red, Pur­ple and Yel­low Gar­dens hous­ing flow­er­ing plants of the said vi­brant colours. Also try and spot the Pa­per Kite But­ter­fly, Asian Fairy-Blue­bird, Dusky Leaf Lan­gur and other lo­cal fauna. Open daily save for Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, The Habi­tat’s hours of op­er­a­tion will ex­tend to seven days a week af­ter its of­fi­cial launch in Au­gust 2016.

Mon & Thu-Sun, 10am-5.30pm. Adults, RM20; Chil­dren (aged 3-13 years), Stu­dents (with valid ID) and Se­nior cit­i­zens (above 60 years), RM10; Chil­dren (aged 0-3 years), free.

Mon­key Cup Gar­den

Pe­nang Hill, Jalan Ste­sen Bukit Ben­dera, Air Itam (+6012 428 9585/ www.face­book.com/mon­k­ey­cup.pghill). Mon­key cups (a fa­mil­iar nick­name for pitcher plants) are of­ten in full bloom at this ex­otic at­trac­tion atop Pe­nang Hill. The gar­den houses a wide va­ri­ety of plants orig­i­nat­ing from the deep jun­gles of Malaysia and In­done­sia to as far as Mada­gas­car and Brazil. Bring a cardi­gan as it’s chilly this high up on the hill.

Daily, 9am-6pm. Ad­mis­sion, RM12.

Pe­nang Hill

Jalan Ste­sen Bukit Ben­dera, Air Itam (+604 828 8880/ www.penanghill.gov. my). The old­est hill sta­tion es­tab­lished dur­ing colo­nial times, Pe­nang Hill is also known as Bukit Ben­dera and is made up of sev­eral hills in­clud­ing Straw­berry Hill, Hal­libur­ton’s Hill, Flagstaff Hill, Govern­ment Hill and Tiger Hill, with the high­est point be­ing Western Hill. The most scenic way to reach the top is by air-con­di­tioned fu­nic­u­lar train. Al­ter­na­tively, you can hike each green slope and ex­plore the many trails lead­ing to the top. At the peak you’ll find sou­venir shops, a bird sanc­tu­ary, a mu­seum, the Mon­key Cup Gar­den, a food court and an open area for func­tions and camp­ing.

Fu­nic­u­lar train runs daily, 6.30am11pm. (Fu­nic­u­lar train ticket price) Adults & Se­nior cit­i­zens, RM30, Chil­dren, RM5, Stu­dents with ID, RM15; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM10, Chil­dren, RM3, Stu­dents with ID, RM5, Se­nior cit­i­zens, RM5; Dis­abled, Free.

Ba­lik Pu­lau Bao Sheng Durian Farm 150 Mukim 2, Sun­gai Pi­nang, Ba­lik Pu­lau (+6012 411 0600/www.durian. com.my).

Get a taste of Pe­nang’s iconic fruit from the source it­self – a durian plan­ta­tion. Bao Sheng runs tours year-round; ex­pect to fork out more dur­ing peak sea­son, but at least you’ll get a taste of the cream of the crop. Book an overnight pack­age to stay in one of their vil­las, take ad­van­tage of the swim­ming pool, and en­joy durian for breakfast, lunch and din­ner.

Daily, 11am-7pm. Tours from RM55 per adult. Chil­dren aged 7-12 years re­ceive 50 per­cent dis­count on all tours.

Batu Fer­ringhi

Batu Fer­ringhi

Jalan Batu Fer­ringhi, Batu Fer­ringhi. One of the more tourist-friendly beaches in Pe­nang, Batu Fer­ringhi is where world class re­sorts hug the coast­line. Go horse­back rid­ing or en­joy wa­ter sports such as jet ski­ing and para­sail­ing. Come sun­down, visit the bustling night mar­ket brim­ming with lo­cal sou­venirs and knick-knacks.

(Night mar­ket) Daily, 5pm12mid­night.

Bayan Lepas

Batu Maung Fish­ing Vil­lage Je­lu­tong High­way, Batu Pu­lau, Batu Maung (+604 626 1391).

Sit­u­ated on the south eastern tip of the is­land, this small, close-knit vil­lage is fa­mous for a strange and mys­te­ri­ously large foot­print im­printed on a boul­der on the beach. The story of the foot­print dif­fers depend­ing on whom you ask – the Chi­nese be­lieve it’s the foot­print of Ad­mi­ral Cheng Ho while the In­di­ans be­lieve it was left be­hind by the mon­key god Hanu­man. The area is not the clean­est, but it de­serves a visit. Pe­nang Aquar­ium

Fish­eries Re­search In­sti­tute, Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas (+604 626 3925/Face­book: Pe­nang Aquar­ium). Housed within the Fish­eries Re­search In­sti­tute, Pe­nang’s sole aquar­ium boasts an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of tanks. Mar­vel at the ex­otic aquatic life on dis­play and try to spot lion fish, an­gel fish, blue spot­ted stingrays, sharks and more.

Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 10am-4.30pm. Adults, RM5; Chil­dren (7-12 years), RM2; Chil­dren (7 years and be­low), free; Se­nior cit­i­zens above 55 years, free.

Bukit Mer­ta­jam

Bukit Mer­ta­jam Recre­ational For­est Park

Jalan Ko­lam Air, Mukim 15, Cherok Tok Kun, Bukit Mer­ta­jam.

Spread over 37 hectares of ver­dant, hilly ter­rain with its high­est point be­ing 457 me­tres, this park is im­mensely pop­u­lar with health­con­scious lo­cals. It’s a fan­tas­tic en­vi­ron­ment for hik­ing and jog­ging, but those who shy away from ac­tiv­ity can sim­ply pack a pic­nic and en­joy the fresh air. Take a re­fresh­ing dip in one of sev­eral streams, shal­low ponds and wa­ter­falls.

Daily, 7am-7pm. Free ad­mis­sion.

Ge­orge Town

Pe­nang Botanic Gar­dens

Jalan Ke­bun Bunga, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 4403/botan­i­cal­gar­dens. pe­nang.gov.my).

Lo­cated at the western edge of Ge­orge Town, the Pe­nang Botanic Gar­dens was orig­i­nally a re­search cen­tre for in­ves­ti­gat­ing plant­ing meth­ods and crop vi­a­bil­ity. Today, it serves as a pic­turesque recre­ational spot with hik­ing paths and tracks lead­ing to Pe­nang Hill. Week­end morn­ings see the gar­dens bustling with lo­cal fam­i­lies.

Daily, 5am-8pm. Free ad­mis­sion.

Pe­nang Mu­nic­i­pal Park

Per­siaran Kuari, off Jalan Ke­bun Bunga, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 3051/www.penang­mu­nic­i­pal­park. com).

There’s a lot to do at this sprawl­ing park at the edge of Ge­orge Town. For­merly known as the ‘Youth Park’ and for good rea­son: there is a wa­ter park, skat­ing rink, chil­dren’s play­ground, giant chess set and jun­gle gym that guar­an­tee plenty of fun for kids. We es­pe­cially like the street art park where as­pir­ing graf­fiti artists can ex­press them­selves freely.

Daily, 7am-7pm. Free ad­mis­sion.

Pu­lau Aman

Pu­lau Aman

Pu­lau Aman, South Se­berang Perai. Ac­ces­si­ble via a 15-minute boat ride from Batu Mu­sang jetty, Pu­lau Aman, which trans­lates to ‘is­land of peace’,

at­tracts week­end trip­pers. Hag­gle with the lo­cal fish­er­men for fresh seafood and take it to the float­ing seafood restau­rant where you’ll be able to en­joy the fresh catch there and then. Sporty types like com­ing here for a bout of wa­ter sports and jun­gle trekking.

Se­berang Jaya

Pe­nang Bird Park

Jalan To­dak, Se­berang Jaya (+604 399 1899/www.penang­bird­park. com.my).

One of the firsts in the coun­try, Pe­nang Bird Park is home to over 300 species of birds from around the world. It also houses wild plants and an­i­mals such as pythons, croc­o­diles, tur­tles and deer. While the an­i­mals are cared for rel­a­tively well, the cages and ameni­ties could use an up­grade.

Daily, 9am-7pm. Adults, RM38, Chil­dren (be­low 12 years), RM20; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM23, Chil­dren, RM13. Con­ces­sions, free.

Se­berang Perai

Bukit Pan­chor State Park

Nibong Tebal Recre­ational For­est, Nibong Tebal (+604 593 2977). Cov­er­ing only eight hectares of land, this re­cre­ation park is small but full of life. A board­walk pro­vides a safe path as you me­an­der past flow­ing rivers and lush veg­e­ta­tion. There are also plenty of unique man­grove forests and bat caves to ex­plore. Camp­sites are read­ily avail­able should you wish to spend the night lis­ten­ing to the jun­gle come alive.

Daily, 7am-7pm.

Fire­fly Sanc­tu­ary

2938 Jalan Teluk Ipil, Nibong Tebal (+604 593 6369/www. amaz­ing­plan­ner.com. my). Twin­kling fire­flies are the high­light of this sun­set cruise along the Sun­gai Ke­rian river­bank. Time your trip care­fully as there are fewer fire­flies dur­ing the full moon or on rainy nights. Visi­tors can also fish for oc­to­pus, ex­plore a bat cave or visit Pe­nang’s largest fish farm.

Visit web­site for tour pack­ages, prices and times.

Teluk Ba­hang

En­topia by Pe­nang But­ter­fly Farm

830 Jalan Teluk Ba­hang, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 888 8111/en­topia. com).

Pre­vi­ously the Pe­nang But­ter­fly Farm, En­topia is an Eden for in­sects. It re­mains one of Pe­nang’s most rec­om­mended at­trac­tions and is more than just a treat for nat­u­ral­ists and hob­by­ists as the farm plays a vi­tal role in fa­mil­iaris­ing the Malaysian

pub­lic with en­to­mol­ogy. The site has also gained global rep­u­ta­tion as a but­ter­fly breed­ing cen­tre. Visit in the late morn­ing or early af­ter­noon when the but­ter­flies are most ac­tive.

Daily, 9am-8pm. Adults (13 years and above), RM49; Chil­dren (4-12 years) and se­nior cit­i­zens, RM29; Chil­dren (3 years and be­low), free.

Pe­nang Na­tional Park

Jalan Has­san Ab­bas, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 881 3530/www.wildlife.gov.my). Malaysia’s small­est na­tional park spans a mere two and a half hectares, but it’s true that good things of­ten come in small pack­ages. Be­sides wet­lands, man­groves, coral reefs, mud­flats and pris­tine beaches, Pe­nang Na­tional Park is also home to the Pan­tai Ker­achut lake and a tur­tle con­ser­va­tion cen­tre. The for­mer is one of 20 nat­u­rally meromic­tic lakes in the world, mean­ing that a layer of warm sea wa­ter sits be­neath a layer of cool fresh wa­ter, nei­ther of which ever mix. If you’d like to see tur­tles in their nat­u­ral habi­tat, visit the con­ser­va­tion cen­tre dur­ing hatch­ing sea­son.

Daily, 7.30am-6pm. Free ad­mis­sion.

Ta­man Rimba Teluk Ba­hang Mu­seum Per­hutanan Hu­tan Lipur Teluk Ba­hang, Ta­man Rimba, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 885 2388).

With 32 hectares of flour­ish­ing veg­e­ta­tion, Ta­man Rimba is an enor­mous fam­ily-friendly pic­nic ground, per­fect for a week­end es­cape from the city. If you’re feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, check out the many hik­ing trails avail­able, with tow­er­ing trees pro­vid­ing shel­ter from the sun. As a re­ward, take a cool dip in the nearby stream once you’ve wrapped up your trek.

Mon-Thu & Sat, 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am12noon & 2.45-5pm. Adults, RM1; Chil­dren, RM0.50.

Teluk Ba­hang Dam

Teluk Ba­hang.

Stretch­ing out as far as the eye can see, this dam isn’t open to the pub­lic un­til the In­ter­na­tional Dragon Boat races twice a year in May and De­cem­ber. That be­ing said, it’s worth driv­ing past if you’re vis­it­ing En­topia by Pe­nang But­ter­fly Farm.

Open dur­ing Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, 9am-5pm. Free ad­mis­sion.

Trop­i­cal Fruit Farm

Batu 18, Jalan Teluk Ba­hang, Teluk Ba­hang (+6012 497 1931/www. trop­i­cal­fruit­farm.com.my).

The hour-long tour of the Trop­i­cal Fruit Farm gives you a good look at the in-sea­son plants grown at this ex­pan­sive 25-acre land. Join a guided tour to dis­cover the ori­gins, tastes and us­ages of each plant. Be sure to save room for the fruit buffet and glasses of fresh fruit juices.

Daily, 9am-6pm. Call or check their web­site for tour pack­ages and prices.

Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den

Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Ba­hang (+604 881 1797/www. trop­i­cal­spice­gar­den.com). Trans­formed from an aban­doned rub­ber plan­ta­tion, the eco-friendly Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den houses more than 500 flo­ral species. Roam the eight acres of sec­ondary jun­gle, en­joy hearty Thai-Asian del­i­ca­cies at the Tree Mon­key Restau­rant, and sign up for a cook­ing class to learn how to whip up de­li­cious lo­cal cuisines.

Daily, 9am-6pm. (Gar­den Au­dio Tours) Adults, RM26, Chil­dren (4-12 years), RM15; (Live Guided Tours) Adults, RM35, Chil­dren (4-12 years), RM20. Free for chil­dren be­low 4 years.

Pe­nang Hill fu­nic­u­lar train

Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den

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