Somewhere in Perak is Bukit Merah Orangutan Island Malaysia – a rehabilitation center of 35 acres just for orangutans!
You don’t have to go all the way to Borneo (East Malaysia) to see orangutans!
Orang Utan Island is close to Taiping, Ipoh and Penang which makes it worthwhile to visit!
Table of contents:
- Why You Should Visit
- Mission Of Orangutan Island Foundation
- Best Time To Visit
- How To Get To Orangutan Island
- Jetty To Orang Utan Island
- Orangutan Island Ticket
- How Long Should You Stay
- Orangutan Island Tour
Need more reasons to go?
Why You Should Visit Orangutan Island
Besides what we already mentioned:
- Educational outing that’s family-friendly
- Opportunity to see many orangutans up close!
- Support their cause – proceeds go to looking after the resident orangutans and to maintaining the center
- Cool concept – people will pass through a caged tunnel to see the orangutans that are roaming outside
- They have around 20 orangutans here
You might be wondering:
Mission of Orangutan Island Foundation
What’s their purpose?
Their programme works hard to get their orangutans back into the wild in Borneo.
And in the meantime:
The orangutans in the center get to live in natural surroundings instead of cages with dedicated staff to look after them.
Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island runs a nursery and research center for orangutans besides the rehabilitation facility.
Another important motive for them is to bring awareness to locals and tourists on the need for conservation of this endangered species.
Before you consider going, read this:
Best Time To Visit
Check the weather forecast before you go.
The center has a knack for closing during rainy days or even if it looks like it’s going to rain.
Anyways, the orangutans will be hiding when it’s raining too!
And if you want to avoid the worst of the heat (or the crowds):
Then, go in the morning!
Now, you’re ready to start planning how to get there!
How To Get To Orangutan Island
If you happen to be in Penang and want to head south to Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur (or vice versa), then it’s good to include this into your travel plans!
Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation
Regardless of your starting point, you will have to set your destination to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort first.
As this is where you can take a boat to the island!
From Kuala Lumpur: 3-4 hours’ drive (depending on traffic)
From Penang: 1 hour drive via the North-South highway (i.e. Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan)
From Ipoh: ~1 hour drive via the North-South highway
From Taiping: 30-40 minutes’ drive
Don’t fancy driving?
If you are starting your journey from Ipoh to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, you can book a private tour service (RayTheTour):
- Comfortable transport for your whole group
- We can plan an itinerary for you (e.g. Cameron Highlands, Taiping or Ipoh)
- Rates include transport (i.e. car, fuel, toll fees) and an Ipoh-born tour guide to escort you and show you the local sights!
On to the next part of the journey:
Jetty To Orang Utan Island
Orang Utan Island can only be reached by a ferry from Bukit Merah Laketown resort.
The ride itself is enjoyable too!
Read more: Taiping Lake Gardens – pride of Taiping
How much does it cost to visit and where can you get tickets?
Orang Utan Island Ticket
Buy your tickets at the end of the ferry dock.
Malaysian: RM30 (Adult), RM18 (Child)
Non-Malaysian: RM40 (Adult), RM20 (Child)
Tickets include a tour by a staff member once you get to the center.
How Long Should You Stay
Each tour session usually takes about 45 minutes before the next group arrives.
So, if you want to hang around the center longer, you can! (e.g. 90 minutes instead of 45minutes).
Just take a later ferry back instead!
More details on the tours:
Orang Utan Island Tour
Tours are usually conducted by a staff member that will elaborate more on the center’s conservation efforts as well as their resident orangutans!
And since the caged walkway through the enclosure is 100-200m:
Tours generally run for the time it takes to cross to the other side.
But don’t worry:
You’ll get ample time to interact with and observe the orangutans!
Tour Duration: 45 minutes and up to 1.5 hours to complete the tour.
You might even get a chance to meet the medical team that care for the orangutans!
The resident vet is an expert in orangutan diseases!
They do have an orangutan infant care unit so depending on your luck:
You might be able to see a baby orangutan on the day that you go!
Read more: 5 Theme Parks To Check Out In Ipoh & Perak
Accept the irony that the facilities here are more for the orangutans than for the visitors!
You’ll find the following facilities (Besides the orangutan center) on the island:
- Ample and free parking.
- As part of the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, there is a water park.
- There is a small gift shop – profits go to the cost of caring for the orang utans.
Some people may find it disheartening to see the orangutans in captivity.
Even if they are kept in a free-range area and well cared for.
But on the other hand:
This is how the public can learn more about orangutans and be exposed to the plight they face.
So in saying that:
Do not miss the opportunity to visit the sanctuary if you’re in Peninsula Malaysia (West Malaysia).