Penang Botanic Gardens

Penang Botanic Gardens is another Penang tourist attraction that often falls under the shadow of better known attractions in George Town like Penang Street Art and Kek Lok Si!

There are many different specialty gardens in the Penang Botanic Gardens. Such as a lily pond, cactus and orchid house and more!

You can actually hike to Penang Hill from the Botanic Gardens so that’s another incentive to visit the beautiful garden!

Table of Contents:

Penang Botanical Gardens History

Charles Curtis is the man behind this garden in 1884. In fact, the easily recognizable Curtis Crest of The Habitat is named after him!

His passion for gardening was key to the Penang Botanical Gardens!

Landscaping At Penang Botanic Gardens
Landscaping At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to rizsa_a (Instagram)

A former granite quarry site, the gardens go by a few other names – Taman Kebun Bunga or Waterfall Gardens.

Over time, the gardens have become home to a vast array of local and exotic plants!

Tall Trees At Penang Botanic Gardens
Tall Trees At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to littlemissleslie (Instagram)

Back in 1885, this vibrant green lung in Penang City contributed over 10,000 saplings to be planted over the whole island!

In 1910 however, the gardens were under threat of being underwater as part of a plan to build a reservoir!

Picturesque Stream At Penang Botanic Gardens
Picturesque Stream At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to staciesteelecook (Instagram)

Obviously, the plan did not go through. The compromise was a small reservoir at the base of the waterfall within the gardens.

World War Two saw the Japanese occupy tunnels by the lily pond for storage facilities and ammunition works.

Pond At Penang Botanical Gardens
Pond At Penang Botanical Gardens – photo credits to harnsheng (Instagram)

The British came back in 1945 and saw through with the restoration of the gardens.

Today, much of the research that used to be carried out in these botanic gardens now falls into the responsibility of the Singaporean Botanic Gardens.

English Inspired Section Of The Penang Botanic Gardens
English Inspired Section Of The Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to yulik1201 (Instagram)

As such, the Penang Botanic Gardens mainly serves as a public park where visitors can purchase plants from the plant nursery.

They even offer rental services for private organizations and public events!

Penang Botanic Gardens Location

Visitors will find the Penang Botanical Gardens along Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10 minutes’ drive from central George Town.

Botanical Gardens Penang Office:

Address: Kompleks Pentadbiran,Bangunan Pavilion, Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-226 4401

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (Closed on weekends)

Website: botanicalgardens.penang.gov.my/

Penang Botanic Gardens Entrance Fee

Admission is free to visit this lovely public park!

Botanical Gardens Penang Opening Hours

Visitors can visit the park from early morning to late evening as it is open daily from 5am to 8pm.

Busy Morning At Penang Botanical Gardens
Busy Morning At Penang Botanical Gardens – photo credits to muuttzzz (Instagram)

However, some of the specialty gardens like the Fern house and orchid house, are only open on selected days of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)!

Botanical Gardens Attractions

  • British-inspired formal garden
  • Japanese garden
  • Aquatic garden
  • Lily pond
Pink Lotus In A Pond At Penang Botanic Garden
Pink Lotus In A Pond At Penang Botanic Garden – photo credits to elenatan1786 (Instagram)
  • Cactus house
  • Fern house
  • Orchid house
Plant Houses At Penang Botanic Gardens
Plant Houses At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to anglerspole (Instagram)
  • Herb garden
  • Plant nursery
  • Horticulture centre
  • Jungle trails
Shaded Trail At Penang Botanical Gardens
Shaded Trail At Penang Botanical Gardens – photo credits to claris_ning (Instagram)

Botanical Gardens Penang Hiking

1. Penang Botanical Gardens To Penang Hill

You’ll find an astounding number of around 11 hiking trails that start from Penang Botanical Gardens!

One Of The Hiking Trails To Penang Hill
One Of The Hiking Trails To Penang Hill – photo credits to blocker226 (Instagram)

With total distances ranging from ~4 to 7km!

There are trails that make use of the road. And others that go into the jungle. 2 of these trails will take you up to Penang Hill.

Hiking Trail To Penang Hill Starting Point Duration (one-way) Distance (one-way) Difficulty Remark
Trail 1 Left of entrance to gardens 2-3 hours 5km Steep in the first kilometer Uses residential road
Trail 2 Inside the gardens 2-3 hours n/a Very steep There is 1 rest stop mid-way
Trail 3 (Alternate) Before the gardens (Moongate) 2-3hours 11.6km Very steep in the start, gentle rolls later There are 2 rest stops with water; well-maintained

For these hikes, you’ll need to bring:

  • Closed-toe comfortable walking shoes – hiking shoes are best!
  • Protection from the elements! Umbrella, rain jacket and sunscreen!
  • Mosquito repellent
  • And plenty of water!
Family Of Dusky Leaf Monkeys At Penang Botanic Gardens
Family Of Dusky Leaf Monkeys At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to andygsgan (Instagram)

2. Penang Botanical Gardens To Penang Waterfall (Botanical Gardens Waterfall)

If you’re up for a jungle trek, you can visit the majestic ~122m tall Botanical Gardens waterfall. This three-tiered waterfall was once famous back in the 60s to 70s.

But it rarely sees visitors now as it is no longer freely open to the public. A small minority of Penang’s population still get their water directly from this waterfall.

Prior to gaining access to this waterfall, you need to first have approval from the Penang Water Authority (Perbadanan Bekalan Air Penang Island).

There is a non-government organization called Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens that arrange monthly visits to the waterfall too.

Botanical Gardens Penang Breakfast

Thinking of visiting the Botanical Gardens in the morning? There are a few places close by that are pleasant breakfast venues!

1. Big Ben Breakfast And Western Café

Look towards the right of the car park of the Botanic Gardens, and you’ll find this café serving Western food in a typical open-air hawker restaurant environment!

Despite having no air conditioning, it’s still one of the coziest and affordable places for western style breakfast in Penang!

Their signature menu item is Big Ben.

Breakfast Or Brunch At Big Ben Breakfast And Western Café
Breakfast Or Brunch At Big Ben Breakfast And Western Café – photo credits to cheahhuichuin (Instagram)

A big breakfast set complete with bacon, sunny side up egg, a slice of ham, one sausage, baked beans, baked tomato and toast!

Address: 674, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +6016-433 6900

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 2pm and again from 5pm to 10:30pm (Closed on Monday)

Read more: 17 Best Cafe In Penang With Great Coffee (Includes New Cafes)

Other places you can try:

2. LSY Organic Life Food And Juice Bar

Address: 674, Jalan Kebun Bunga, George Town, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +6012-480 9020

Opening Hours: Daily from 7am–1pm

3. Tropical Fruit Juice Bar Botanical Gardens Penang

A humble fruit juice bar that will quench your thirst with fresh fruit and vegetable mixes after a hike at the Botanical Gardens!

Address: 674, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-229 3841

Opening Hours: Daily from 7:30am to 7pm

Further reading:

Attractions Near To Penang Botanical Gardens

1. Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Also known as the Waterfall Hill Temple or Thaneer Malai , this hill-top temple complex has commanding views of the surrounding area.

Rewarding Views Of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang After A long Climb
Rewarding Views Of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang After A long Climb – photo credits to wolverboy (Instagram)

And it is busiest during Thaipusam!

Plan your visit accordingly as there are more than 500 steps to ascend at the temple is closed between 12:15pm to 4:30pm and 9:15pm to 6:45am.

2. Penang Municipal Park

Just in case you can’t get enough of parks:

There’s another recreational park in Penang! Taman Perbandaran Pulau Pinang or the Penang Municipal Park is on the fringe of George Town.

Busy with exercise enthusiasts on the weekends, the well-maintained shady park has sports facilities, a pool, jungle trek trails and even a reflexology path!

3. Penang Hill

Bukit Bendera or Penang Hill sits 821m above the city. The rainforest that covers the hill has been under protection since 1960!

View From Top Of Penang Hill
View From Top Of Penang Hill – photo credits to watcult (Instagram)

While its popularity isn’t as far along as Cameron Highlands, visitors can come for the new attraction, The Habitat and the slightly cooler climate!

Read more:

How To Get To Botanical Gardens

1. Tour Service

A private tour with RayTheTour is one way to get around easily and directly from your hotel in Penang!

Our service ensures comfort and convenience. And our knowledgeable guides will bring you to their favorite places in Penang from morning to evening!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

Combine your tour with a day trip to Ipoh, Taiping or even Cameron Highlands too!

Get to know more about our tours on WhatsApp or Facebook!

Read more: 4 Best Ways For Getting Around Penang (With All Penang Transport Options)

2. Getting To Botanical Gardens By Bus

Of course, there’s always the public transport system to fall back on!

Rapid Penang Bus No. 10 takes passengers from Weld Quay (Penang Jetty) to the Botanical Gardens at a regular interval of 45 to 60 minutes!

Weld Quay Ferry Terminal, Penang
Weld Quay Ferry Terminal, Penang – photo credits to julsonthemove (Instagram)

For now, this is the only bus you can take to Botanical Gardens. The bus will drop passengers off at the car park outside the entrance to the gardens!

Car Park Of Penang Botanical Garden
Car Park Of Penang Botanical Gardens – photo credits to alexanderqyeo (Instagram)

Bus No. 10 Route:

Weld Quay (Jetty) – Jalan Ria (Komtar) – Gurney Drive – Botanical Gardens

Direction From Jetty to Botanical Gardens Bus Stops: Show On Map

When you want to take the bus back to George Town, walk a few minutes outside of the car park to the bus stop down the road.

Via this route, you can get off close to KOMTAR bus terminal or at the jetty.

Read more:

Conclusion

Penang Botanic Gardens is another Penang attraction that is suitable for anyone who relishes being outdoors!

The luscious garden is over a century old with towering trees and attractive walking tracks that take less than an hour to complete!

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