Penang Botanical Gardens (Taman Botani Penang)
Garden highlights include a compact orchidarium, a water lily pond, a fern house, and a wealth of unusual species, including precious ebony, the Pinang palm which gave Penang island its name, and the cannonball tree, which sprouts clusters of hard round fruit from its trunk. Plenty of wildlife flirts through the trees, from monkeys and squirrels to giant brightly hued butterflies, and, while a little less manicured than other botanical gardens in the region, it’s a rewarding way to spend a few hours. The gardens are a common stop on multi-day Penang tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s no charge to enter the Penang Botanic Gardens, but you will need a ticket to ride the shuttle around the grounds.
- Most of the Penang Botanic Gardens are stroller-friendly but the hike up Penang Hill involves a lot of steps.
- There are food options, a shop, and bathrooms on site.
- Macaques can open bags to extract food and drink and can be very aggressive. Buy food on site rather than bringing your own.
- Many Penang Botanic Gardens paths are wheelchair accessible, but inclines can be steep. The “accessible” bathroom is too small for wheelchairs.
How to Get There
The Penang Botanic Gardens sit in the Penang hills, about 4 miles (7 kilometers) north of George Town’s historic center. Pick up bus 10 from Jetty, Komtar, or points in between: the botanical gardens are the last stop.
When to Get There
The gardens are open from very early in the morning until the middle of the evening, seven days a week. Weekends are popular with picnickers. If you’re planning to hike up Penang Hill, go early or late in the day.
The Best Gardens in Penang
Penang might feel manicured, but it has plenty of beautiful garden experiences. Try Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm, home to over 120 species of colorful fluttering critters, or taste local flavors fresh from the tree at the Tropical Fruit Farm or Tropical Spice Garden. For more of a rainforest experience, check out The Habitat Penang Hill, with a 1-mile (1.5-kilometer) nature trail plus gardens and a zipline course.
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