One of the ideal places to get away from the busy city is by going back to nature. The Habitat on Penang Hill is one of the relaxing places which is rich with flora and fauna.
This place is specially dedicated to nature lovers. On the entrance to The Habitat, there is a photo prop with the Macaque monkeys.
The Habitat’s office has a unique structure. When we were waiting in the office at 2pm, we could feel the air in the room was very cooling with only the fan running and no air-conditioners. This air circulation is due to the structure of the office which was built some 200 years ago with natural rocks. It was originally built as a stable for horses during the British’s colonisation period and now it has been converted as The Habitat’s office. Some original parts of the stables could still be seen and it shows that the place has some rich history which as been retained until today.
At the registration counter, you could purchase some souvenirs with very meaningful caption such as this water bottle “There is No WIFI in the forest but I promise you will find a better connection”.
The Habitat rainforest is part of the green lungs of Penang. Through photosynthes the plants will absorb the carbon dioxide and store it in the root stems, leaves and branches, then transforming it into life-giving oxygen.
To start off the journey, it is highly recommended to engage a ranger from The Habitat, otherwise you will not be able to understand the many kinds of species along the trail. The ranger is available at every 30-minute interval. Along the 1 km trail there are water stations for refilling. The water is au-naturale from the forest and it is cooling and refreshing. The design of these water stations is to prevent the water from the trees or rain drops to contaminate the water tap, and also to prevent people from drinking directly from the taps.
For more details and timing of the trail with a ranger (guide), please check out their website. The attractions in The Habitat Penang are listed as below:
- Nature Trail
- Canopy Walk
- Tree Top Walk
- Red Garden
- Butterfly Bank
- Yellow Garden
- Purple Garden
- Ginger Grove
- Fragrant Garden
The leaves that curl up is the sign of a nest by some insects or birds, even the rangers are unable to confirm which nest it belongs to until seeing its owner.
The red garden along the trail is not “red” enough in this season. The colour “red” is found on the leaves of the plants in that area.
There are more than 80 kinds of spiders in Penang’s forest. If you look carefully, you will find several spiders surrounding you. Just like this photo below, are you able to spot that spider?
There is even a butterfly bank which hosted various kind of butterflies. The only thing is you need to wait for the correct season and timing. It is said that Malaysia is blessed with the largest species of butterfly globally.
The sleeping caterpillar which was waiting to be evolved into a butterfly. Again, you will need to look carefully to spot the unique creature which has been camouflaged by the leaves.
Lantana camara, one of the flowers that is nice to see but not nice to smell, which is why in Chinese this flower is known as “Chicken Dropping Flower”.
Amorphophallus titanum, also known as Corpse Flower. When this flower starts to bloom it will release corpse-like smell. This is to attract some insects to stick on the flower and bring the seeds to other location for reproduction.
A special kind of spider which is not commonly found in usual places.
This is known as the Ancient Garden. The plants in this area are all grown since the age of dinosaurs.
One of the several giant swings hanging from a tall tree.
The Bromeliad Garden is a quiet and serene place for people to relax and recharge.
A big nest was found on top of a tall tree.
The lily is one of the elegant and beautiful flowers in this place.
Aquifoliaceae, is one of the bright and striking colour fruits available in this garden.
The beautiful lady bug that came so close to me and even dropped on my thumb.
The unique carnivorous monkey cup.
You are not supposed to stand near the tree as this tree will make your skin itchy.
The Langur spices of monkey that is recently populated in this area is one of the trademarks here.
Tarantula is a poisonous spider in the wild. Usually Tarantula loves to hunt during night time and during day time it stays in the spider hole.
At this place if you are lucky enough you will be able to see the black giant squirrel. However, we were not so lucky that day.
The purple flowers that added some hues to this area looked so beautiful.
The feel of the rain forest.
The old English cottage with a chimney and a compass can be found on the exit of The Habitat.
Overall, it was a nice journey to follow the nature trail where we got to see the nature’s beauty right here in our very own Penang. The entire journey took about more than 1 hour if you followed the ranger’s guide. Be prepared with mosquito repellents or come in long pants to avoid the insect bites. It could be tiring for some if you chose to walk back to the food court of Penang hill. Otherwise, there are many buggies available to fetch you back to the central for a fee.
The Habitat Penang Hill,
Bukit Bendera, 11300
Telephone: 604 – 826 7677
Operation hours: 9:30 am – 6 pm (closed on Wednesdays)