We decided to take part in the Penang Global Tourism sponsored walk through the Botanical Gardens.
A free two hour educational tour put on for anyone interested every last Saturday of the month.
That meant an early start (for us), up and away on the number 10 bus at 8.30.
A 30 hectare site about 40 minutes ride out of town, and a great place to see plenty of wildlife up close, monkeys, giant lizards, wild boars and civet cats to name a few, our little group saw just the monkeys and a giant lizard, and a lot of civet cat poo. (Beware of the monkeys, they’ll go for your food if you’re not careful).
The guide, Joseph, is a mine of worthwhile info, an accomplished botanist and dedicated conservationist he led us through the rainforest trail and gently pointed out the huge variety of medicinal and edible plants thriving around us and how they can be used to aid our health.
Joseph’s co-guide Darren was a great help as well, when a shower threatened he ran off to collect umbrella’s for the ones of us silly enough to arrive without one.
There’s plenty see see in the gardens other than the rainforest trail, they have a fern house, an orchidarium, a cactus house, a bromeliad and begonia house, herb gardens, and formal gardens, so if you’re in this part of the world and into botany, this is the place for you.
One the unexpected benefits of a visit for us was a chance to get out of the heat for a while, the shade and cool clean air was a wonderful relief from the humidity further down the island in George Town.
It’s also the place the local folk come for their exercise, sweating and panting their way around the gardens. It’s tiring just watching.
The tour’s are held once a month and concentrate on a different aspect of the gardens each time. You have to register with the tourism folk to take part in this or any of their tours.
All in all, a nice way to spend a Saturday morning