An incredible excursion through the suburbs of Georgetown to discover beautiful botanic gardens without forgetting the city’s historic gems.
What we will see
Penang Government House
Gigantic goldenrain trees
Penang Botanical Gardens
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
Chung Keng Kwee
What we will do
While crossing the main commercial neighbourhood of the Georgetown suburbs, we admire the Penang Government House.
On our way towards the Botanical Gardens, we drive along streets flanked with gigantic goldenrain trees, fantastic residential buildings and some amazing colonial houses built under British rule.
We finally reach the marvellous Penang Botanical Gardens, also known as the Waterfall Gardens, where we take a lovely stroll. In the park, opened by the British in 1884, we can admire various species of indigenous and hybrid orchids, cactuses, ferns, bamboo plants as well as flowering trees and shrubs and, if not too shy, we might also spot a few long-tailed macaques.
A hundred meters from the entrance of the Botanical Gardens, there is a batik factory where we can observe how fabric is decorated using wax and dyes.
We then move on to the lively seafront, where we can admire evocative stilt houses built by the first Chinese immigrants, a precious testimony of Penang’s past.
Our next stop is the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, also known as Pinang Peranakan Mansion or Chung Keng Kwee Museum, as it used to be the private residence of the Chinese Chief of the Hai San Secret Society. The building is a magnificent eclectic villa and is a true architectural marvel. The late-Victorian influence is particularly evident in the profusion of cast-iron decorations, among the few in Penang to have survived Japanese occupation. The palace was completely restored and now displays beautiful antique furniture and precious woodwork.
A Baba guide expert in Baba Nyonya culture and Chinese Feng Shui will illustrate in detail the meaning of many of the items on display.
In the family temple next to the building, there is a life-size statue of Chung Keng Kwee himself in traditional Mandarin clothing with a Manchu hat.