Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Penang Butterfly Farm and War Museum

Hiding far at the north west corner of Penang Island, Penang Butterfly Farm is truly a hidden gem. Located at Teluk Bahang, approximately 20 km from George Town, but it is just 5 km away from our hotel at Batu Feringghi. As natural lovers, we didn't hesitate to visit the farm, for the second time (first time was in 2005). We took a taxi from Bayview Beach Hotel, with the fare of RM 20. Expensive for just 5 km, but had saved much of our time. 

The farm opens 9 am - 6 pm daily. The admission fees are RM27 for adult and RM15 for child, with 33% discount for MyKad holders. So, we got our admission fee at RM18 per person. The farm improved. That's the first impression when we stepped into the garden area. Many butterflies whirling in the garden with their unscratched wings, with very few of them stopping on the net and tried to find a hole to escape (which showed the farm had provided friendly environment to the butterflies).

We saw many butterflies around the garden area, Autumn Leaf butterfly (upper left), Paper Kite (upper right), and New Lacewing (lower right) are some of the species available. The one on the lower left, is it a Peacock Pansy (Precis almana)?

Guided by resourceful and dedicated farm natural informationist, we learned some precious knowledge about the life cycle of a butterfly. Now, we know how to identify the butterfly's egg.

The egg will soon turns into a caterpillar (larva), pupa (chrysalis), and imago. We saw a Paper Kite imago emerged from pupa in the garden. The imago needs a few hours to dry up its wing before it can fly.

The garden area is well landscaped with waterfall (upper left) and few other water bodies. The directions are clearly stated (upper right). Many indigenous species of plants area available, including the nepenthes which prey on ants (lower right) and the water lily.

We had the chance to touch many of the insects inside the farm, shy leaf insect (upper left) which likes to hide on pomelo tree and gentle giant millipede (upper right) were some of them. The exhibition hall is quite informative (lower right), while the amphibian house provides a chance to take a very close look on different species of frogs.

We spent about an hour and a half at the farm. A canteen is attached to the farm, but it cannot be accessed from the garden area. So, sufficient drink is required to keep us hydrated. Butterflies will be attracted by human sweat, so we should not be surprised that we will become the attraction to the insects once we get wet due to sweating. Getting a taxi at a remote corner of Penang is not an easy task. So, we would advise that making the taxi wait for you is a good idea (or we can make an appointment with the taxi driver who drives us there). The bus service is scheduled at 40 minutes per bus. The information about the farm is available at its official website.

We would like to send our highest appreciation to our natural informationist for his guide.

After visited the butterfly farm, we were lucky enough to get a taxi without long waiting, which brought us from Batu Feringghi to our Chulia Heritage Hotel at George Town, and then to our next destination- Penang War Museum. It was a long journey, as the war museum is located at Batu Maung, just a few kilometers away from Penang Airport (gosh, we should have visited the museum first upon arrival, or before our departure). The taxi fare was RM45 per trip from George Town.

Penang War Museum is in fact a relics of a old British fortification, with massive tunnels and underground facilities. The fort was built by a combined work force of British engineers and local workers. The entrance fee of the museum is RM 20 per adult, and we need to pay RM 2 per camera. The opening hours are 9 am - 6 pm daily.

 Our taxi driver helped us with this photo at the entrance of Penang War Museum.

We came across this replica of 6 inch breech loading gun just after the entrance. The gun which was originally installed here had an effective range of 15 km... wow!

The old abandoned fort has an extensive underground tunnels and fortification system, which was much more sophisticated and systematic compared to Fort Siloso at Sentosa Island. The old weapons and ammunition room (upper left) is located several meters under the hill. The explosive wastes were stored in a four storeys deep chamber (upper right). The entrance to the tunnels and underground chambers (lower left) were built around the fort, served as the escaping route for the soldiers. The rooms for the British Intel and the highest rank officers are located under the hill, which was impossible to be penetrated by the bombers. We found that all the underground complex here have excellent air ventilating system.

 We met another site which was originally the firing bay of the big cannon. There is another firing bay like this in the museum, which the cannon was destroyed by the British during the Japanese invasion.

Anti aircraft artillery, 22 of them altogether were installed around the fort. It was one of the best anti aircraft system in whole South East Asia during World War 2. However, the British army was ordered to destroy most of their weapons before the Japanese attacked on 17 Dec 1941. If they had maintained this fort in full operational state, British might be able to hold longer against the Japanese attack.

The whole fort was built on 20 acres of land, with most of the buildings are well camouflaged. Many of the empty rooms, which once were the hostels for the soldiers are now serves as the places to display the photos, which were taken during War World 2.

Penang War Museum is located at the middle of the jungle. The fort was totally went out of notice after been abandoned after World War 2, for more than 30 years, and still remains as an isolated fort. So, getting our taxi to wait for us while we roam around the museum might be a wise idea.

According to the locals, the place is haunted, believe it or not, this fort was really infested by blood sucking "vampires". We were attacked by these "vampires" until we had to hasten our foot steps towards the exit. So, please bring along the mosquito repellent if you wish to get rid of these annoying pest. Comfortable walking shoes and sufficient drinking water is necessary, if you wish to stay for an hour or two.

The whole journey through Penang Butterfly Farm to Penang War Museum was exhausting. However, we still took the opportunity to stop at Penang Snake Temple on our way back to George Town. The temple has loss most of the snakes to the vast development in vicinity of the temple. At night, we visited Komtar and the shopping malls nearby.

Our visited the UNESCO Heritage Site at George Town on our third day in Penang Island. Follow us now.

All our sharing on Penang are available at:


  1. Greetings from Penang Butterfly Farm .

    Kindly take note on Penang Butterfly Farm new entrance ticket price with effective from 1st January 2012 and do update this in your newsletter or any correspondences on the publications which will be distributing to the public and our tourists.
    Thank you in advance for your co-operation.
    ADULT : RM 27.00 per person
    CHILD : RM 15.00 per person
    CHILD (3 years& below) : FREE ADMISSION
    SENIOR CITIZEN : RM13.50 per person (proof of age required)
    MYKAD/MYKID HOLDER: 33.3% discount on adult/child entrance price (upon presentation of MyKad/MyKid)

    Adult : Aged 13 years old& above
    Child : Aged 4 to 12 years old
    Senior Citizen : Aged 58 years& above
    Digital Video Camcorder: FREE OF CHARGE
    Digital Camera: FREE OF CHARGE
    Daily: 9.00am – 6.00pm (Last Entry at 5.00pm)
    ** Penang Butterfly Farm is open 365 days all year round except half day on the eve of Chinese New Year Day. Kindly take note that show time from the Penang Butterfly is no longer available and we have replaced it with free& easy Nature Guided Tour inside the farm, available daily.. Large Groups - Discounts are available to school bookings and other large groups. Please contact us for prior bookings and other services such as our educational programs which can be conducted in groups.
    Thank you
    Best Regards
    Marketing& Promotions Department
    Penang Butterfly Farm | 830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia
    t: +604-8851253 | f: +604-8851741