Penang Botanic Garden: The other lily pond


This is the other lily pond at the Penang Botanic Garden and it shows what the Garden could be like if it is designed properly.

Click on photo to enlarge

These pictures were taken in August 2012. Thanks to blog reader tunglang for the great pictures.

He writes:

Shrouded in ‘Avalon’ dimension of a botanic rainforest,
Nestles a serene pond of the Nymphaea.
Herein bloom the ancient virgins on slender legs,
Of pinkish & white complexion of the delicate few.
A congruous display of colorful tropical maidens,
Resplendent & cultured herbal floras of Malaya natives.
Nymphaea pubescens (pink waterlily),
Costus speciosus (Malay ginger),
Tectaria griffithii (fern),
Guarded by gigantic Kerayong (Parkia javanica) buttresses.
’tis old world sanctuary where Nymphaea still folk sing,
In the cool evening tranquility of rainforest cathedral.

A tribute to Charles Curtis (1853-1928)
botanist & landscape gardener of Penang Botanic Garden

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Lily Pond – an old world sanctuary that is unpretentious, wild yet beautiful, & virgin (no artificial ‘insemination’ of foreign species or intrusion of incongruous cosmetics). This is the most serene ‘hot’ spot in Penang Botanic Gardens I often retreat to for meditation, healing & rejuvenation of my weary soul & distressed mind. By being ‘still’ in the presence of this wonderful filtering dimension, most negative vibes (energies) will dissipate & one can usually feel uplifted or sometimes enlightened. The floras in their natural habitat seem to bloom healthily like virgins & flourish all year round at will without herbicide… Read more »


I agree completely. I have experienced the exact same conditions you described (atmospheric quietness, being surrounded and watched) at the end of the Batu Feringghi aqueduct, about 3km from the entrance in Jln Sungei Satu. I used to walk my 2 dogs there, but they always refused to go any further than that point. However it was not as positive an experience as you described at the Lily Pond, as I felt a sense of menace. I think this water catchment area was once comandeered by the Japanese army during WWII. So I always ‘apologised’, turned around and left the… Read more »


The founders of the gardens obviously had more practical, sensible and creative ideas than the present people running the gardens. Money is no longer an issue because the state govt has even increased annual allocations. Everything comes down to having qualified/capable/trained administrators, gardeners and workers. Let’s not even talk about the lilies or plants which require a lot of attention, even a simple,basic, low maintenance thing like the footpath has got holes and uneven surfaces, for years.


And one good example is the road in Pitt Street which we have to endured for many years until recently. Not only a waste of fund by the previous BN Gerakan but also inconvenience and make the people suffer whenever you cross that road. Luckily due to a public outcry the trees was not chopped off. Botanical garden and the youth park are some of the place where we can really relax and enjoy.