Taiping Lake Gardens is the first public recreation park established in Malaysia. and today it remains one of the most beautiful spots in the country.
The Taiping Lake Gardens were created in 1884, on a 60+ hectare site of abandoned tin mines on land donated by wealthy tin miner and rubber planter Chung Keng Quee.
Under the direction of town planner Charles Compton Reade, the lakes were landscaped and the gardens were planted with grass, flowers and trees.
Magnificent rain trees, many over 100 years old, line the lake along Jalan Pekeling, with giant branches extending over the water, providing shade and a peaceful ambience for walkers.
Indeed, the town’s original name, Tai-Peng, means peace.
The gardens comprise the West Lake, South Lake, Jungle Lake and a number of smaller lakes, ponds and islands linked by footpaths and decorative bridges. At night, some of the bridges are colourfully illuminated.
Other features and landmarks in the park include a rock garden, a zig-zag bridge, garden clock tower, an oblong pond, lotus lake, Swan Lake, Duck Island, Seven Sisters Point and Bamboo Point.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the gardens is that they are not surrounded by walls or fences but blend seamlessly into the town of Taiping and merge into adjacent attractions such as Taiping Zoo, Taiping War Cemetery and as far as the foot of Bukit Larut.
Activities available at the gardens
Many Taiping residents come to the Lake Gardens every morning, when the weather is coolest, for their daily aerobic exercises, walking or jogging. The late afternoon is another popular time to visit.
The Taiping Lake Gardens are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Admission is free.
This article first appeared in Malaysia Traveller