The magnificent Taiping Lake Gardens

Taiping Lake Gardens.

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.

Serenity in the gardens.

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.

The gardens have many magnificent trees, some over 100 years old.

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.

With the hills of Bukit Larut in the background, there are few places in the country that can match the splendour of the Taiping Lake Gardens.

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.

A number of heritage buildings surround the park, such as this government District Officer’s residence.

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