- Penang National Park
Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang in Bahasa Malaysia) was declared a national park by the then Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on April 2003. It was formerly known as the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve. Covering an area of 2,563 hectares (9.9 sq mi), it is the smallest national park in the world. It is located on the North-Western tip of Penang island.
The unique features about this park is that it contains a collection of habitats not found in other national parks in Malaysia: meromictic lake, wetlands, mangroves, mudflats, coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches.
There is also a lighthouse in the park. It is located at Muka Head and is accessible through the far end of Teluk Duyung. Built in 1883 at a cost of £37,929 by the British, it is located 242 metres (794 ft) above sea level.
There are eight beaches in the park. Because of its remote location, it boasts among the best beaches in Penang. They are:
1. Teluk Bahang
2. Teluk Tukun
3. Tanjung Aling
4. Teluk Duyung (Monkey Beach)
5. Teluk Ketapang
6. Pantai Kerachut
7. Teluk Kampi
8. Pantai Mas
Monkey Beach is situated in the Penang National Park in the North - Western Coast of the Island. It is one of the few pristine beaches left on the Island because it is not as exposed to the pollution found along the West Coast of the Island.
As its name suggests, the beach is inhabited by monkeys of the Crab-eating Macaque species. A variety of fauna and flora can be found within the park including green turtles, flying squirrels, flying lemurs and over 150 species of birds. On the beach itself the White-bellied Sea Eagle can often be spotted.
The beach can be reached either by a one and a half hour hike along the coast or by a short boat ride from the park entrance. The calm bay of Monkey Beach is considered safe for swimming, unlike many beaches on the island that are infested with jellyfish. Although it is relatively isolated, visitors to the beach are not uncommon and numbers increase especially during the summer tourist season. A further half an hour uphill hike from the beach will take visitors to the scenic lighthouse.
The entrance to the park is located at the fishing village of Teluk Bahang. It is approximately 30 minutes by road from Georgetown.
- ^ Penang National Park www.wildlife.gov.my/tnpp/biindex.htm
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