Waterfalls in our Backyard

The sheer magnificence of waterfalls has captivated humankind from time immemorial. Penang Island’s hilly core is the source of a few streams and small rivers, some of which end up as stunning waterfalls on their downhill course.

So entwined was Penang’s past to waterfalls that once, a visit to Penang would not have been complete without a visit to the Great Waterfall of the Botanic Gardens. So delightful were its waters that the nineteenth-century traveller Ibrahim Munshi (son of the famous writer Abdullah Munshi) would go on to describe it in his account, Kisah Pelayaran: “The water springs from the hill, clear and cool; it flows down in torrents in the same volume between rocks and boulders.”

Closed off half a century ago over fears of contamination, memories of public excursions to the Great Waterfall have slowly faded away. Many of the other waterfalls in Penang remain elusive, hidden away in the thick jungle. Most often protected in catchment areas, they still flow in unending harmony, revealing their charm only to the most intrepid of explorers.

Rexy Prakash Chacko is an electronic engineer by profession and a nature lover by passion. While he spends his weekdays earning a living at the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone, his weekends are spent reflecting and recharging on the green hills of Penang.

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