Monday, September 1, 2014

Merdeka Day with Butterflies @ Penang Butterfly Farm!

31 August 2014 - Penang Butterfly Farm

Today is Merdeka Day. Instead of sleeping late on a Sunday, we decided to wake up early and to visit the Penang Butterfly Farm because I spotted gorgeous weather.
It was a cloudy day with the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. This is considered a gorgeous day in Penang as it will not be too hot, thus perfect for an outdoor adventure!

So all buckled up and we were off to see butterflies!
It's the kids' first time to the Penang Butterfly Farm, and my 2nd time only!



Just drive all the way up to Batu Feringghi and Teluk Bahang. At the roundabout, take 9 o'clock and then just drive straight. There will be a clear signage that reads the Penang Butterfly Farm is on your left.

Monday - Sunday, including Public Holidays - 9.00am - 6.00pm (Last Entry at 5.00pm)
(Open 365 days all year round except half-day on Chinese New Year Eve)

Adult - RM27.00
Children (4 - 12 years old) - RM15.00

MYKAD Holder - RM18.00
MYKID Holder - RM10.00

Tickets are a tad expensive even for locals, so it is not somewhere that we can go often as a family.
But I'm glad we did because we enjoyed ourselves so much.

Upon entering the butterfly garden, the kids were amazed to see so many butterflies flying around.
Yes, in that rather small garden, you can see many butterflies fluttering their wings and taking soar. 

The 2 brothers were enjoying themselves and walking hand-in-hand. 

Shern looking at some butterflies.

Khye was a bit afraid of the butterflies if they come too near him. lol
Khye was actually chasing butterflies, but if some flew quite near to him, he would back away! lol.

Shern stretched out his arms and hoped butterflies would land on him.

While Khye was contented looking at butterflies at a distance.
I think it would be a nightmare for him if any of the butterflies landed on him! :)

It was still early and there were not so many tourists at that time, so the kids had the garden almost to themselves and they walked and skipped away happily!

They saw iguanas and ducks.

Khye was especially happy when he saw some ducks and kept saying 'duck duck', one of the few words he could utter. :)

The kids liked the pond area.

There they saw some giant fishes and other water creatures like frogs and such. 

And the platforms nearby.

And they were searching for this mini red bridge and the mini waterfall. 

 Daddy carrying Shern up for a better view of the erm...Pupa (Chrysalis) if I got that right.

Daddy heaving Shern up to see some Giant Millipedes. 

 Erm, the only photo of me with the kids, coz I'm usually the one behind the camera :)

The boys having some snack I bought from home. 


Then we saw a sign that read "Swing of Love" so the kids when hunting for it. It was a butterfly swing.

It was good that there was a guide there and Shern had quite a lengthy conversation with her.
She taught Shern that male butterflies are more colourful than females, and that they only leave about 2-4 weeks, and such.

We learned a few new facts about butterflies such as:
- Butterfly wings are transparent.
- Butterflies taste with their feet.
There are more, but erm, I can't recall them now. haha, so sorry.

And since Shern was so interested and kept on asking questions, she also led him to the pond area where she continued to entertain Shern.
Here, she showed Shern a frog camouflaged by some leaves.

And they continued talking about the beautiful lilies on the pond that blooms only in the morning.

There was also another guide whom I met who was telling us the Life Cycles of a Butterfly.
And then I learned something new.
Usually what we learned in story books is that the caterpillar forms into a cocoon and break his way out to become a butterfly. But in actual, cocoon is only for moths!
Butterflies' are called Pupa or Chrysalis!
Hehe. I guess Eric Carle got it wrong in his book 'A Very Hungry Caterpillar!' lol

Butterflies undergo four stages in their lives, which is known as a complete metamorphosis.
  1. Egg
  2. Larva (Caterpillar)
  3. Pupa (Chrysalis)
  4. Imago (Adult Butterfly)

So this small yellow dots are the butterfly eggs. 

And these are the larvas (caterpillar)

 The guide grabbed hold of one caterpillar and put in on my hand. Hehe. Quite nice to have it crawling on me. Very pretty caterpillar indeed!

And that the caterpillar only eats these leaves, erm...I've forgotten the name.
And on the right are the Pupa (Chrysalis).

Yes, these are the Pupa (Chrysalis).

And lastly then it will emerge as a butterfly!

Look at these lovely butterflies.

We later moved to the air-conditioned area, where there was a Miniscule theatre and show short clips on insects. 
Shern seemed to like it and we watched 3 or 4 of those clips before we moved on. There were some funny moments and Shern was tickled by those. He seemed to be enjoying himself a lot.

At the front entrance before entering, the kids were a the Butterfly Wings book each, which is about fun facts of the butterflies and insects.
There was a place to stamp the 5 nature ambassadors on that book, and they had fun doing some stamping. 

 Shern smiling at the camera while Khye was busy reading. lol.

There is also an touch-screen monitor where you can learn more about the many insects available. 

 It's a beautiful wallpaper with the colourful insects displayed.

These are the glow-in-the-dark scorpions.
Erm, beware as there are actually gaps in which a small child, even Khye could fall into the scorpion pit!

And of course there is the butterflies and insects exhibit area before you exit.
It's a large collection and is quite splendid.

And now comes the highlight of the visit. 
The LIVE SHOW and an up-close encounter with the creepy crawlies, only on weekends at certain time.
We were lucky to go at the right time. 

And Shern being a brave fella was the first volunteer. 
After he figured out the camouflage of the leaf insect correctly (it was difficult, even I couldn't identify it!), he was told to go into the room to bring out Box #1. 

And after he was made sure he was not scared (and that he won't throw the stick/insect away!) he was told to hold the stick which the leaf insect clung onto, and to walk the room to show everyone.
He was a very brave boy indeed!

And besides the leaf insect, there was close encounters with the frog, a tarantula and also a scorpion. It was fun!


And the guide showed us that under a special light, how the scorpion glows in the dark. 

After the show is over, Shern even requested to hold the frog. 
Wow, he is brave. Even I am afraid as it looks slimy and is a rather big frog!

And lastly he requested for a photo with the guide!
He guide was pleased and said 'it's the first time someone requested to take a photo of him!' :D

The whole place is rather full pf butterflies flying around, but somehow they can't be seen in most of the photos unless I zoom in. I think my camera's bad or my skill's bad. lol.

Anyway, here is a short video clip in which I managed to capture some of the butterflies in the garden/farm. 

And then we walked through the exit and with an ice lolly on hand, we walked out and took a final photo at the entrance of the Penang Butterfly Farm.

Shern came home and had lots of stories to tell to Popo and Kong-kong, on how he paraded the leaf insect for everyone to see, and also how he held a large frog on his hands. He declared that frogs are wet but still nice to hold. Hehe. And that he saw giant millipedes with a hundred legs and that they eat carrots. ;)

It was certainly a very, very good morning. A really fruitful one indeed.

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