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Saturday, May 31, 2014
High marks for Penang park
Popular destination: Visitors taking a stroll at the Penang National Park.
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang National Park has been listed among Agoda.com’s highest rated parks and green spaces in Asia.
Tourism Malaysia Penang senior tourism officer Logi Dhasan described the listing by the online hotel booking site as positive news for the island. “The listing is also timely as Tourism Malaysia Penang is trying to focus more on eco-tourism packages in the state.
“We wanted to add more interesting tour packages for Penang aside from heritage experiences and food. “Tourists do not realise that Penang has a lot of interesting green spaces which is great for eco-tourism,” he said yesterday.
Agoda.com revealed the list of eight of the best parks in the region, as ranked by international travellers who have booked accommodation on its website. The Penang National Park was ranked seventh with a score of 4 out 5.
The full lists of the highest rated parks in Asia included Hallasan National Park, Jeju-do, South Korea (4.39), Taroko National Park, Taiwan (4.38), Osaka Castle Park, Osaka, Japan (4.29), Halong Bay, Vietnam (4.23), Ang Thong National Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand (4.17), Khao Yai National Park, Thailand (4.12) and Rizal Park, Manila (3.88)
The Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang is the world’s smallest national park, measuring only 29.6sq km. It is a very popular destination for tourists and locals, many of whom go there to hike to Monkey Beach and Pantai Kerachut.
It has a unique meromictic lake in which there is a distinct separation between the salt water and fresh water, creating vastly different environments in the various layers. This lake is one of only three meromictic lakes in Asia.
On a sunny day, visitors to the park can see the difference in colour between the salt water and fresh water parts of the lake.