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Gardens of Poring

Butterfly of Poring

Besides the popular Hot Springs and Canopy Walkway, there are a few “Ex-Situ” gardens in Poring nature park. Ex-Situ means “off-site conservation”, which is a process of taking special plant or animal out of its natural habitat and place it in another location such as garden, for conservation, research, tourism and other purposes. Visitors also can have close-up experience to observe them all in one place, without going into the wild.

These gardens are more like the “secondary” attractions of Poring. A few require entry ticket and they may or may not worth your time and money. I will let readers to judge after reading this blog.

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden or Butterfly Farm is the most-visited garden of Poring and open from 9am to 4pm (close on Monday). One reason is that it is just next to Hot Springs, and everyone loves butterflies.

entrance to Butterfly Garden of Poring
Separate entry ticket is required. Just look at the photo above for ticket price. FYI, you also can purchase 2-in-1 ticket (Butterfly Garden + Canopy Walkway) there, which is RM1 cheaper.

Poring Butterfly Garden
Once enter, you will see an open garden. Probably attracted by flowering plant in this garden, there are many butterflies flying around. Butterfly is active from morning to 3pm during good weather, so don’t come here after 3pm.

Butterfly Farm
The butterfly garden is also an excellent place for bird watching. During fruit season, many species of birds will forage around here in early morning. I even saw two flying lizards once.

Butterfly Garden
When I was busy chasing and shooting butterflies, a nice guy told me that there are more butterflies in the Butterfly Enclosure and he is right.

Butterfly Garden of Poring
Above: Butterfly Enclosure of Poring Butterfly Garden

Butterfly of Poring
In the enclosure, I was surrounded by hundred of flying butterflies in different colors.

Butterfly in Poring Butterfly Farm
However, most of the butterflies in Enclosure have broken wings. The green and blue butterfly above is my favorite photography target, too bad it’s wings are not perfect.

Bird-wing Butterfly
Anyway, there are still some perfect butterflies there. Like the bird-wing butterfly in photo above.

leaf butterfly
Look at this butterfly! It looks like a dry leaf.

feeding platform of butterflies
The garden even has a few feeding platforms for the butterflies. You can get very close to them when they are busy feeding hence less vigilant.

You may watch the 1-min video below to see Poring Butterfly Garden:

Click Here to watch bigger video

Tropical Garden

Tropical Garden is more like a mini-zoo that shows some animals of rainforest. This garden is poorly-maintained and most of the captivities are empty. The park will tell you there is nothing much there too, so don’t waste your time and money (as ticket required).

Tropical Garden of Poring
Above: the gate of Tropical Garden

Rafflesia Garden of Poring
You will see a rafflesia plot at your left before the gate. I saw a few rafflesia buds that are about to bloom after a few months. You have to be very lucky to see blooming rafflesia.

signage to Vivian Rafflesia Garden
There are a few private rafflesia gardens near Poring park. If there is any blooming, the owner will put up a banner or signage, like the Vivian Rafflesia Garden at entrance of Poring, shown in photo above. You may Click Here to know more about rafflesia gardens.

aviary of Tropical Garden
You will be disappointed with the aviary of Tropical Garden. No bird chirping at all, so quiet that as if nothing lives there. I only saw a pair of Bulwer’s pheasant, a rare Borneo bird which has beautiful white tail. I tried to get a photo of them but they played hide and seek with me. Too bad..

Under maintenance
The Tropical Garden is a wood area with a 700-Meter trail. Just follow the trail and you will see some cages, captivities and enclosures along the way, but most of them are empty, not even any bone left. 🙁

sambar deers in Tropical Garden
Blood python
Ok, at least there are one or two that are not empty. I saw two Borneo Blood Pythons (or Borneo Short-Tailed Python) sleeping in enclosures.

Ethnobotanical Garden

The Ethnobotanical Garden of Poring displays some useful and medicinal plants as well as jungle fruits. No ticket required.

Ethnobotanical Garden of Poring
Above: the entrance of Ethnobotanical Garden

pond in Ethnobotanical Garden
Above: small pond of Ethnobotanical Garden

King of bitter

Ethnobotanical Garden
Honestly, I’m not a botanist, so this area is not interesting to me. Unless you have a plant expert going with you, this garden offers little or no entertainment value to ordinary tourist.

Fruit section of Poring Ethnobotanical Garden
If you go deeper, there is an orchard with jungle fruit trees.

Bamboo Garden

The Bamboo Garden is strongly related to Poring because the name “Poring” means Bamboo (species Gigantochloa levis) in the dialect of Dusun people. The locals were using bamboo pole, which is abundant in Poring, to build their bamboo houses.

Bamboo Garden of Poring

Bamboo trees of Poring
It is a small open garden (no ticket required to enter) not far away from park entrance. If you look carefully, they are a number of bamboo species planted there.

Poring Visitor Center
Poring Visitor Center is just next to bamboo garden. Besides introduction of flora and fauna in Kinabalu Park, the exhibition hall also shows some info on bamboo. They have video presentation scheduled daily at 10am, 12pm and 2pm.

exhibition in Poring Visitor Center
Btw, I saw a headhunter legend about the bamboo, which is quite interesting:

“Long time ago, there was an area which was covered with the growth of unusually huge bamboo. The hollow inside the bamboo was big enough to accommodate a child. The bamboo grove was known to be a resting place and shelter. During the bygone age of Misangod (headhunting spree), male infants were targeted by enemies as it was feared that they will grow up to be warriors. Whenever adults went out to tend their farms or involved in war, the babies were hidden inside the bamboo hallow and were retrieved on their returns.

One day a thirsty hunter stopped by the bamboo grove and slashed a pole to get water. He was greatly shocked when blood spurted out of the bamboo and found a lifeless child inside the bamboo. He was greatly moved at the sight. Suddenly a poisonous snake called Mantakag appeared from the bamboo grove and licked the wounds of the child. The wounds magically healed and the baby came back to life, and grew up to be a great headhunting warrior of the village.”

Source: The late Gambakon Bin Gondou (1983) Kg. Poring Ansow Gunsalam, Kg. Bundu Tuhan

Site Map of Poring Hot Springs
Below is a Site Map of Poring for you to know the location of each garden:
Site map of Poring Hot Springs
You may click the picture above to see bigger map.

More Photos

You may check out my photo album on Poring gardens for more nice pictures:
Photo gallery of Poring

Other articles about Poring Hot Springs Park:

  1. Poring Hot Springs bath
  2. Poring Canopy Walkway
  3. The Most Expensive Orchid in the world
  4. Accommodation at Poring
  5. Jackie, orangutan who owns a house
  6. Waterfalls of Poring
  7. Night walk in Poring rainforest

Photos taken in Poring, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Kipandi Butterfly Park

Rhino beetle

No people say they don’t find butterfly fascinating. Kipandi Butterfly Park is the best place to see these beautiful insects in different colors and it is fairly accessible. Just take the road from Penampang to Tambunan. After an hour of driving, you will pass by a road with 120 degree turn going uphill. Be careful coz it is a black-zone for car accident. People believe there are spirits wandering on the hill next to it, the Widow Hill. Within a minute, you will see the park at your right.

Entrance of Kipandi Butterfly Park

The ticket fee for Malaysian adult is RM10, foreigner tourist is RM20 (about USD$6). Childern get half price.

Widow Hill

Butterfly is most active in the morning, so that’s the best time to visit the park. Less butterfly will come out in rainy day and hot afternoon. I went there in noon. There were some butterflies still busy looking for nectar. If you come in big group, you can book a night tour to hunt for bugs at night.

Praying mantis

Kipandi is more than a butterfly farm. They also keep a few insects as “pet”. I almost could not see praying mantis on the branch coz its body looked like dry leaf. The rhino horn beetles don’t fly in daytime, so the workers can leave them on the grass for me to photograph freely. Hmm… the rhino horn got horny too. They feed the beetles with sugar cane. At first I thought its horn is for display only, but they told me the horn really can deliver a painful pinch.

Rhino horn beetle

There is a small shop where you can buy souvenir, light food and drink. No lunch is offered so you better have your meal before you come. For beetle lovers, you can buy the insect keychain (RM15) and other bug specimens.

Kipandi Butterfly Park

Before you enter the butterfly garden, you must check out the exhibition room of hundreds of bug specimens. I didn’t know that bugs in Sabah can grow so big. Besides impressive collection of various local and overseas butterfly species, beetles, tarantula, spiders, millipedes, scorpions, cicadas, centipedes, etc. specimens are also found here.

Exhibition room

The guide, Jay, seems to able to answer any questions that I throw at him. He mentioned a lot of species names end with dae. Damn those latin names, I can’t remember any of them. I only know he spends a lot of effort to memorize these. According to him, a few beetles are poisonous. When provoked, they release acidic liquid that is extremely irritating to skin.

Exhibition room

Even though I myself has seen so many bugs before, I could not stop saying WOW WOW WOW to all the display. This park is really something.

Exhibition room

Later I entered the butterfly garden. As nectar is the food of butterfly, many flowers are planted. I was busy chasing the butterflies, trying to take their photos. It is a tough job though, as they always keep a distance away from me.

Butterfly Farm

Jay says the caterpillars of butterfly do not have poisonous hair like the moth caterpillars. I can place it in my hand, and it feels like a soft plastic. When the eggs of butterfly become pupa, the workers will move them into a incubation room, to ensure a better chance of survival for butterfly to hatch.

Butterfly Farm

How to distinguish a butterfly and a moth? A friend told me that when butterfly perches, its wings are closed, whereas moth’s will remain open.

Butterfly Farm

There is another garden that has pitcher plant but I didn’t visit. Anyway, I will come back again.

Butterfly Farm

Photos taken in Tambunan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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