"There are around 14 Orang-utans of various different ages and apart from one which has been there since an infant who cannot be released, all others come here, get taken care of and then are placed in the wild.
The place is relatively small and you walk in an enclosed walkway, the orang-utans are free to roam. This is true up to a point since the Orang-utans are indeed free to roam within their large open air enclosure areas but certainly not like a zoo where the roaming area is minimal.
When we went, we were the only people on the island visiting and so had our guide to ourselves and saw various animals feeding- so felt like a personal tour.
The animals are great characters and I hope they do get released back into the wild where the belong and I hope I have contributed a little bit for preserving this endangered species."
In Malay, Bukit Merah means "red hill" (bukit is Malay for "hill", while merah means "red").
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is Malaysia's premier northern lakefront resort, which offers many attractions and facilities- water park, eco-sanctuary and an orang utan island.
The orang utans come from Sarawak. Also Bukit Merah has a range of accommodations themed-shopping and entertainment arena, banquet and function
facilities as well as various lake and outdoor activities.
The Bukit Merah Lake Town was developed in 1995. Apart from the Lake Town
Water park & Resort, there is plenty of accommodation facilities in Bukit Merah, ranging from Service Apartments, Waterfront villas, Resort homes and water villages.
The theme park is part of a 600ha lake town resort development. Among the exciting water activities highlights are the giant wave pool, games pool, adult and children's slow river rides, kid's water playground, giant bubble, three giant water flume rides, three raft tube rides and twin speed slides.
Equipment such as boogie boards, floating tubes and other water play equipment can be purchased or hired from the "Surf Shack Shop".
The Water Park is great if you enjoy swimming and cooling down by the pool side.
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is a gem of a haven, overlooking a great expanse of shimmering water broken only by islands sparsely dotted on the lake.
The Bukit Merah Lake with its scenic view has railroad passing through it. The scenery from the trains passing through this lake is said to be breathtaking. The lake is the main water source for the Kerian District.
It's an ideal location for total relaxation in the midst of a peaceful environment. Here you can rediscover the soothing presence of everything that is green and natural. The beauty and tranquillity of the area, especially the lake surrounding the Resort makes one feel that he is part of nature.
The Orang Utan Island
After buying our tickets at the main ticketing counter at Marina Village, we ventured to the main jetty to
await our ride to Orang Utan Island. The small tropical island is in the middle of the 7,000 acre freshwater lake where a number of
orang utans are kept in their natural habitat (well, almost!).
Boats leave every half an hour and it’s a 10-minute ride across the lake to the island.
The Orang Utan Island is exactly that – these intelligent primates literally
have the run of the place. In a twist, it’s the visitors who will have to spend time in a cage, a 100m-long “cage tunnel” to be exact, to get an up close and
personal look at the orang utans as they roam free here. There were 19 orang utans when we visited the island, with four of them being island-born.
The island is 14ha (35 acres) across wide but only 2ha (5 acres) of it is used as a rehabilitation and preservation facility. This programme aims to develop
and promote orang utan conservation, propagation, research education and eco-tourism by making the island into a breeding sanctuary for these animals.
Having your photograph taken with one of them is an explicit part of the tour.
You will be led into a caged tunnel walk that confines you, not the orang utan. From the cage you can the
orang utans playing "outside" the cage in the thick forest. We saw 1 or 2 of them even
climbing up tall trees, most of them are close to the cage edges where you can see them. They do have call names as told by the guide. During feeding time, the
food given was mostly of fruit types, although one of the orang utans got a special treat a canned drink.
Bukit Merah advertises having "Lunch with the Wild Man of the Forest".
The orang-utans are made to stand and pose with visitors, and the staff ensure no photo opportunity is missed.
“We are just into the fourth year of this programme,” said Bukit Merah Laketown Resort general manager Calvin Ho.
“The average rehabilitation programme takes up to five years. We teach the baby orang utans how to climb trees, forage for food in the wild by planting fruits at various places – whether up on trees or on platforms.
“The whole island is dedicated to the orang utans and future plans foresee these primates roaming the currently unused part of the island that is ‘wild’.
This will be the ultimate test for the rehabilitated orang utans - to be able to survive in the jungle without human intervention whatsoever.
Ho also said the orang utans are from Sarawak and most of them are “problem children”. Some were caged by their previous keepers because of bad behaviour,
while two baby orang utans were initially kept as house pets in an apartment.
The orang utans that were treated as pets have been rehabilitated so they can
live like … well, orang utans. Tasks such as climbing trees, which you would think came naturally to these primates, had to be relearned.
The Eco Park is located on the calm tranquil shores of Bukit Merah Lake, within a beautiful natural environment. It is the ideal eco-tourism holiday destination, where you can
experience nature, with eco-friendly animals. Among the unique attractions at the Bukit Merah Laketown Eco- Park is the educational walk-in enclosure. There
are more than 60 species of local and exotic birds, different species of reptiles and colourful butterflies to be photographed and admired.
Enjoy the unspoiled greenery of the rainforest from the 400 meter raised jungle boardwalk, or stroll along the nature trail. See Bawean deers and other animal communities and listen to the exotic sounds of nature.
Mon, Wed to Fri : 12.00 noon to 7.00pm
Sat & Sun : 10.00am to 7.00pm
School & Public Holidays : 10.00am to 7.00pm
Tuesday CLOSED - EXCEPT during Public & School Holidays
Mon to Fri : 12.00noon to 7.00pm
Sat & Sun : 10.00am to 7.00pm
School & Public Holidays : 10.00am to 7.00pm
Adult : RM4.00
Child : RM4.00
Child (Below 90cm) : NOT PERMITTED
Last ride 15 minutes before published closing time
To get to the Bukit Merah Lake Town Recreational Park: Take the North-South Highway and use the Bukit Merah Lake Town exit.
The journey to the park is approximately 35 minutes from the Penang Bridge and an hour from the City of Ipoh.
If the Federal Trunk Road is used, it takes approximately 75 minutes from the Penang Bridge and 45 minutes from Taiping.
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort boasts 173 rooms ranging from superior to deluxe and junior suites, all featuring modern amenities such as a television, telephone, private bathroom, coffeemaker, and refrigerator. While staying here, you are within close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the city, especially with Water Park being the main attraction. For leisure, dip in the large, communal swimming pool which is within easy reach, take an educational walk in the Eco Park, or visit the unique Orang Utan Island. Guests will be pleased to know that within the vicinity, there are shopping areas, fun activities, and natural attractions. Being Malaysia's premier eco-tourism destinations in the northern region, Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is definitely worth the visit.
With all rooms perfectly built over the lake, this property is beautifully surrounded by lush greenery facing one of Malaysia’s largest rivers. Guests can unwind at the on-site spa after a long day of sightseeing or visit the nearby water park. Also known as home to some animals, you can walk around and explore the lone Orang Utan Island or have some educational walks in a unique Eco Park. Within the vicinity, guests can also enjoy camping by the lakeside grounds. With a variety of natural attractions and activities, shopping areas, and function facilities nearby, Kampung Air (Water Chalet) Bukit Merah is a haven for all age groups in Malaysia’s prime eco-tourism destination.
These 384 studio rooms and apartments are perfectly located within Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, surrounded by lush greenery and Malaysia’s largest lake. For leisure, swim a few laps in the large pool with a Jacuzzi or go for a serious exercise at the gym. Guests can also unwind at the sauna and steam room before having mouthwatering dishes at the on-site restaurant or café, or simply have fun cooking your own meals at the BBQ area. While staying here, guests are within close proximity to the Water Park, Orang Utan Island, and Eco Park. With so much to do and explore, guests are sure to have a memorable time at Suria Apartment Bukit Merah.