Entopia – a true utopia for entomologists

Reminiscent of the Eden Project in the United Kingdom, Entopia looks like two large domes from the outside.

Within Entopia two worlds exist – Natureland, which comprises living outdoor gardens, and the Cocoon, which is a fully air-conditioned indoor discovery centre. Although it is tagged as Penang’s Butterfly Farm, it has been developed into so much more than that!  Home to over 150 species of flora and fauna, Entopia is one of the best natural ‘classrooms’ I’ve ever visited.

Truly utopian, when it comes to entomology (scientific study of insects). Apart from butterflies, we saw such a variety of creatures, ranging from the Water Dragon Lizard, to tarantulas, beetle larva, fireflies and poisonous dart frogs.

After I described it a little, the girls were well excited to be visiting Entopia.  They even packed their butterfly tees for this express purpose. Here they are with their doting grandparents.

I would allocate at least 2 hours there, so that you can have a leisurely time strolling through the Butterfly Park and seeing all the other creatures housed there, as well as walk through the highly informative museum section known as the Cocoon. It’s easy to miss the partially hidden entrance to the Cocoon, so make sure that you look out for it (near the cafe).

The first exhibits you will walk through are on interesting tiny frogs and spiders. Each exhibit comes with really detailed and educational signs. Totally world-class standard!

We even saw leaf frogs mating!

There were these beautiful bugs who were shining like precious jewels.

These folks seemed to be mating too.

 

 

In the Natureland dome, we providentally made it to the first Butterfly Release session of the day. So glad we didn’t miss it! It was so fun to see children excitedly releasing beautiful butterflies who immediately made their way helter-skelter up into the air, each with its unique flight path.

Legend has it that is very good luck for a butterfly to land on you. Apparently factors that influence this include being sweaty or wearing bright colours.

These were the fortunate peeps that day.

This sight caught our eye.

And we realised they were mating!

There were these clever displays of hibiscus and pineapple slices arranged in the outline of a butterfly. The nectar and sweet juices attracted throngs of butterflies. I thought it was both very aesthetic and fascinating.

Entopia is also a photography buff’s wonderland. So many opportunities to make macro portraits of these lovely insects.

The girls had an ice-cream break at the cafe.

Don’t miss the exhibits near the cafe. Spot the many stick insects here!

Also near the cafe is the entrance to The Cocoon.

The Cocoon

I was very impressed by the quality of the exhibits in the “Cocoon”, as they were both easy to understand, and chock full of interesting information. Very interactive for children aged 4 to 12 too.

These are real pupas! Kim Gek, don’t you think?

Ants!

Look closely and you will see them carrying ixora leaves and petals.

There was a section where you could pick up and touch beetle larva.

A very brave and articulate young staff showed us these cockroaches. I stroked them a bit too, not being squeamish about roaches, especially since these were fed on a very clean diet of carrots and long beans (they eat anything, including healthy food).

There were also crabs to gape at.

I would highly recommend everyone to visit Entopia, and even more so if you have children of school-going age. It’s certainly worth every cent of the entrance fee, for there’s nothing quite like learning from seeing nature up close.

 

 

Note: A non-sponsored post.

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