Monkey Cup @ Penang Hill Founded on 2002
Penang • Get location
Food & Beverage
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Monkey Cup Garden is nestled in the century-old tropical greeneries of Penang Hill. Monkeycup@ Penang Hill was established in 2002 and it is the first and only Monkey Cup garden in Malaysia. The garden has an amazing collection of more than 110 species of monkey cup from around the world. Visitors are able to submerge themselves into nature and enjoy freshly brewed Italian Moka Pot Coffee in “Kopi Hutan Café”. More importantly, there are no blood sucking mosquitoes in Monkeycup@Penang Hill!

Visit Monkeycup@Penang Hill and learn more about how they control the mosquitoes using a unique species of mosquito and how monkey cups can play a useful part in life. Monkeycup@Penang Hill is a highly recommended hidden gem in Penang Hill.

The beverages to be enjoyed in KopiHutan@Monkeycup are as follow:
1. Coffee – fresh blend coffee brewed using Italian Moka pot
2. Tea – English tea, Pu Er, Lavender, Earl Grey, Lemon Ginger Mint
3. Hot chocolate
4. Soda Drink – Peach, Blueberry, Raspberry

Background Story
The Secret Garden
Eric, the founder of MonkeyCup@Penang Hill is a very experienced landscaper who has been in the industry for more than 30 years. He is also an avid monkey cup collector. After being a landscaper for a while and seeing some of his heart work demolished when his customers needed a bigger space, he feel that it is a waste of resources and he need a place to build his own portfolio. He needed a place to research, learn and create something that can be used to design a nice and unique garden. 

He then secretly planned of having a place and how to design it into a garden. Since he is an avid monkey cup collector, he would make the theme of the garden monkey cup. He kept the idea a secret because he was afraid that his idea would get copied and wouldn’t tell people about the plan if it is unnecessary.

In 2002, Eric propose his idea to the government but sadly he could not get any strong support from the government as it is only an idea and there is no physical profile of the whole idea. He continued doing his work until a chance emerged in a flower expo. Eric sort of used the idea that he proposed to the government in the expo and exhibit all his monkey cup collections. This triggered the interest of reporters because not much people knows that there are so many species of monkey cup and that someone in Malaysia has a collection of more than 100 over species of monkey cup around the world. Eric for the first time, told the reporters about his idea and why he exhibits all the monkey cups. His story was published in newspaper.

Soon after, the government started to develop Penang Hill and a listed company came in. The government’s requirement that time was to develop the place into an eco garden first as it is a water catchment area and it is very important to the hill water source. This news was brought to Eric’s ear and so he let the person in charge of the Penang Hill project to know about his idea and how he could contribute to the whole picture.

Eric finally got a place to build his base. But another problem arises. He did not have enough capital to run the whole thing. So he found few investors and started to build his dream on the vacant land. The earliest version of monkey cup doesn’t have the coffee place. It was enjoyable and joyful days as Eric can see his dream shaping up each day but good scene doesn’t last long and bad news arrived very soon.

In 2012, Eric was asked to move as his contract has ended. It was his worst nightmare; as many people laugh at him for chasing his dream, look down on him, it felt like a sudden lost on everything. The moral support from his wife and workers were all gone. But Eric doesn’t give up with his profile and reputation. He approached Penang Hill authority and asked for help, saying that he had done a good job in creating one more attraction in Penang Hill and explain the situation that he is facing as well as asked if there is a place in Penang Hill that he could rent.

It was lucky enough that Penang Hill was redeveloped to build the current love lock and owl museum building.  The gravels and soil from a land and concrete demolished from the old building was thrown at a small plot of land near Eric’s monkey cup garden. So the government ask if he is fine to use that place as the new monkey cup garden. After considering for a while, Eric agreed to it.

Transforming the Waste Land into a Secret Garden.
Eric found himself a new base. However, when he moved to the new place, not many people showed support. The wife would not participate in the relocation of the new place as she was totally demotivated.  With the help of only 2 foreign workers they tear down their stuff bit by bit and tears run down their faces. It was such heartache for them as they have to demolish their own work which they have laboured over with sweat, tears and blood for the past few years.

It was indeed a depressing moment for Eric and he needed to hold in the emotion as there are quite a number of trips he has to make with his pickup truck. Eric has to clear the concrete iron bar and other rubbish around the area and see which could be reused to rebuild the place. Eric has to make the land flat with a hoe because he did not want to destroy the original state of the place. Most of the spots including the coffee place in MonkeyCup@Penang Hill were cleared and rebuilt using man power.

Eric stacked up all the waste from the site clearing and turned it into master piece. He does not believe in the use of herbicide and his whole concept of the new garden is to preserve the original state of the forest. This is also one of the reasons; they do not sell cooked food in Monkeycup@Penang Hill because the oily food stuff could pollute the environment.

After many hours of labouring, he then asked his wife to look at the result of his labour. But his invitation was ignored by the wife. However, this did not dissuade him from working hard to continue to construct the dumping area into the secret garden.

Again, he invited his wife to see the secret garden he has built. This time, his wife agreed to the invitation and was thrilled upon seeing the beautiful secret garden. This experience helped to restore the moral confidence of his wife and old workers towards the Eric cause.

The new Monkey Cup added a café called ‘’Kopi Hutan’’ which means ‘’Jungle Coffee’’ as a lot of customers gave feedback that it would be great if they could enjoy a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the ambience in MonkeyCup Garden.  In January 2015, they have decided to open up KopiHutan which is the coffee part of the garden. Soon after in Aug 2015, the new the monkey cup garden is done and reopened. Eric also planned to build a bridge connecting the trees allowing travellers to have an up close experience in the nature and wild life animals.

Eric and his team begun to rear a type of mosquito called ‘Toxorhynchites’ in other words called elephant mosquito. These are vegetarian mosquito which feeds on larva when they were young but later in adulthood feed on vegetation sources. So, it is safe to claim that, there are no blood sucking mosquito inside the garden.

Beside the mosquitoes, Eric and team have also rear a pet Mynah bird called monkey cup. They met monkey cup in the wasteland as well. Monkey cup is their mascot. The bird would eat mosquito and sometimes it would fly over the the buggy that passes by and invite people to come into the café.
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