Taiping Lake Gardens is the first public garden established during British rule in Malaysia. The garden is located near Bukit Larut, within the town center and the Taiping Zoo.
The Taiping Lake Gardens was originally a mining site before it was established as a public garden in 1880. The idea of a public garden was dear to the heart of Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker.It was developed by Charles Compton Reade (1880–1933), who was also responsible for planning the Kuala Lumpur garden town. The abandoned tin mine was donated by Chinese capitalist and former Perak State Council member Chung Thye Phin (son of Chung Keng Quee) as a recreation park for public use. In 1884 the gardens were planted with grasses, flowers and trees; a part of the gardens was fenced, to keep bulls out.
The 64 hectares (160 acres) site was the first public garden in Malaya, and was cherished for its beauty; it has been well-maintained since its opening. There are ten scenic lakes and ponds, which highlight the gardens. Along Residency Road, near the gardens, were golden rain trees (Malay: angsana) (pterocarpus indicus) planted along the pathway. In George L. Peet’s A Journal in the Federal Capital, when he visited Taiping in 1933 he said “I know of no more lovely sight in this country than the Taiping gardens when the rays of the early morning sun are shining obliquely through their clumps of bamboo, palms and isolated trees scattered on islands among the expanse of water. One receives in that glorious half hour an experience of light in foliage that is quite unobtainable in England”.