It was a beautiful Saturday morning with sunny blue skies when we ventured off on our second day of our Penang Escapade. This time we were off to the Tropical Spice Garden in Teluk Bahang - a private and lush green jungle of tropical floral and fauna which is open to those seeking respite from the concrete jungle!
Batik&Bubbles was invited for a first hand experience of the guided nature tour, where we got to really embrace and understand the beautiful gardens, which serve as a jewel in Penang's floral crown!
Once a rubber plantation, this garden was founded by Rebecca and David Wilkinson back in 2003 and is now run by Katharine Chua who is the Managing Director. The Tropical Spice Garden stands proudly as an eco-tourism hotspot and has won many awards and accolades such as The Gold Award from the Malaysia International Landscape & Garden Festival and best "Man-Made" Tourism Attraction by Tourism Malaysia.
I had last visited the Tropical Spice Gardens 13 years ago and noted even back then how beautiful the landscape was. I was very glad to acknowledge that even this time, the gardens had matured even more and the greenery was more bountiful then ever. There were just so many gorgeous green spots in the garden and we were pretty snap happy with our camera hoping to capture the emerald-green lushness of our surroundings.
Walking around the secondary jungle with our enthusiastic and talkative guide, Jo Leen, she introduced us to the many types of interesting indigenous plants and trees that make up most of the Malaysian landscape.
Jo Leen went to great lengths explaining the background and complexities on some of the more interesting species in the over 500 varieties of flora and fauna exhibited right here in this 8 acre garden.
What I found quite interesting was when she explained on how plants such as ginger and turmeric, which come from the same food group, have numerous health benefits. For example, if you are experiencing any dizziness or car sickness, one can chew fresh ginger to ward off any bouts of nausea. I think I will definitely try out this natural remedy next time I need an extra boost!
During the tour we even had the chance to have a cup of herbal tea made from the herbs of this garden, so that we could just sit back quietly and enjoy the view.
It comes as no surprise that the Tropical Spice Garden has become a very popular spot for holding private events, team-building, corporate retreats and even weddings!
It's precisely the kind of lush jungle backdrop that you can imagine a bride gliding down the garden path through the foliage like a woodland nymph to her groom!
They also have lots of interesting activities such as night walks and educational nature guided tours specially catered for kids under 12. It's nice to know that the young ones can really get to embrace nature and learn more about Malaysia's rich and diverse botanical history.
I'll definitely bring the kids around next time, so they too can get to enjoy this wonderful and breath-taking environment which has been so well preserved!
After the tour was over, we then moved over to this literally tree-filled gift shop, which was perfect for picking up treats and spices not only for your own cupboards but also as gifts.
I may sound biased but the gift shop at the Tropical Spice Garden really seems to have a broad and diverse range of colourful, creative and holistic Malaysian-made treats. I generally find it quite hard to look for Malaysian-made products which are reasonably priced and yet have that artisanal non-mass produced feel about it. It was great that you could easily shop for all these items under one roof!
There were soft cuddly toys to hug, curry powders and spices to smell for the enthusiastic cook and fragrant handmade soaps a plenty. There were even some lovely colouring sheets on sale drawn by Rebecca Wilkinson herself with images of the wildlife and botany in Tropical Spice Garden!
Yiga went on a bit of a shopping binge there, picking up not just one but four sets of those artist coloring pads along with a host of other goodies for her upcoming trip back home to California, as they made the perfect prezzies for her little cousins and friends' children.
All in all, it was an entirely enjoyable way to spend the morning in an oasis of calm, greenery and even a spot of shopping at the Tropical Spice Garden: I simply can't wait to return!
Coming soon: Read about our experience at the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School in our upcoming post!
- The Tropical Spice Garden is located at Lot 595, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Penang. You can visit their website www.tropicalspicegarden.com for more details.
- To discover more about these hand-made silk clutches that are infused with heritage and history of their own, visit: https://www.frankitas.com/
- To find out more about the clothes worn that are both wearable and effortlessly chic, visit: https://www.facebook.com/coffeecovet