Friday, 20 May 2011

Tropical Spice Garden @ Jalan Teluk Bahang, Penang

As I mentioned  from my earlier posts, I will do the Tropical Spice Garden post in another post.  So let me begin with my job to show you around the garden.
Water Garden
While waiting for other guest members to join the "English" speaking group. We have the opportunity to take some photos of the water garden with traditional sampan. Basically it was pond filled with large water lily and other plants.
Map of Tropical Spice Garden
This big sign map is locate before the entrance of the Tropical Spice Garden. There are basically 3 interesting trails to begin. Which are Spice Trail, Ornamental Trail and Jungle Trail. 
I have been to the Tropical Spice Garden few years ago with my friend (Visitor). But we just browse through the garden by our self. And did not bother to get any experience tour guide to explained it for us. So I strongly recommend that you get an experienced guide to go around the garden to explained with you the types of herbs uses in our every day cooking and also the almost extinct plants that have been planted in TSG.

Different Palm Tree
Above were our guide, Joseph. Who was an experienced guide from Kuala Lumpur. I really learned lots of knowledge from this tour. Do you know that there are different types of palm trees around the world? And it plays important role in the history and now. There are many products and foods come from the palms. Such as rattan palms in furniture, palm oil used from cosmetics to food cosmetics. We were lucky to have saw one flower blossom from the palm trees (above down left photo). And we also get to see snake. In TSG, they welcome all wildlife animals that came into the garden. If Joseph does not point out the snake, I guessed I would had just missed it. ^-^
Different Palm Tree and Silver Joey Palm (Pokok Payung)
During my first visit to TSG, my friend and I love the gigantic palm tree.Then during this trip, I get to know that this tree has been classify as threatened endemic species due to habitat destruction and illegal collection of seeds to export for ornamental palms. It has enormous leaves up to 3 metres long and 2 metres wide. It was a rear plant because of its spectacular appearance. The palm leaves were very thick and underside of the leaves look stunning and  silvery white. The leaves was used as thatching roofs and walls. It was used as fans to VIPs in the colonial high courts.
Banana Flowers
Assorted Ginger Flowers
Ferns and assorted flowers
Assorted Flowers, Water Lily Flowers, Wild Mushroom and Frog

Spice Trail
Next, let me bring you to the spice trail. Most of the spices that found in the spice trail was used in our every day cooking. It's just the matter of fact that some might not know how the plants and seeds look like. Therefore, come to this garden you can get to know many things. If you have garden, you will probably notice that some of the plants in TSG is also appear in your garden or back yard. ^-^
Citronella which is call Serai Wangi in Bahasa Malaysia. The oil extract is very effective for mosquito repellent. In its natural form it is favoured by the perfumed, cosmetic and flavouring industries around the world.
Lemongrass or Serai
It has a tall perennial grass and citrus flavor. It is widely used as a herb in Asian Cuisine. Such as in Nonya Cuisines, Curries and Soup in Thai Cuisines, Vietnamese salads in Vietnamese Cuisine and etc. Apart from cooking it or eaten it raw. It also can drink as refreshing tea. 
The lemongrass oil are used in perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and shampoo. It is also a good remedy for irregular bowel movements, gastric irritability, use to arrest vomiting, Chronic Rheumatism, sprains, fungal and bacterial infections and the leaves can use for anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger or Halia 
This is  widely used in both local and western cooking. And it has wide range of medical usage such as diarrhea, nausea, constipation and colic. In China, ginger eggs was commonly use at home as a remedy for coughing. And tea brewed with ginger were commonly use as remedy for colds.
Turmeric or Kunyit
Above were the plant of turmeric looks like. It has many medical usage. Such as the juice extracted from crushed rhizome can be applied externally for bruises, sprains, wounds and leech bites. Internally, it can used for treating diarrhoea, colic and jaundice.
Turmeric with milk and sugar boiled is a popular remedy for treating colds.
Torch Ginger or Kantan

Different types of spices - Clove, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper
Clove tree is an evergreen pyramid shaped which grows to the height up to 15M. The leaves when crushed give the aromatic clove smell.  It used to be earliest and most valuable spices to be traded by Egyptians, Romans and Chinese. Clove was used as traditional medication against infections, cholera, tuberculosis and as an anaesthetics.  
Different types of gingers

Trees of Ceylon Cinnamon, Black Pepper and Nutmeg
If you want to buy original Ceylon cinnamon, you can drop by TSG to get one. As the originated Ceylon Cinnamon has different aroma from the normal one that we bought from shopping centre or grocery shops. Cinnamon stick has many benefits such as it helps to improves digestion, relieves spasms, lower fever and blood pressure,  and controls bleeding and infections.  However, it was not recommended for pregnant woman. 
Black Pepper
Nutmeg gives flavour to baked foods, desserts, drinks, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and cheese dishes. The nutmeg oil use to treat rheumatism and other digestive problems.  Nutmeg fruit was used medicinally to relieve air in the bowels.

Assorted Flowers
Resurrection Lily can be commonly found in many gardens. But do you what is the usage? It's rhizome was actually used in curries at Thailand and it's  young leaves were eaten raw with spicy shrimp paste sauce.  Medically, it can used for improve indigestion, anti-bacterial and diuretic effects.

Wild Animals and assorted flowers
For more details of Tropical Spice Garden, please visit :
Tropical Spice Garden
Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2,
Jalan Teluk Bahang,
11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Telephone: 604 - 881 1797
Facsimile: 604 - 881 3794
Email :

Visiting hours:
Open 9 am to 6 pm daily.
Last admission at 5.30 pm.

Daily guided tours:
Guided Tours available from 9am-5pm daily. Make a booking to avoid disappointment.

Admission Fees:

Garden & Visitor Centre*Self-guided TourGuided Tour
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children):RM 35RM 55
Adult:RM 14RM 22
Child (aged 4-12):
Free for children under 4 years of age
RM 8RM 8
* Information gather from TSG*


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