By V. Sivaji

Among the treasure trove of nature and beauty in Penang is the Tropical Spice Garden (TSG) where nature and culture meet.

This lush green sanctuary offers a chance for visitors to learn more about the spices that have shaped our global history or to just wander in the gardens, explore Asia’s hidden Eden.

Set in a shaded valley overlooking the sea and surrounded by rainforest, the award-winning TSG is a living museum of the spices and other tropical plants that have been cultivated throughout history. Inspired by Penang’s legacy as a historical spice island, it celebrates both the knowledge and wisdom from the past and the timeless peace of nature.

“TSG is a bio-diverse living museum of the spices and other plants that have long been our medicines, flavours and companions.

“We aim to showcase the real cultural heritage of the past and its relevance for the future while educating, inspiring, and refreshing our visitors.

“As the garden matures, new exhibits, such as the Poison Garden, the first of its kind in Asia, emerge organically,” says Katherine Chua, director of TSG..

The six landscaped acres of the garden is a treasure trove of more than 500 living specimens of lush and exotic flora from around the world. It is a playground for a wide assortment of birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles, offering amazing opportunities for photography and nature education.

There are rich opportunities to use all five senses to appreciate the rich and tranquil environment.

Highlights of the garden include: the Spice Terraces, the Heart of the Garden, the Bamboo Garden, the Giant Swing, Beverages of the World, the Poison Garden.

“Eventually, we hope to cultivate the finest garden of its kind in the world, as an inspirational example of fruitful and sustainable relationship between human culture and the natural environment,” adds Chua.

TSG also offers specific programmes and venues for special events.

Among them are the cookery school featuring the spicy cuisine of South East Asia, nature education programmes for children and adults, creative spaces for weddings, children’s birthday parties and corporate events as well as a stimulating venue for team building and special events such as the Masterchef Challenge.

Visitors are also free to explore our rainforest trails and spice terraces using audio guides or engage our professional in-house nature guides. Other facilities include: the herbal tea kiosk, a gift shop featuring a wide arrange of specialty spices and unique souvenirs, and the Tree Monkey Restaurant, which overlooks the calm waters of the Andaman Sea.

Audio guides are available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, German and French.

Visitors an also cultivate an appreciation for nature in the dark and an awareness of the biodiversity that comes alive after sundown with a guided tour on the secrets of nocturnal plants and animals.

TSG has a gift shop decked with a wide range of uniquely themed gifts, books, spa products, original local crafts and artisanal goods, as well as dried herbs and fresh spices including cloves, nutmeg, and stevia leaves specially sourced from Penang growers.

Talented home cooks and professional chefs share treasured family recipes as well as tips and tricks for producing the authentic, spice-laden cuisine of South East Asia.

The Cooking School (the first of its kind in Penang) features Nyonya, Malay, Indian, Thai, and Asian Vegetarian cuisine.

To introduce children to nature their fun and educational programmes and activities. Under adult supervision, kids explore the Garden and get up close and personal with the rich diversity of nature as well as spices and their role in history.

Other activities include the Spice and Herb Walk, Nature Camps, Birthday Parties, Venue Hire and Nature-inspired Events, from product launches to fine dining and cocktail receptions, Tropical Spice Garden has played host to many different special events. We have a variety of unique outdoor and indoor spaces to chose from to suit your specific needs.

TSG is also a perfect destination for weddings, team building, corporate seminars, circuit games and master chef challenges.

Call 04- 8811797 for more details.