Spice Garden Trails in the Tropical Spice Garden
There are three spice garden trails at Tropical Spice Garden in Penang. They range from easy to difficult, depending on your level of fitness. When this garden was designed, the team tried very hard to maintain the original contours of the hillside, so the result is a natural undulating earth that is planned carefully with native as well as imported plants.
The trails are easy to follow, they are marked clearly for you. You can opt for a guided tour. Or you can enjoy the scenery and learn on your own. The guided tour is available from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on weekdays and on the weekends, it is available whole day long. Please ask at the counter when you enter for more details.
The easiest path is the Spice Trail.
This is without doubt my favorite trail. It is a zig-zag trail whereby you take in slowly the variety of spices that are planted here. The trail snakes around four terraces as you work your way in the garden. It starts from a path located on the right side of the entrance.
The majority of the spices on this trail are tropical spices; like cinnamon, clove, pepper and nutmeg. On average, you need between 30-40 minutes to complete the trail.
Besides the plants, there are also a small hut which displays old stone grinders which were used for turning spices into powder or paste. You can actually try them out!
This was the methods our grandmothers used before electric machines and blenders were invented. It is said that spices grounded using the traditional methods are much more aromatic and tastier than the spices which are commercially processed.
I think it should be true, because each stroke of the rolling stone was done with love by the women of the family to feed their loved ones. You can never beat that.
Then, there is the Ornamental Trail. The plants featured here are decorative plants, but some of them are still edible or useful for other things too. There is a water garden and a valley specifically named after the ornamental plants that grace the area.
This trail is a moderate trail, it is shaped like a horseshoe and the contour goes up and down. However, it is still accessible by wheelchairs or strollers. So the handicapped people and families with little children should have no problem to enjoy this trail too.
Finally the Jungle Trail is the last one that makes up the Spice Garden Trails.
It is the most challenging one, it may take up to 45 minutes to cover the trail. Here you can see specimens of the rubber trees and palm oil.
This is like a small tropical jungle with a myriad of creeping vines and large shady trees.
Wild animals such as the giant black squirrels and dusky black monkeys may be spotted. Flying lemurs also make their home here. As they are shy animals, they do not venture out in daytime much.
If you have been wondering where sugar come from, wonder no more.
Here you will be able to see the sugar cane that resembles thick bamboo but their thick sticks are full of sticky sweet juice. The juice is extracted and later purified into sugar.
After finishing the trail, take a breather at the Spice Cafe or head to the Spice Museum and later check out the Gift Shop too.
I am sure you will find that the trails are beautiful and also full of information so that we can learn more about the spices.
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