TSG’s Triple Launch

It was a very exciting and memorable day for Tropical Spice Garden (TSG) as we launched our 10th Anniversary month, together with our newly published book Tropical Spice Garden: Asia’s Hidden Eden and the opening of our new trail Beverages of the World.













The event was officiated by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng (CM) and attended by officials and representatives of the tourism industry in Penang.

The day began with the unveiling of the TSG Rapid Penang bus. Ten representatives and officials – YAB Lim Guan Eng, YB Danny Law (EXCO Tourism, Development & Culture), David & Rebecca Wilkinson (Founders of TSG), Kenneth & Katharine Khoo (Directors of TSG), Lim In Chong (landscape designer for TSG), Ms Ooi Geok Ling (Penang Global Tourism), Ch’ng Huck Teng (Chairman of ATAP), Mary Ann Harris (Chairman of MAH) and Chin Poh Chin (President of PTGA) − boarded the bus in front of Bayview Beach Resort to TSG for the milestone event.

(L-R) Chin Poh Chin, YB Danny, CM, Katharine Khoo, Mary Ann Harris, Ch'ng Huck Teng, David Wilkinson, Lim In Chong, Ooi Geok Ling, Kenneth Khoo & Rebecca Wilknson













They arrived to the welcoming cheers of staff and guests as well as the chorus of the Spice Girl’s Spice Up Your Life. The entrance was a medley of colours with members of staff decked out in Spice Out! t-shirts and colourful trousers, waving painted signs.

Without further ado, guests were escorted to the Water Garden which for the welcome speeches starting with Katharine Khoo, Managing Director of TSG. “ If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be standing here today addressing all of you here today, I may not have believed you!” she began.

“In the last ten years, visitors and friends of the gardens have described Tropical Spice Garden as a labour of love. If you could see into my minds eye and the memories that are captured within, I can say that this surely is an indisputable fact. Our little pocket of paradise has warmed the heart of each of our team members over the years and each visitor that have walked through our doors.”

The CM who has always shown support for eco-tourism in Penang commended TSG for setting the bar as an internationally renowned eco-attraction on the island.  “When TSG opened in 2003 it was a premier attraction in the green lung of Teluk Bahang paying homage to Penang’s natural history and the significance of the spice trade centuries ago. There were not many internationally rated attractions at the time”

Admitting that he took time out of his busy schedule just to attend the event he said, “When the invitation arrived, I said we had to try to fit it in. Because we don’t only want to show support but also to celebrate excellence.” He continued, “TSG is one of those few (attractions) that we can be proud of and have also encouraged others to up their game.”

As part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations, TSG also introduced the newly published Tropical Spice Garden: Asia’s Hidden Eden which charts the inspiration and passion behind TSG. The book, which is available in hardback and paperback is packed with full colour photography, gardening tips, recipes and fascinating tales of spices. “We believe a good thing is meant to be shared,” says Katharine. “We have endeavoured to share a story of the spice heritage of Penang and the great pride we take in being a living testimony to that.”



























Following a quick photo session with the VIPs holding copies of the new book, guests were led to the Beverages of the World for the opening ceremony of the new trail. The new section of the garden showcases the three major beverage crops of the world – tea, coffee and cocoa. The CM was invited to symbolically plant a tea sapling as a gesture of the continuous growth and development within the Tropical Spice Garden and Penang.

CM & Kenneth Khoo, planting a tea sapling

























Tropical Spice Garden holds claim to be the only spice garden of its size and nature in the country. And yet there is still more to be accomplished. Speaking about the future, Katharine says “During Visit Malaysia Year 2014 we intend to announce more children’s related and guided tour related value add-ons. So stay tuned for more to come!”

SPICE OUT! Festival – 30th Nov 2013


TSG turns 10 and we’re throwing a fiesta! So get ready to Spice out!

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Date: 30th November 2013, Saturday

Time: 9am – 6pm

Entrance fee: RM10 per person. FREE for children aged 4 and below

Starting out in 2003 as a showcase garden of tropical plants, TSG has since expanded its facilities and services to include Guided Tours, a custom built Cooking School, curio-style Gift Shop, Venue Hire for weddings, Team-building and Nature Education Programs.

For over a decade the garden has welcomed nature lovers of all ages to explore and discover the versatile wonders of over 500 species of tropical plants, herbs and spices.

Now we would like to invite you to join us for a celebration of nature and culture. Highlighted events include Art exhibition by Urban Sketchers, musical installations by LUMA, clowns, traditional games, all-day cooking demos and much much more!!

Like us on FB and stand a chance to win exclusive 10th Anniversary memorabilia. Stay tuned for updates!



Celebrating World Water Day 2013
Date: 23 Mar (Sat)
Time: 10am – 4pm
Age: 7 – 12
Price: RM50 nett includes materials, lunch and Slides&Ladders game
Contact: Joyces Chuah education@tropicalspicegarden.com
Tel: (6)04-8811 797

World Water Day (22 March) is celebrated to highlight the importance of freshwater and advocates sustainable measures for freshwater resources. Covering 70% of the earth’s surface and only 2.5% is freshwater. As a life sustaining element, water has its many purposes and aspects: drinking, washing and food processing.

As part of our initiative to raise awareness on the conservation of our natural resources, Tropical Spice Garden will be holding a FUN & ENGAGING 1-day workshop for children aged 7 – 12. Activities include DIY Water Filter, Melodies of Water & Water Art. For bookings and enquiries kindly email Joyces Chuah at education@tropicalspicegarden.com or call (6)04-8811 797.

Angpao Art & Snake Craft

Usher in the Year of the Snake at Tropical Spice Garden with our brand new Arts & Crafts workshop. Using everyday materials such as cardboards, tissues and recyclable paper you can learn to make traditional items such as angpao packets, blossom tree collages and even a twisty, twirly paper snake in honour of the Chinese Zodiac animal.

Through these fun and entertaining activities, children will not only get to explore their creative talents but also get to discover the auspicious significance behind the Chinese New Year festivities and traditions.

Our halfday workshops starts next week and are suitable for ages 6-12. Details as below:

Date: 26th Jan, Saturday
Time: 9.30am-12.30pm
Price: RM35 per child inc of snacks, materials, entrance to garden and Slides & Ladders gameboard
Contact: 604-8811 797 (Joyces)
Email: education@tropicalspicegrden.com

The Little Green Rangers Camp

Looking for activities to occupy your little ones during your school holidays? Why not send them to our camp and let them learn all about what nature has to offer. This upcoming camp will teach the children about the insects found, the common plants and the interesting facts of certain creatures. For more details, please find the information below. Feel free to contact us.

Little Green Rangers Camp
Date : 16th – 18th November 2012
Time : 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Venue : Pavilion @ Tropical Spice Garden
Age group : 7 – 12 years old (limited to 30 pax)
Camp fees : myr 220 per pax
Contact : Amelleia@tropicalspicegarden.com
: 604 – 8811 797

Wedding Secrets Revealed @ Tropical Spice Garden

‘Wedding Secrets Revealed’ is a wedding open day at Tropical Spice Garden open to the public.

Sunday, 5 June 2011
Free Admission

We are inviting YOU to come and join us for a day of fun as you discover the secrets that go into preparing for a romantic garden wedding. See unique wedding settings in an outdoor environment and speak to our experts on planning an outdoor event with Touching Hearts – professional wedding planners on hand to offer free consultation.

Flower Series will be present and open for discussion on flower choices and prices and to offer their best advise on wedding decor.

Other interesting vendors will include bridal gown hire, wedding cupcakes and personalized wedding favours.

Wedding styled refreshments will be served by experienced wedding caterers, as cocktail canapes.

A free garden showing will take place for interested couples to see the lush garden venues within Tropical Spice Garden to host their perfect, dream garden wedding.

Really its a relaxed atmosphere of fun and getting to know the excellent wedding providers we have in Penang and coming up close to them to ask them real questions you’ve always wanted to know about planning a wedding.

Come and take part in our Wedding Photography competition and stand a chance to win 6 month free bridal photography entrance!

Admission is free.

Eco Kids Workshop – post mortem

Absolute success! We just completed our 4 day eco kids sessions and I couldn’t believe that we could have packed so much in and still left tongues wagging for more. And I still can’t believe the energy levels of primary school children! In fact, one supporter of the gardens and workshops commented that we should run FULL day programs in future – these kids need tiring out it seems!

Happy eco-workshop kids - Little Green Frogs

Cathering Labrooy, our intern from UPM, worked steadily on putting the programs, notes and resources together for 3 weeks prior to running the programs. Having grown up with children all her life, especially amongst her mother’s kindergarten kids, Cat was a natural in holding the kids interest and attention for long enough to finish her sentence.

She started Day 1 with introducing the concept of ecosystems and the kids got to build their very own terrarium, basically a self-containing garden ecosystem in a jar. The kid layered their own individual jars with coloured pebbles, moss, soil and a plant and were given terse instructions to LOOK AFTER their little garden. The kids also were invited to dirty their hands in earth as they each a go at planting sunflower seeds to bring home.

Building a mini terrarium

Happy kids with their mini ecosysyem, terrariums

Day 2 perhaps didn’t go quite as smoothly in Cat’s eyes. “Spice tea just isn’t meant for kids” she quipped at the end of the class. We had them brewing their own cups of spice tea and making fruit salad as their snacks – novel, healthy and fun we thought but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Spice + Tea brought out furrowed eyebrows and much discontent and well, the fruit salad was just ignored. An introduction to healthy eating..Jamie Oliver inspired shall be the title of my next holiday workshop for kids!

Kids using the batu tumbuk to crush spices in Kids Workshop

They also learned to colour pictures using natural materials like annatto, turmeric and blue pea. They loved the fact that flowers, root and seeds could colour their favourtie pictures!

Cat redeemed her worksop by Day 3 when the kids launched into recycling, vermicomposting and handmade paper.

The kids raced against each others team to sort out rubbish in to ‘recyclable’ and ‘non-recyclable’ piles. It was great just to teach kids that straws and tetra paks of ribena can not be recycled – and thus, I dont want to see this trash in my ‘Plastic’ recycling bins at the Spice Garden any more! Yes, this was my little hidden agenda – how to keep the spice garden bins tidy 🙂

Show N Tell at Eco Kids Workshop

At first the kids looked in disbelief as Cat ushered them to soil their fingers and feel the smooth and slippery exterior of the worms on their skin. By the end of the session, they were proudly holding their new pets and vowing to look after them at home.

It was such an eye opener for the kids to see paper being created before their eyes through a somewhat lengthy process of soaking paper, blending, soaking again and lifting out with a netted frame before leaving it to dry. And then of course to colour a picture using turmeric roots, annatto seeds and blue pea flowers was just such a novel and special thing to do – they loved it!

Day 4 was the icing on the cake with making  their own orange pomanders [using oranges, cloves and ribbons] and to top it all of, we had a very special soap making activity. We had purchased a home made soap set on line and Cat ingeniously devised a way to involve all the kids by allowing them to mix their own colours to produce fabulously bright blobs of soap.

Penang pomanders using oranges and soap

Mixing colours for handmade soap

Each day came replete with worksheets, games, snacks and a load of fun. A huge shout out to Cat and her assistants who just ran the classes so enthusiastically and professionally. Of course my dear, you have just opened up a box that can never be closed again. Will you be back next semester to run another fantastic holiday workshop for us?

To stay in touch with our kids programs and more at Tropical Spice Garden, Penang, request to be on our mailing list today!

Eco-Holiday Workshop for Kids

Eco-Kids Holiday Workshop

Hi Folks!

We are pleased to announce our ‘Little Green Frogs’ Eco-Kid Workshops this coming school holidays from 14 – 17 March 2011.

These are specially designed workshops for kids aged 6 – 10 by our UPM horticulturist intern, Catherine Labrooy.

She has assembled some fabulous, hands-on eco experiences from kids covering a wide range of topics from learning about vermicomposting, to making handmade soap to creating and bringing home your very own ‘terrarium’ in a glass jar!

Prices starting from RM15 per workshop inclusive of refreshments.

Parents looking for holiday activities, look no further. Our eco-workhops will keep the kids enthused in a fantastic, cool environment at Tropical Spice Garden.

Call us today at 04-8811797 or email catherinelabrooy@gmail.com

Limited spaces available!

Silver Suits & Gold Sashes

A splash of bling in ones garden wedding never did any harm did it? Ieong in a chic silver suit and the chairs decked out with gold sashes – perfect!

Finishing touches

Ieong Tok and Chocco were married last Sunday under delightful weather. I’ve figured out that weddings actually do make me cry – when the bride enters and there is an expectant hush in the air and then suddenly raucuous clapping as the bride makes her final descent down the aisle as a single woman! I love it!

Gold Sashes awaiting

Tuning Up for the Bridal March

Sept 12 was no different when beautiful Chocco made her (long) entrance with her father. She made it look easy though. Secretly, she had actually been waiting in the Museum after a short trek up the hill in slippers. Just at the last bend, on a rattan chair did she place her delicate 3 inch heels to meet with her groom.

Does this man look like he is about to be married?

Our star couple of the day hailed from Alor Star and despite the busy Raya weekend and the blowout on the Penang Bridge, we had a full house of their friends and family who wouldn’t have missed this special day for the world.

Enter Chocco and her father

From meeting Ieong and Chocco several months ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I received the phone call to say they would like to confirm a garden wedding at Tropical Spice Garden. It’s not often we get adventurous locals who are willing to break with the norm and do something exciting and new – like wed in the jungle!

Love the Queens wave!

Happily married couple walking down the stone aisle

Furthermore, they even continued with their tea ceremony here whilst refreshments were being served to other guests.

Silver Suits & White Balloons

It was touching to see Ieong give his grandfather a warm hug from behind when it was time for family photographs. The grandfather had obviously made double effort to see his grandson wed his college sweetheart – being slightly unsteady on his feet. But the Garden team are always on stand by to giving a helping hand to make all guests comfortable and happy.

My Friends, My Family

It was another joyous ocassion at the gardens and all things went well.  Before proceeding for dinner, they released their balloons and as high as they soared, do we wish them every happiness and success.

Sailing away to happiness and success