Ok, it's the middle of the day. And the bus that's supposed to pick us up was late so our time to visit the nature that nests quite some spices' plant got pushed further so we reached Botanic Gadens around noon. AROUND NOON!!!!! Oh for those of you not too familiar with Penang's climate, it's located at a mere 5 degree N from the Equator.
Even the big old trees can't save us from sun shining vertically straight downward!
But (there's always but), because we have a nice(looking) gentleman, who is a historian residing in Penang committed to researching East India Co., to be our guide explaining how Penang was once the center of attention of the world because of spices thus it became less uncomfortable (well, it worked for me though *blush*). He's Tengku Idaura's friend - Mr. Marcus Langdon (some information Mr Langdon shared can be found here).
Honestly, Penangite especially the younger generations need to hear what Mr. Langdon say. I mean if someone can traveled the world and decided to stay here, we've got to know it better than knowing only "FOOD HAVEN"!
Oh, speaking of food...., anyway (please don't blame me, Penangite are blessed with good tongue), our lunch awaits at D'dapur.
Do I need to explain more than "savor the mouth watering dishes"?
Ok, overall my trail mates said the food are too spicy but I think it's still ok. However, honestly, the dishes did disappoint me.
I mean I have had a very interesting learning the whole morning so I was expecting something more spicy - not spicy hot but the kind that I can let my tongue and nose practically experience the awesomeness of spices such as clove, cinnamon, star anise, cumin etc. Instead, I had mostly spicy food that can only be classified into "super hot", "hot" or "not hot", and sweet at the same time. The manager did come by to ask about what we think of the food. When I tell him they are relatively sweet, he said "oh ya, because people tend to prefer sweet" (oh really? then why's your red bean in Chendol not sweet at all?).
Anyway, after such heavy lunch we headed to another big library of spices - Tropical Spice Garden.
This 4.5acre of award winning landscaped design garden within a secondary forest sanctuary is a total awesome place. It's home to over 500 species of tropical flora and fauna with a special emphasis on spices and herbs is definitely a great place to learn as a tourist or researcher. Besides, they have very nice little museum, a gift shop sells types of spices, a restaurant serves cold beer, and gazebo area that is able to host a small-and-close-group wedding or family functions.
The guided tour is definitely an interesting thing because beautiful knowledge about mother nature and how these common looking plants can be so insightful will not be known without indication and proper explanation.
And after a long day of walking and sweating, we're treated with a spice-inspired massage to wrap up our fruitful journey.
It's a tiring but enjoying trail and gratitude is gratefully expressed to Ministry of Tourism Penang Office for such inspiring day, to Project Penang that always strive to promote the beauty of Penang in every possible way, and to our lovely guide Joann for being such a wonderful company in making the whole trip full of joy and enriched with wisdom.