In 2003, founders David and Rebecca Wilkinson put the formerly abandoned rubber plantation back to business. They did so in hopes of instilling and nurturing nature awareness and appreciation of plants in a spectacular and easily accessible setting. Today, well known for its prestige as Southeast Asia’s one and only award-winning garden with its beautifully lush and landscaped oasis of tropical, it offers more than 500 species of tropical flora from around the world, and edible herbs and species. Ranking in the top 3 hot spots to visit in Penang, the well-maintained secondary jungle stretches over 8 acres of jungle valley by the sea.
The garden operates from 9am to 6pm daily, giving you plenty of time to explore as you please. You may choose to trek the grounds on your own, or the alternative is to join one of four daily guided tours at 9am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. To conquer the entire tour should take about 2 to 3 hours, and if you opt for a 45-minute journey take the express tour that focuses on key takeaways. The admission fee is RM26 per person, RM35 for the guided tour (children RM15/RM20) (elderlies and students with student ID RM20/RM28). To get the most out of your visit, it is recommended that you take the guided tour package so that you won’t have to fear missing out.
Located in the heart of nature, Tree Monkey restaurant offers the greenest dining experience in Penang. Rustic and laid back with its traditional Balinese decor, Tree Monkey’s elevated al-fresco dining area in Teluk Bahang, Penang gifts a breathtaking panoramic view to the coastline of the Andaman Sea. The menu is pork-free friendly, made up of Northeastern Thai, Asian and Western cuisines, escorted by a great selection of beverages from cocktails to its popular spiced drinks to suit every palette. Approaching sundown, the menu serves barbecue meat and seafood inspired by Northeastern Thai. Good news is Tree Monkey opens daily till midnight and it has wifi too! So sit back, relax and be one with nature while keeping the belly happy.
TSG’s inspiring natural environment and aesthetics make it one of the most highly-sought after tropical garden wedding venues in the Asian region. It includes wedding and anniversary planning services too, so you’re in good hands. Aside from that, it is also a good venue for bespoke corporate events and private parties. Put on your sweatpants and head down to Tree Monkey for a treat of a buffet. Its menu can be tailor-made for guests and groups with more than 50 pax. The restaurant holds a capacity of 75 pax and is available for weddings, functions, parties and birthdays, and you can make reservations for the time and date desired.
If you’re keen for a free lunch, take a class at Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School and learn how to cook local favourites such as delicious Nasi Lemak, amazing Asam Laksa, tasty tandoori chicken, or refreshing drinks inspired by spice, taught by professional chefs with a forte in Nyonya, Malay and Indian cuisines. Classes are small and they’re only open to 10 students, so you can be sure to absorb as much expert knowledge as possible like a sponge. Once you’re done cooking, you may have a dig at your own dish. Before wrapping up your day in the garden, take a stroll at the Gift Shop and have a browse at a selection of herbs and spices imported from Sri Lanka, Bali and Penang, and don’t forget to grab a cookbook before you leave!
Situated on the hillside near Batu Ferringhi, the garden is highly rated by both Google and TripAdvisor. The rainforest offers well-regarded cooking classes with authentic chefs, informative and educational tours, a unique dining experience in the woods as well as fun-filled family activities. In the words of Smiddys from Melbourne, Australia who had a fascinating visit at the garden and commented on TripAdvisor, “A fantastic place to visit and learn how many of the spices we use at home in our cooking are grown and harvested. Set in a lovely location, our guide was very informative and the tour very educational. Even the kids were fascinated. A great experience.”