Penang’s wonderful trees and plentiful plants

You hear a lot about the architecture, the food, the cultural delights and the street art of Penang but not so much of the wonderful trees and other plentiful plants that are also so much a part of this wonderful island. 

In the Tropical Spice Gardens

While we were in Penang with our Australian friends before leaving to board Bali Hai at Rebak Marina, Langkawi, we visited the Botanic Gardens and the Tropical Spice Garden, both oases of calm from the busyness of every day life in Penang. 

Gotta hug that tree!
The Tropical Spice Garden is a 32 hectare forested area that boasts over 500 species of tropical plants.  

Such healthy Bromeliads

You enter through a cool and peaceful water garden where the lily pads are as big as tables. 

Gorgeous water gardens, cool and tranquil
Lily pads as big as tables

There are paths that wind through different sections (e.g.bamboos, ferns etc).

Where will this path lead?

Informative signs educate the visitors and included in the ticket price is an individual recorded commentary for each person that you can switch on and off at will.

Reading and listening- Capt’n Birdseye multi tasking?!

There is even a place to get a free cuppa in the middle!

And places to cool your feet.  

We were fascinated by the poisonous plants section – I hadn’t realised that there are so many plants that are very dangerous and that can kill you! 

As we stood there and read the signs I imagined Agatha Christie would be taking copious notes as she walked through. 

Why only in India?
Probably should all take this – just in case!

There is a very pleasant Thai restaurant in the grounds of the Spice Garden that can be entered from the road for those not wishing to go round the gardens. 

Beautiful views and ambiance and lovely food

The Botanic Gardens are also glorious. We arrived quite early in the morning and were rather alarmed to hear gun shots as we got out of the car. 

We saw that various garden staff were going out their business unperturbed and soon realised that the blank shots were fired at regular intervals to scare the monkeys. They also seemed totally unperturbed!

No wonder they were firing at them!

As these gardens were first opened in 1884 there are some glorious old trees within its 29 hectares. 
I think this was a Mahogany tree
Another lovely old tree

We went round a fern house, palm collection and an Orchid house and there were other collections that we didn’t manage to fit in. 

In the fern house
Turning over a new leaf ha ha!
Another gorgeous specimen

There are also some delightful paths that wind up the hills that surround the gardens. The path we took wound up the hill through glorious rain forest until we reached the site of the long-gone former superintendent’s house. 

Into the secret forest

With a ferry to catch we had to leave the gardens before we had seen everything we wanted to see. Next time we’ll make a day of it!

Yay! We made it out and it was fun!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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