Tag Archives: Penang

Tropical Spice Gardens & Khoo Kongsi Clan House


Here’s what we did on our last few days in Penang, Malaysia.

We went to the Tropical Spice Garden to learn where spices come from.


We saw Vanilla trees, Nutmeg trees, Pepper trees, cinnamon trees, cinnamon comes from the bark of the tree left to dry out. And lots more trees, I ground up some spices in a big morter and pestle.







I tried some herbal tea, it was chamomile and stevia, which is a natural sweetener, it was quite nice.

This mosaic is called the tree of tranquillity and was in the ground.


We saw a monkey swinging through the trees!



In Georgetown there is a lot of street art, we found this picture just before we went into the clanhouse.P1010684

We went to the Khoo Kongsi Clanhouse. The Khoo Khongsi clan came over from china in the 1800’s and were spice traders, they were very rich, and built this clanhouse. Its in a square, surrounded by their houses and their shops. It was very ornate.P1010695P1010708P1010709P1010715

After leaving the clanhouse we did some batik painting.




That night we met up with 4 other travelling families for dinner. It was good to have some other people to talk to, they were from America, Canada and Australia.

P1010741We then flew from Penang to KL, and the next day to Australia.


Snakes and Royal Selangor

A few days ago we went to the Snake Temple. The temple got its name from the snakes that came to the temple in 1875. Once there was a Buddhist monk called Chor Soo Kong, he had great healing powers and he gave shelter to the snakes of the jungle, Chor Soo Kong lived over 1,000 years ago. 950 years later a man prayed to him and was healed so he built a temple in honour of Chor Soo Kong. When the temple was finished all the snakes moved in from the jungle, and snakes have remained there ever since.


There were snakes loose in the temple! But they were drowsy from all the incense being burnt.





We saw this funny shaped door that looks like it should be in an Indiana Jones Movie!


There were signs saying to be careful of the snakes.



After the temple we went to a snake farm next door.

There were lots of snakes in tanks.




The snake above is a Royal Ball Python. The one below is a Mangrove Snake.



The snake above is a Monacled Cobra, because it looks like he’s got an eye on the back of his head.



This is a Diamond Back Rattlesnake




This is a King Cobra, the man that owned the snake farm told us he was 5ft long, and he only eats other snakes, he banged on the glass to startle the snake and make it attack. The snake struck the glass speedily, so fast that we didn’t see it coming. It thumped against the glass so loud and squirted venom, I wouldn’t want to be attacked by one of them!


I went into a cage with a massive python! The man said it was safe, but Mum was a bit worried! Outside the cage there were newspaper reports of snakes like this one eating goats, and wild boar. There was a picture of a python bulging in the middle, where it had swallowed a goat, they dislocate their jaw and swallow it whole then digest it. Whilst they are digesting they are really slow and vulnerable, so humans catch them. Once they have eaten something that size they don’t need to eat again for a few months. I also stroked an Albino Python from his head to his tail, which is meant to bring me good luck for the rest of the year.



In the afternoon we went to Straits Quay which is a Mall, we found a café with some funny stalls outside!



At Straits Quay we went to Royal Selangor to learn about Pewter, which is a mixture of tin, antimony and copper. In Malaysia there were lots of tin mines that attracted Chinese workers in the 1800’s. One of them learnt to be a tinsmith, he made things out of tin, then he started working with pewter and he opened up a shop in KL, his company grew and grew and it makes pewter objects, including Grand Prix cups! The company is still in the same family. I made a pewter bowl by hammering a disk of pewter into a wooden mould.





This is my favourite Grand Prix cup that they made for the Singapore 2010 Grand Prix.


Fernando Alonso won the race!


The Oscar is made of pewter, then coated in gold.