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This festival in Thailand leaves Wu Shangyuan with fresh perspectives on life and living
IF YOU’RE headed to Penang this month and you’re a hardcore durian fan, then you’d want to hit the durian farms in Balik Pulau to feast rather than settle for stalls in town.
Farther away from the city centre, the price of durians at the farms are by the kilogram.
You could even make an enlightening eco-excursion out of it, rather than just have a durian buffet.
Farms such as Green Acres and Bao Sheng Durian Farm offer a different proposition, as their fees include a tour and discussion on sustainable farming and durian growing.
It’s better to call ahead to “book” your timing, especially if your party is large. Okay Jungle Durians is a good place to start as it has a range of kampung, or “wild”, durians and branded durians, and it’s easy to get to.
Green Acres is more of an adventure, and is located about a 10-minute drive up the narrow road after Okay Jungle Durians. It’s well worth a visit, though, for the experience and the views. You definitely have to book ahead. For RM80 (S$28.50) per person, visitors get a tour of the farm and unlimited supply of whatever fruit are in season.
For a pleasant, leisurely durian eating experience, Stone House on the other side of Balik Pulau has a large porch filled with about nine big tables for you to have your buffet of durians. The setting is also very idyllic, with a view of Stone House’s landscaped grounds.
Lastly, both amateurs and connoisseurs should head to Bao Sheng Durian Farm, also on the Sungai Pinang side, if they really want to find out about Penang’s durians. The farm is one of the first to go organic, and Chang Teik Seng, or Ah Seng as he’s called, is an excellent “teacher” of all things durian. The farm is located in Sungai Pinang, on the road towards Teluk Bahang or Batu Feringghi.
It offers a “two-hour pass” which includes a 15-minute farm tour, tropical fruit and unlimited durians in two hours.
There are four sessions daily: 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Prices start from RM55 for all varieties of young trees, RM75 for trees more than 40 years old and RM120 to include newly dropped durians for that “numb” taste.
- OKAY JUNGLE DURIANS
Titi Serong, Balik Pulau;
GPS: 5°19’48.4”N 100°13’01.5”E
Contact Mr Choy on +6012-571-1557
- GREEN ACRES
GPS: 5°22’17.0”N 100°14’57.6”E
Contact Kim on +6012-428-6368 or
- STONE HOUSE
127, Mukim 2, Sungai Pinang;
GPS: 5°23’54.0”N 100°12’50.3”E
Contact Mr Tan on +6012-538-5128
- BAO SHENG DURIAN FARM
GPS: N 5.24. 1755 E 100.13.165
+6012-401-0800 to book your time slot
THE BUSINESS TIMES