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Magical White Nights

St Petersburg, Russian Federation

Magical White Nights

Christina Ching discovers that the sun never sets and the Russian city of St Petersburg never sleeps in the summer

Culture vulture

Russian Federation

Culture vulture

Christina Ching gets her cultural nourishment in St Petersburg — Russia’s treasure trove of art, architecture, culture and history

City of the Golden Horde

Kazan, Russian Federation

City of the Golden Horde

The Russian city of Kazan has hosted international sports events but for Catherine Hostiani, its Tatar culture was a bigger draw

Modern Moscow

Moscow, Russian Federation

Modern Moscow

Moscow was bleak yet soulful during my first visit in 1988, but it has since transformed into a city of glitz and billionaires

Seeing Siberia from a train

Siberia, Russian Federation

Seeing Siberia from a train

Russian cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway route are beautiful and steeped in culture

Deals galore in Russia

Russian Federation

Deals galore in Russia

Collapse of the ruble and slowdown of the economy are among the reasons Russia is now an affordable tourist destination

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Most Read This Month
Wonderfruit for the soul

This festival in Thailand leaves Wu Shangyuan with fresh perspectives on life and living

Enjoy durians at the source in Penang

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
e-mail greenacrespenang@gmail.com

‡‡- 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
Sungai Pinang;
GPS: N 5.24. 1755 E 100.13.165
Contact +6012-411-0600/
+6012-401-0800 to book your time slot

THE BUSINESS TIMES

天堂的原乡 游毛里求斯 享尽浪漫

在非洲地图上,顺着马达加斯加的边缘朝东移动,有一个不起眼的小点,就是被誉为“印度洋上明珠”的海岛国家毛里求斯。

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