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Durian education and feasts in Balik Pulau
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. Further 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 encompass 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 kampong, or "wild", durians to branded durians and it's easy to get to.
Green Acres is more of an adventure and it's about 10 minutes 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, and for RM80 (S$28.50) per person, visitors get a tour of the farm and unlimited supply of whatever fruits 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 large tables for you to have your buffet of durians. The setting is also very idyllic with a view into Stone House's lovingly landscaped grounds.
Lastly, the amateurs and connoisseurs should head to Bao Sheng Durian Farm, also on the Sungai Pinang side, for a visit if you really want to find out about Penang's durians. Bao Sheng Durian Farm is one of the first farms to go organic, and Chang Teik Seng, or Ah Seng as he's called, is a first grade "teacher" of all things durian. Bao Sheng Durian Farm is located in Sungai Pinang, on the road towards Teluk Bahang or Batu Feringghi.
Bao Sheng Durian has a "2 Hours Pass" which includes a 15-minute farm tour, tropical fruits and unlimited durians in two hours. They have four sessions daily: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and prices start from RM55 for all varieties of young trees, RM75 for old trees more than 40 years old; 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 at +6012-571-1557
GPS: 5°22'17.0"N 100°14'57.6"E
Contact Kim on +6012-428-6368 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
127, Mukim 2, Sungai Pinang; GPS: 5°23'54.0"N 100°12'50.3"E; contact Mr Tan at +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
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