When directly translated, Balik Pulau means ‘back of the island’ and is often associated with the world’s stinkiest fruit — durian. Why? Because the rocky soil of the town makes it an ideal place for durian trees to grow. But enough of the fun facts about durians.
While most tourists are familiar with the part of Penang that is George Town, only a few know about Balik Pulau, located in the island’s southwest region. Serving as the administrative centre for the Pearl of the Orient, it makes up one-third of the entire island and has a quieter approach. So, the next time you’re in Penang, add this part to your itinerary.
Here are some fun things to do in Balik Pulau, and you can bet that eating some of Penang’s iconic dishes is involved.
1. Get your laksa on at Kim Laksa
What would a trip to Penang be without a pit stop at a laksa joint? One worth parking for is Kim Laksa in Balik Pulau. Located along the main street, this laksa stall has served slurpy goodness since the 1940s, and locals say it’s one of the best you can find on the island. Choose from assam laksa or siam laksa, and if you can’t make up your mind, there’s the convenient option of combining both broths into one bowl.
Address: Nan Guang Kopitiam, 67 Main Road, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6017 446 4959
2. Sample some durians at Lim Brothers Orchard
Since Balik Pulau is famed for its delectable variety of durian, visiting one of the local durian farms is an absolute must. A few are open to the public and welcome visitors to sample the kings of their crop, and one of them is Lim Brothers Orchard.
This family-owned business boasts over a thousand durian trees right in its backyard, and there are 20 durian variants to be found here, so if you’re looking for ample choices, this is the place to go. Their most sought-after is, of course, none other than the Musang King.
Address: 51 Mukim 5, Titi Serong, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +604 866 8551
3. Learn all about nutmeg at Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory
Are you, by any chance, a nutmeg lover? It’s okay if you’re not, though you might want to check out Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory. Despite what its name may suggest, this is not an actual factory but more so a one-stop-shop that offers nutmeg products (and there are many), as well as talks about the health benefits of nutmeg and how it is processed.
Something different, fun, and educational, so we say, why the heck not? Plus, Mr Chang is so passionate about passing on his nutmeg knowledge that you can’t help but be immersed.
Address: MK 3, 202A, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Kampung Sungai Pinang, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6016 433 6303
4. Get up close and personal with nature at Audi Dream Farm
The Audi Dream Farm, located on expansive grounds off the main road to Balik Pulau, is another fantastic destination to spend a few hours away from home and discover Penang’s most rural side.
This area is divided into an educational park and a petting zoo with farm animals and a variety of native trees and flowers. Aside from roaming about and enjoying the farm’s intricate paths that lead visitors to meet all the resident animals, visitors can also enjoy a modest lunch and a good range of drinks.
Address: Audi Dream Farm 145, MK B, Sg.Rusa, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6012 499 9099
5. Visit cute goats at Saanen Dairy Goat Farm
The richness of Balik Pulau extends beyond just fruits. Visit Saanen Dairy Goat Farm to say hello to your new furry friends. You can feed the goats and observe the milking process, allowing you to be near the animals. The farm also sells goat prod-ucts like goat milk, yoghurt, and handcrafted goat’s milk soap.
Address: 298 Mukim 1 Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6019 516 3017
6. Soak in the scenery with Penang ATV Eco Tour
This exciting activity is perfect for all you adrenaline seekers. Hopping on an ATV ride is a unique way to take in all of Balik Pulau’s stunning scenery. Be prepared for a 10-kilometre ATV ride across the expansive paddy fields, mangrove forest, and coastal environment of Balik Pulau. An experienced field marshal will direct you to go off-road at several points during the ride.
Address: 298 Mukim I, Kampung Perlis, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6013 480 3866
7. Explore Balik Pulau on two wheels with Matahari Cycle Tours
Sometimes the most extraordinary adventures are found on less-travelled roads, and occasionally the best ways to experience them are on two wheels. With their Penang Balik Pulau country ride, the team at Matahari Cycle Tours is committed to providing you with high-quality cycling tours throughout Balik Pulau.
You will travel through fishing villages, plantations, paddy fields, and quaint kampung areas as you ride through the scenic routes. Enjoy the early morning air while learning about daily life in Balik Pulau.
Address: 3000D Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Century Garden, 11700 Balik Pulau, Penang
Contact: +6019 448 0440