Balik Pulau (GPS: 5.35067, 100.23478), (Penang Hokkien: Pu3lor2) is the main township on the southwest part of Penang Island. The name Balik Pulau means "on the other side of the island". The area is said to have been founded by one Lebai Tampai from Deli in northern Sumatra.1 Today Balik Pulau has the last patch of paddy fields in Penang Island, but probably not for long.
Balik Pulau is traditionally popular among the people of Penang as where they will get the best fruits. This is where Penangites throng every durian season when the fruits are in abundance. Many swear that Balik Pulau durians are still the best anywhere in Malaysia.
In recent years, new attractions have appeared in Balik Pulau such as Countryside Stables, Saanen Goat Farm and Malindo Beach. In this write-up, I want to provide you a comprehensive introduction to all the sights in Balik Pulau.
Map of Balik Pulau
Hotels in Balik Pulau
Malihom Private Estate Hotel (GPS: 5.31928, 100.22691)
Of late, Balik Pulau has also built a reputation as a food haven for the locals, who come for the famous Balik Pulau Laksa and Pasembur at the Balik Pulau Market, the Laksa Janggus at Kampung Perlis, and the Hokkien Mee at Kampung Kuala Jalan Bahru.
The hills surrounding Balik Pulau Town (also called Kongsi) are clove and nutmeg plantations, in addition to the durian estates and fruit orchards. Clove and nutmeg were introduced to Balik Pulau by the East India Company in 1794, after the British founded their settlement on Penang Island.
Panoramic view of the Balik Pulau area from viewpoint at Jalan Tun Sardon (9 May, 2004)
Once a quiet hamlet, Balik Pulau has seen much housing development, spilled over from the expanding metropolitan area of the west coast of Penang Island. The road leading towards Balik Pulau is now being upgraded by smoothening some curves and the building of a few bridges.
Going to Balik Pulau
Balik Pulau can be reached by taking Jalan Tun Sardon from Paya Terubong, or Federal Route 6 (round island road) from Sungai Pinang in the north or Teluk Kumbar in the south. The upgrading of the Balik Pulau Hill Road between Teluk Kumbar and Balik Pulau has helped to cut the distance and make a journey to Balik Pulau much smoother than before. A flyover at the junction of Permatang Damar Laut towards Bayan Lepas has also make travel smoother.
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