Bandar Baru Ayer Itam (GPS: 5.39238, 100.28537), better known as Farlim, is a major township in Air Itam, Penang. It is located on land that belonged to Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, and was previously known as Thean Teik Estate. The name Farlim, which means "beautiful forest" comes from the name of the company that developed the township, and describes the forested area before it underwent development.
Farlim was developed with a mix of low cost, medium cost and upmarket properties. To serve the residence in the area, a town centre was also created from Lintang Angsana and side roads. A public park was created in the town centre. It is also used as the site of a weekly night market.
Farlim is today densely populated (16 September 2012)
The presence and contribution of the Khoo Kongsi is still very much apparent in Farlim today, with a Chinese school, Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Sin Kang, and the Sin Kang Estate Funeral Parlour among the institutions established by the clan association located there.
To support the booming population of Farlim, a number of community supermarkets and hypermarkets have been built there including Sunshine Farlim and Econsave. The Permata Sports Complex provides a venue for sports.
Giant, one of the hypermarkets in Farlim (31 May 2012)
After over two decades of development, most of the flat land in Farlim has been used up, but new residential and commercial properties continue to be developed here, some reaching up into the hills. Even former cemetery land is now being converted for residential properties. While the older development in Farlim comprises mostly landed properties, the more recent ones are usually high-rise flats and condominium, each taller than the before. Population density and congestion have become major issues in the township today.
High-rise development in Farlim (25 September 2009)
The nearest market is the Bandar Baru Ayer Itam Market along Lebuhraya Thean Teik. Econsave is a supermarket along Lebuhraya Thean Teik, near the junction with Jalan Paya Terubong. Sunshine Farlim is a hypermarket along Jalan Thean Teik. Giant Superstore is a supermarket along Lebuhraya Thean Teik. There are a number of petrol stations in Farlim, just click to link to view them. There isn't a hospital in Farlim, though there is the Klinik Kesihatan Bandar Baru Air Itam; the nearest are Lam Wah Ee in Green Lane and the Penang General Hospital, both a good twenty minutes away. There are a number of schools in Farlim including Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Aman, Sekolah Menengah Seri Indah, Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Air Itam, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Air Itam and Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Sin Kang.
Medan Angsana Public Park in Farlim (15 September 2012)
The main access to Farlim is from Lebuhraya Thean Teik, which runs from Batu Lanchang Lane to Jalan Paya Terubong, and from Jalan Thean Teik, which links to Jalan Ayer Itam. It is also possible to access Farlim through Jalan Kampung Melayu off Jalan Air Itam, and Jalan Kampung Pisang off Jalan Paya Terubong. Traffic is slow during rush hour, in the mornings and evenings, as commuters leave the township to head to work, either eastward to George Town, or southward to Bayan Lepas. The infrastructure around Farlim still need to be improved, considering new residential projects are still taking place there, otherwise the traffic situation will worsen. Both Jalan Air Itam and Batu Lanchang Lane should be further widen to prevent bottlenecks.
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