Balik Pulau (Malay: Back Island) is a town in Penang, Malaysia. Along with the surrounding area, Balik Pulau literally makes up the backcountry of the island, offering a laidback kampung lifestyle, with rice paddies and fruit farms scattered throughout.
1 Balik Pulau Visitors Centre, 597 Jl Sg Pinang, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Fri 14:00-18:30, Sat-Sun 12:00-18:30. The local tourist visitors centre offering information on the whole area. Bicycle hire and a bike tour of the area are also offered by the centre. Further information on bicycle hire and the bike tour can be found further in the Do section.
2 Balik Pulau Bus Terminal, on Jl Tun Sardon, serves as the main bus station in Balik Pulau for the Penang's public bus operator, Rapid Penang. If travelling from Georgetown, there are 3 bus routes to choose from, Bus 401 and 401E via Bayan Lepas and the Airport. Route 401E uses an Expressway to bypass Gelugor and also has free Wi-Fi on board. Bus route 502 also departs from Georgetown and reaches Balik Pulau faster, passing through Air Itam and terminating just south of the town centre after passing through the Bus Terminal. If around Batu Ferringhi and the surrounding area, bus 501 operates from Teluk Bahang to Balik Pulau, but operates fairly infrequently, so plan your trip accordingly.
Having your own form of transport will certainly simplify your journey around Balik Pulau. If you are merely venturing around the town centre of Balik Pulau then walking is perfectly fine. If you are planning to venture out to the country side where many attractions are scattered then having at least a bicycle will aid your travel. Some areas, particularly to the north along Jalan Teluk Bahang, require motorised transport due to the mountainous roads. Rapid Penang's bus 501 does travel along this road between Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau, but due to its infrequency it can be a time waster waiting for the bus.
- 1 Bao Sheng Durian Farm, 150 Mukim 2, Jl Teluk Bahang (Bus 501), ☎ . Located about 10 min from the Teluk Bahang Dam, the farm offers a durian buffet (early reservation required) and a variety of tropical fruits during the local fruit & durian season (May - Aug). MYR75 includes eating unlimited durians for 2 hours + 20 min durian tour (there are 4 sessions daily: 11am; 1pm; 3pm; 5pm). MYR200 for one day pass.
- 2 Saanen Dairy Goat Farm, 298 Mukim 1, Sungai Pinang, ☎ . 10PM-5PM. Billy goats, nanny goats and kids in a raised and shaded enclosure. Clean with no overpowering smell. Free grass is provided to hand feed them and get as close as you want to pat their backs. The kids run around free and will come up close to you to investigate. The goats will have a go at eating anything in range: umbrellas, shoe laces, bags and hats are all fair game to them. Tasty pasteurised goats milk, nutmeg goat yoghurt drink and goat's milk pudding on sale. Fun place for kids and adults. Signage is hard to follow, GPS recommended. Free entry.
- 3 Titi Kerawang Waterfalls (Air Terjun Titi Kerawang), Jl Teluk Bahang (Bus 501). Situated off the side of the road, near a collection of roadside stalls. To reach the falls, follow the trail beside the bridge to the lower falls. The upper falls, which are more impressive, require you to get off the foot bridge climb over rocks, so be careful and take your time. There is a water pool at the base of the upper falls for a dip. It can be busy during the weekends if coming by bus remember that this route come by infrequently.
- 4 Tropical Fruit Farm, Jl Teluk Bahang (Bus 501), ☎ . Daily 9:00am - 5:00pm. 25-acre farm lies in the scenic hills near Balik Pulau. You can view over 200 types of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees and samples of fresh fruit are available. Highlights include the cinnamon bark cut from a live tree and the miracle berries that can change a sour lime to a sweet taste. A small stall near the entrance sells fresh fruit juice and fruit dishes. You can also enjoy a great view of the north-western coastline of the island. There is a shuttle bus service that can pick up visitors from some areas around the Penang by prior arrangement. 30-minutes guided farm tour (incl. fruit plate & fruit juice) - RM40 for adult and RM30 for children.
- 5 Xuan Wu Temple (Hean Boo Suah), Jl Balik Pulau. 08:00-17:00. A small Chinese temple in Balik Pulau town centre, dedicated to the Taoist deity of the same name. There is a large bell originally cast in 1895.
- Explore Balik Pulau, 597 Jl Sg Pinang (at the Balik Pulau Visitors Centre), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tours daily 07:30-10:00 and also Mon-Fri 16:30-19:00. A guided bicycle tour run by the local visitors centre, offering a glimpse into the towns, fruit farms, rice paddies and fishing villages of Penang. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunscreen and water as it can get quite hot during the day. Bike rental without a guide is also available, but the tour is excellent for first timers to Balik Pulau. Bike hire RM20; tour with bike hire RM30.
- 1 Balik Pulau Market, Jl Tun Sardon (Adjacent to bus terminal). A recently opened market area to replace the old market of Balik Pulau. The building houses a wet and dry market, selling local produce along with everything under the sun.
- 2 Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory, 202-A Jalan Teluk Bahang, ☎ . Small shop/stall selling nutmeg products. Besides, owner gives free 5 minute speech explaining how nutmegs are grown + provides with a free welcome nutmeg drink.
- 1 Nan Guang Kopitiam, 67 Jl Balik Pulau. Th-Tu 11:00-17:00. This small coffeeshop serves up the well sought after Assam Laksa (also known simply as Balik Pulau laksa), along with the Lemak Laksa variation, which has a touch of coconut milk to cut through the sourness. Laksa RM3.50.
- Venture to Penang's Capital, George Town and explore the heritage core, giving the city UNESCO World Heritage status.
- Relax on the beach at Batu Ferringhi and the nearby resort town of Tanjung Bungah. If you're hungry for seafood look no further than the fishing village of Teluk Bahang and if time permits go for a leisurely trek in Penang National Park.
- Visit Penang's mainland, which is somewhat off the tourist track. The towns of Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam are a great place to start.