Tropical Fruit Farm @ Penang

Yesterday I posted this on Instagram/Facebook and got more Likes than my usual posts:

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It just so happened that I was in my friend’s car (friend came from KL) and we decided to go for a round the island tour, so we drove all the way to Balik Pulau, then up the twisting and turning hill road, saw a couple of roadside fruit shacks, and then saw this billboard indicating Tropical Fruit Farm. More importantly, the gate was open. The previous few times I drove past, the gate was always closed.

So, anyway, yeah… This was in the Tropical Fruit Farm somewhere in the hilly terrains of Teluk Bahang.

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Fruits shop

You have to drive up the hill for a bit more beyond the gate, drive past an employee carpark, up the hill some more, until you see some sort of a shack with an open car park.

This shack is kind of their admin center. You can pay for a fruit farm tour here. There will be vans and tour guides to pick you up, also from here. I think they have different packages, the most comprehensive tour would cost (as of 2016) RM 31.80 per person for Malaysian and RM 42.40 per person for non-Malaysian. Actually that’s just RM 30 and RM 40 respectively, plus GST. For that, a van will pick you up and send you further into the farm, where a tour guide would guide you through a route across the 22 acres fruit farm, and then let you taste some locally brewed fruit enzyme, and then bring you to their “restaurant” to feast on a “fruits buffet”.

According to the admin woman helming the counter, this Tropical Fruit Farm is the largest fruit farm of the kind in Asia (or was it the world?). Such a heady claim, but I wouldn’t be surprised if not many people know of this place, not even the Penang locals. Heck, I didn’t know this. I mean, well, I know this place, I’ve driven past it a few times, but I didn’t know this place was so… special. Anyway, so now you know…

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But I think they also have cheaper tours which do not involve being bitten by mosquitoes

Or, if doing tours is not your thing, this admin center also doubles as a fruit shop/cafe. You can buy fresh fruits from here, or you can buy freshly blended fruit juice and platted cut fruits mix to enjoy in an alfresco area, overlooking the hills.

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Alfresco area

That was exactly what we did, for we were in shorts and slippers or in other words, not prepared for an orchard hike.

The alfresco view, I hear you ask? Scroll back up to the first picture. That view.

Also, this place is 500 meters (800 feet) above sea level, so… while it is not Genting Highlands/Cameron Highlands cool, the breeze you get here is much more relaxing from what you can get from, say… Georgetown.

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Cut Fruits (Small) – RM 13

I think the fruits mix you get depends on what they have on that day. Mine, we got slices of mango, red and yellow watermelon, red and white dragon fruit, honeydew, papaya, guava, jackfruit, starfruit, pineapple, and pomelo. There were only 2 of us so we got the small plate for RM 13. You can also get medium and big plates for more money (can’t remember the exact figure).

I also got me’self a papaya lime juice and me’ friend got himself acerola (Indian cherry) juice, both RM 5.20 per glass. This was the first time I saw acerola outside of Japan, so that was sweet. I mean the sight of acerola was sweet, the acerola itself is very not sweet.

I came a fatty, and I left… still a fatty. A fatty that felt marginally healthier though… 🙄

And, no, they don’t do durians here. I don’t think they do. If you want durians, don’t come here. There are dozens other durian orchards in Balik Pulau…

45 Comments

  1. Oh yeah the picture is great, I would like/ click on it as well! :p
    Perhaps I should also start with instagram again…okay never really got into it

    • Well, I update my Instagram with a new photo like… once every 2 weeks. Or is it 2 months? 🙄

    • Well, not that popular. It is pretty hard to get fresh lychee over here. Mostly we can only get tinned lychee, soaked in sugared water, which is also very nice… if you’re a kid. 🙄

      • When lychees are in season in China, we will get the fresh ones here in our local supermarkets and wet markets. I have eaten the fresh lychees many times but very, very sweet, too sweet for me and I often get sorethroat after eating fresh lychees. Better stick to eating those from cans with ice during CNY, more refreshing.

        • Yeah, I know we can get the fresh ones too, but I think it is not as easily available. Also, I don’t think very many people like them. Like you said, most of us prefer those canned lychees with the syrup and ice cubes and whatnot. 🙄

          • I think most people here don’t like them because it gives them sorethroat after eating them. You can try to see whether or not you will get sorethroat or not if you eat the fresh ones a lot.

            • For me, there is another reason why I don’t like them. When I eat those fresh lychee, I always end up getting some of the seed’s skin along. Hate those skins’ texture. 🙄

              • Ah, I know what you are referring to. I don’t think it is possible to get the flesh without those skin which you say is the seed’s skin but I don’t think it is the seed’s skin as the seeds are very smooth and do not looked as if they have any skins removed off them and even those lychee fleshs in tins have them but the “skins” has been softened by the syrup so it is negligible. Doesn’t Constance get affected by these “skins from seeds” from the fresh lychees or she has a special way of eating them that do not have these sticking to the flesh?

                Hahaha, this has been long enough so no need to reply lah.

  2. Having fresh fruits and refreshing fruit juices with a view, I’d enjoy! I know it’s a fruit farm but they should take a bit more effort with presentation instead of just plonking the fruits on top of one another (and the mango looks over ripe?).

    • Well, what can I say except that this is some sort of a rustic place. Presentation ranks last in places like this. As for the mangoes, well… yeah, over ripe. But at least this means it is definitely sweet and not sour, hehehehe~

  3. haha…I will go for the durians….I tink majority of us will go for durians too which explains the reason this place is so unfamiliar even with the local Penangites..

  4. So this is a healthier place to visit, CL! Fresh fruits and all… OK, perhaps next time I make a request to come here.. 🙂

    • Hahaha only if you enjoy a fruit orchard tour. Otherwise, you can just get fresh fruits elsewhere I suppose 🙄

  5. Wow, a nice tropical farm tucked away up in a hill. Didn’t know Penang had that. All I remember when I visited Penang is being taken to Georgetown and then later dragged to their famous char kuay teow store and standing in the queue.

    RM13 sounds reasonable for that plate of fruits. Even got different colour watermelon and they give you a good variety 😀 That is what you call fresh fruit, straight from the farm. I don’t think Oz has a farm that sells this many kinds of fruits in one hit 🙄

    • Yeah but there’s a bunch of apple picking/strawberry picking farms in the Oz. Apparently you pay a nominal fee then get a box and you just fill the box up. That sounds like a more fun and better value for money activity 🙄

      • I don’t know. I went to a cherry picking farm earlier this year, and later a strawberry one too. It felt boring after a while, and there were a lot of (Asian) tourists too. Some were pushing and shoving and hogging the ladders that they climb on to pick the good fruits.

    • No, not really. I mean, no if you stick to the “main” road. We saw quite a few alfresco fruit stalls, but no other farm entrances. Although I’m sure if we turn in at junctions, we’d find some…

  6. A room with a view and fruit galore! Perfick!

    You had a nice selection of fruits on your plate for RM13. Was that a reasonable price for Penang?

    I have never seen White Dragon fruit? What was it like? They say Dragon fruit is rich in Vit C, contains calcium, is good for the heart etc.

    • Not exactly a room, but… yeah hehehe…

      I guess, with the type of fruits we got, yeah it was alright. Not that cheap, but not expensive too.

      White dragon fruit is just dragon fruit with white instead of red flesh. I would think it is more common, and cheaper.

      • The white dragon fruit does taste different from the red one. The white ones have more raw vege taste than the red ones and in most cases, the red ones are sweeter than the white ones. I like both but would buy the red ones more because of its colour which is said to have more antioxidants.

        • Thanks Mun for the info.

          Red Dragon fruits were expansive in London. The ones we had were nothing to write home about. They were definitely not tree ripen.

          • You are welcome! When I was in UK, I definitely did not see any dragon fruits in Tesco or Sainsbury but I guess they must be expensive since they are not local fruits.

            • Now that you mentioned… I’ve see durians but certainly not dragon fruit in Liverpool. I remember reading Boey’s blog, once he let his American colleagues try dragon fruit and they said it tastes like stinky foot. I guess it is not just durians that white people cannot appreciate. 🙄

  7. Oh, that’s why you didn’t have any durians. I thought you purposely went all the way to Balik Pulau to eat durians but didn’t eat in the end.

    I think this tropical fruit farm are for tourists who have not seen any tropical fruits before because they are not from the tropics. Don’t think I will go there because I am just interested in durians at Balik Pulau though I love to eat other fruis too.

    Did you see real life acerolas (the Barbados cherry or West Indian cherry fruit) or just the glass of acerola juice? Can they grow this acerolas on this tropical farm?

    • Actually now is still not yet a good time for durians feasting if you love to. The durian season is just only beginning, most of the stalls don’t have that many on offer yet. July would be a better month to come if durians are what you seek. 😛

      In Japan I only saw acerola juice, but here they actually have the cherries. I think they plant it here too. Apparently they not only have local fruits, but also fruits from other tropical regions in the world. 🙂

      • But on your platter, they did not include the West Indian cherries so did you get to taste the fresh West Indian cherries (not just the juice)? If yes, do they taste like those expensive imported cherries from USA? If yes, then buy this in Penang better than buy those expensive imported ones.

        • No, no cherries on the cut fruit platter. The cherries were only for juice, where they just throw a bunch into a blender. It was sour, just like how I remember acerola juice is supposed to taste like. I don’t remember eating US cherries though, so can’t compare. 🙄

          • So you did not eat the fresh West Indian cherries la, just the fresh juice in this farm. You mean you have never bought those imported “fresh” cherries from USA from our local supermarkets here? Very tasty and sweet but very expensive. Imported cherries from Australia is also like USA cherries. Very tasty. From my post back in 2014, the price is about RM30 for 500gm for Australian cherries – I think you will like to eat them because they are sweet but not overly sweet:

            http://muntalksfood.blogspot.my/2014/12/fruit-is-best.html

            • Well, the juice from this farm is blended directly from the cherries, so I guess the taste is the same? And no, I really have not bought those cherries. Strawberries and blueberries yes, but never cherries. I suppose you don’t consider those cherries that we get in birthday cakes? Hehehehe~ In fact, even when I was in the US, I never bought cherries. I had kiwi, grapes and strawberries mostly.

              • Those cherries on top of birthday cakes have been soaked in syrup so definitely do not taste the same as fresh ones. Juice is not the same as eating the fresh fruit. The taste will be different slightly. More so when plain water is added which I think is the case with these West Indian cherries. Can’t imagine how many cherries they will need to give you a glass of juice if no plain water is added to make the juice.

                Would you buy some fresh cherries to taste if you go to USA again since you have not eaten them before?

                • If I get to go to the US again, and if I remember your comment when I get there. Those are big IFs by the way… I don’t expect to have anymore US trips in my current role 🙁 🙄

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