Penang island, hands down, is a must-visit if you are a bonafide durian lover. 2018 marked the 3rd consecutive year I have traveled to Penang purely for their durian season and of course, it doesn’t hurt that Penang is also a food heaven in Malaysia! Good food, great durians and excellent hospitality from Penangites, what more can you ask for as a tourist?
Now, more than ever, durian orchards are opening their farms and adopt farmstay philosophy to local visitors as well as international tourists. It brings a new source of revenue for them and I hope more and more orchard owners will embrace it.
For this blog post, I will highlight some of the farms I have visited in the last 3 years, be it farmstay or walk-ins. I hope it will serve as a useful head start in your quest for durians.
You need to experience this at least once, purely for the benefit of tasting freshly dropped durians. The difference in taste and sensation are too big to ignore, and you get to learn more about durians from the owners.
Walk-ins aka Day visits
For farms that cater to walk-ins make sure you call in advance to reserve your durians, preferably 2-3 days in advance. I have seen owners turning away walk-ins as they have reserved their daily hauls for either their farmstay patrons or clients who have called ahead of time.
Bao Sheng (Farmstay available)
I have stayed at Bao Sheng twice before and in my opinion, you get your money’s worth in terms of durian quality as well as the owner’s willingness to share his knowledge. They have a wide range of durian varieties so do refer to their official website at Durian.com.my on their availability, usually, updated 2-3 months before the actual season starts.
The facility is well equipped and it’s easy to get to their farm if you are self driving. They provide both dinner and breakfast (takeaways from nearby food stalls) and 3 durian tasting sessions. One thing to note, it does get crowded sometimes when their stays are fully booked.
Contact: Zhi Vooi (DurianSeng@Gmail.com)
Green Acres (Farmstay available)
In terms of nature’s surrounding, this place is the most enchanting. Getting to the farm is an adventure by itself as you will be driving up narrow steep slopes, definitely not for the faint of hearts, however, the owner will recommend a taxi driver who is familiar with the route if you are without transportation.
Owners are very friendly, and during our visit in June we had the opportunity to try Ang Bak Kia, Ganja, Goldfish, 600, D15 thai variant, Ang Heh and luckily a 100+ years old kampung durian too. Not to forget, their cempedak is also a star, aromatic and sweet!
While they provide breakfast (homemade jams, fresh eggs from their chickens, croissants, and white bread) the next day, dinner unfortunately is not provided. The kitchen is well equipped so I would advise you to bring along some instant noodles or takeaways before heading to the farm.
Contact: Kim (GreenAcresPenang@Gmail.com)
Nature Fruit Farm Resort (Farmstay available)
Although they do provide farmstay at their orchard we were only there for a day visit. I like how they have a small cafe beside the main house to caters for day visitors as well as providing breakfast to their lodgers. It was drizzling slightly during my visit thus I didn’t get the chance to look around the compound and can’t comment on their facility or living condition.
Contact: WhatsApp +60124887773
Durian Rumah Batu aka Stonehouse Durian Plantation
Very friendly owner, unfortunately for our visit there were only 369, 603, and 604 varieties available as we were 1-2 weeks too early for others. I will definitely pay them another visit next year and try their Blackthorn and Red Prawn. Be sure to call in advance to make your bookings.
Contact: WhatsApp +60125385128
If you lack the time to travel all the way to the farms at Balik Pulau and is staying around Georgetown then below is where I usually get my durian fix.
1. Ah Hoe @ Chulia Street
I bought my first ever Penang durians from him 3 years ago. You will find him setting up a stall on the roadside at around 1PM during durian season. Do try his Ang Heh, Kun Poh, and Honey.
2. Durian truck @ Jalan Kimberley
I am unsure if they are the same sellers but for the past 3 years I have seen a white truck selling durians at this location during the night time at this popular night market. For my June visit, I bought Susu and Kapri from this vendor and both taste great.