Cycling At Balik Pulau, The Other Side Of Penang – Last Monday, I went to the other side of Penang Island, a more rural part of Penang, a more nature part, somewhere more relax, more greens and a totally different side of the urban developed George Town – Balik Pulau. Balik Pulau also means back of Island in Malay.
It's a small town at the back of the island, with the presence of villages, padi field and many fruit and vegetable farms. I've read online that there's bicycle rental service in Balik Pulau that allows you to rent a bike to explore Balik Pulau at the same time exercise some reflexes of the feet through cycling.
I called up the person in-charged Eddie who operates the bicycle rental service and meet him up in Balik Pulau. He brought 3 bikes, one for himself, and two for me and Arron. Besides renting the bike, Eddie himself was our guide around Balik Pulau that day. I didn't think we would have a guide, I though we would be given a map and follow the trail. But then having a guide is better than following a map, Eddie was very friendly to guide us along the way, and introduced some cool places in Balik Pulau.
Our biking trail was designed by Eddie himself and the whole trip took about 2.5 hours through 20km of journey. We started about 5pm and ended at 7.30pm. Normally it's 15km only but he told us that we were fast and he brought us to explore more.
Being in Balik Pulau doesn't felt like being in Penang anymore because of the rural village and the beauty of nature. Our biking trail went through Malay village, Chinese Kampung Baru, river streams, padi fields, fruit farms, vegetable farms, fishing village, Malay's cemetery and a little beach, as well as some major road in Balik Pulau.
It's fun, it's a good exercise, but sitting too long on the bicycle makes my ass hurts. After all, Arron and I enjoyed the cycling trip, only that we missed out the Hokkien Mee and Laksa alongside Kuala Jalan Baru which only available during the weekend.
Arron and Eddie in front. Cycling on a less-car road.
Well, the Bike Trail signage are actually set up by the government, though Eddie doesn't recommend following the signage as the trail is long and doesn't has much thing to see.
Eddie introducing a Chinese temple at Kampung Jalan Bharu.
He said that if you sees a Chinese temple presence, it means that the whole area is a Chinese populated village. Normally temple is set up at the entry point of the village as well the end point, which the Chinese god will protect the people.
A dirty stream
Typical Chinese village house.
A rice paddy field at Balik Pulau, unfortunately, those paddy has been harvested and resulted a not-pretty paddy field scene.
Luckily the weather was pretty nice that afternoon. Google Weather did actually reported that 70% chance of storm, but there's no rain.
Cycling through the paddy field.
Yes, this is Penang Island, doesn't look like Penang right? It's the other side of Penang, the more nature side.
A hut storing stuff.
Awas = Beware.
At the river mouth of Sungai Burong, where here you can get a great shot of Sunset. Unfortunately, we were still early at that time.
Looking at far, it's Pulau Betong, a fishing village and at there you can find Pasir Panjang beach.
An abandoned house that looks creepy.
Locals playing sepak takraw.
Along the main road.
I've heard that Nibong Tebal has bicycle for rental for cycling trip too, guess it'll my next destination. Cycling is fun and healthy way to explore places like this.
If you plan to go cycle at Balik Pulau, do give Eddie a call to book your bike and make appointment. He told me that there will be a Explore Balik Pulau Visitor Centre opening somewhere around May 2012 at Air Putih.
Explore Balik Pulau (by Avent Leisure Sdn Bhd)
Telephone: +6016-4522100 (Eddie)
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 2pm – 6.30pm / Sat, Sun, Holiday 12pm -6.30pm
Rental: RM30/day with guided tour.
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