Our third day of exploring Penang brought us first to a tropical organic fruit farm and then to a former Chinese clan house from the 1800’s. The two couldn’t be more different if they tried. One involved walking in nature, swatting away mosquitoes and tasting the delicious bounty of Earth. The other brought us back into the past as we walked into dimly lit rooms and read about a key part of Penang’s history. It was definitely a day that brought us from one spectrum to the other.
The tropical fruit farm is not really situated anywhere near Georgetown, with sparse bus service. That meant we had to head to a taxi stand and negotiate a reasonable fee. We managed to get a cheaper deal than we expected after bartering for a few minutes and we were off. The tropical fruit farm is located 800 feet above sea level and the road up provided us with plenty of opportunities to hold our breath as the taxi made its way around blind corners. We did make it there safe and sound. The view at the farm was definitely worth the harrowing car ride.
The fruit farm seems to be a well-oiled operation. Upon arrival, after you pay the admission fee, you are whisked up the hill in a mini van with your guide. The tour commences once you exit the van. The guide begins to take you all around the farm and stops at each different plant or tree to explain what fruit tree/plant it is. The guide then would give us interesting tidbits about each plant. Malaysia is home to about 370 different kinds of fruit. Not all of these are found at the farm, but a great number are. One of the more interesting fruits on the farm was the jackfruit. The jackfruit is the largest tree-born fruit in the world and can grow to weigh as much as 80 pounds. It is also very delicious!
The tour ends in a cafeteria where you find the fruit buffet. There you are offered a fruit drink of your choice (two fruits of your choice blended into a delicious concoction) and introduced to the buffet which has about 15 different kinds of fruit. Some fruits are sweet and others are tart, but most were delicious.
After we filled up on fruit it was time to head back to our waiting taxi and back to Georgetown. Once there we headed off to Khoo Klongsi, a Chinese clan house. This particular clanhouse belongs to the Khoos. These traders were very wealthy in the 17th century. The clan house shows this wealth to its visitors. The building has large murals, sculptures, paper lanterns, etc… The building holds a temple and the square around it holds a theater and houses for clan members. It is a very impressive area.
Our third day in Penang brought us from one extreme to the other. Both places were very different from each other, but both were equally rewarding tourist experiences.
More photos can be found here.