Our goals for this exchange period included travelling in and out of Malaysia, gathering more experience of Asian culture, but also more specifically getting to really know Malaysia, Penang and everything local. So when we do not have big plans for the long weekends, we try to explore Penang and locations nearby. This is easy and flexible since we can decide what to do on the day itself, travel there fast and cheap and be back at home by night. As mentioned before, we try to take advantage of our travel book by Lonely Planet as well as numerous maps, brochures and tips from locals on where to go and which places not to miss.
So far we have visited the heritage site of Georgetown, Penang Hill, Tropical Fruit Farm and Tropical Spice Garden. This post will tell you more about our journey to never ending fruit buffet.
For people coming from Finland and Estonia everything tropical just sounds simply amazing. When we spotted this destination on the Penang tourism brochures, we knew that we must pay a visit as soon as possible. We took an Uber to the farm, situated up in the hills, and ended up driving the spiralling roads there for over an hour. The ticket cost 42 RM, almost ten euros, including a tour on the plantations; visit to the gift shop and at the end a chance to eat as much tropical fruits as you could handle in the buffet.
We got a private tour guide, hopped to the minibus and arrived to the beginning of the plantations after couple of minutes. He was a sweet elder man, having deep knowledge of the various species of trees, bushes and fruits. Usually he told us the names of the plants both in Malay and in English, telling which plants or fruits this one resembles with, where the plant originated from, what was the fruit’s texture like and most importantly, how did they taste like.
Daniil stopped to take pictures of the cute fruits while we slowly proceeded forward with the tour.
The tour ended up being shockingly short, since after about 20 minutes we stopped to visit the gift shop, offering tastings of different teas and enzyme drinks, produced by the ingredients offered by the farm. They also had lots of other products like skin care, dried fruits, spices etc.
We thought that we have only seen the first glimpse, but the friendly guide just smiled and told us to enjoy the fruit buffet, which was the ‘highlight of the tour’, as he said.
Well, we shall eat then! You could have fresh fruit juice squeezed from the fruits of your choice and eat as much as you wanted from the buffet.
Everything was extremely tasty and it felt luxurious to be eating numerous passion and dragon fruits for example, since they are really pricey back in Finland. For the first time in our lives we reached the earlier unimagined limit of eating too much fruits and decided to head home.
To conclude; it was a great destination to travel to, while being a bit over-priced and falsely advertised of being a truly big area of plantations, instead of that 20-minute walk through the area we actually conducted. Still enjoyable!
Written by Kia Toivola
Published by Daniil Ivanov