Once in a while, you go in a trip that blows your expectations out of the water and this is one of those times. You might think this is an exaggeration and I may be guilty of that but this time I’m not for a simple reason: The best durians in the world come from Malaysia, specifically, Penang, and the best durians in all of Penang is undoubtedly Bao Sheng durian farm because they grow organic durians that is guaranteed as fresh as it can get.
We first decided to go to this durian farm in Penang about two years ago, after watching a program on TV. So it was on a whim that we decided to book the villa on the Bao Sheng durian farm and stay for a couple of nights.
When we decided the trip, we didn’t expect anything much except for a feast of good durians. However we got so much more than that!
A long drive has never fazed my husband so we drove all the way to Ipoh for the first night before going over to Penang the next morning so we can arrive at just the right time to enjoy our first durian “lecture” at 4pm.
Durians are like fine cheese or wine so when you get to try different varieties of durians together, you can really tell them apart. In a short 30 mins, we tried at least 4 varieties of durians with different tastes and textures. It was a promising start to a great trip.
After the lecture, we couldn’t wait to cool off and freshen up in our villa. Our villa couldn’t look better, it was spacious and lovely and we had a pool right at our doorstep.
The pool was filled with mountain spring water so it is a little chilly but very refreshing and feels so good to dip in. We could stay in it for much longer but we wanted to join the durian tour and explore the farm so we cut short our oasis siesta time and rejoined the group for the tour.
We learned about how the organic durian farm was started and, the owner, Uncle Seng was very passionate about showing everyone how to live and enjoy the slow life and healthy food.
We returned back to the dining area just in time to catch a beautiful sunset.
Although I would love to say that nothing can marr this wonderful sight, the ferocious attack from mosquitoes is hard to ignore.
Dinner was the local cuisine such as Char Kway Teow and, of course, more durians. In fact, you can ask for durians any time of the day if you are a guest in the villas.
We returned to our room for a relaxing massage and watched a movie on the TV before finally hitting the sack. The night was interrupted with dogs barking but we easily drifted off to sleep in the darkness. Early in the morning, we had our very own chirping alarm clocks. It turned out that a family of birds had built their nest right outside our window. Deciding that we couldn’t lie in any longer with the urgent chirping of hangry chicks, we went for a durian and local breakfast.
After breakfast we took a leisurely stroll in the farm and explored the grounds as much as we can in the relative coolness of the morning. We can feel the effort and care it took for 3 generations of the family to nurture and take care of the trees and land so that it can provide for the family.
The day went by quickly with a few dips in the pool and talking to the other visitors (most of whom came from Singapore as well). It was really nice talking to people here because you know we all have at least one thing in common: Durians!
The second sunset was even better than the first!
This put me in a reflecting mood as I was leaving the next morning and this would be my last view of a sunset for a really long time.
There was so much to miss! The delicious and unique durians, the kind hospitality of the family and also the company of visitors. My time here was so much enjoyable and re-energizing, as Grace would put it, it is like charging up our batteries. It wasn’t just a simple break from work but more of a healing and repairing from the stresses of normal everyday living. Nature, trees, mountains and sunsets are really amazing creations! That was quite surprising to me as I didn’t expect such a revival from a short and simple getaway.
The durian trip is certainly a no-brainer if you are self-confessed durian lover because the best durians and best food are all in Penang. Honestly, if you are thinking of going, just go! You will get more than you expect.
I really can’t wait for our next trip to Penang and have already gotten started on planning it!
Tips: Don’t Say I Never Tell You Hor!
The ONLY way to fully enjoy this place is to book a villa and stay overnight. Yes, it is the ONLY way. Pricy, maybe. Waste of time and money? Certainly not.
During my two nights stay at Bao Sheng, I saw many walk-in visitors being turned away time and again and I truly feel sorry for them. The thing is this: durians are unpredictable and they fall only when they are ripe. You can’t expect the Uncle to pluck some durians off the tree for you. You will nearly always be disappointed if you come at the wrong time. Any amount of durians they have will be sold out in a matter of minutes and that is how good they are!
So what do you do if you come at the wrong time? My advice is Do Not Rush! Durians are harvested at different times of the day for optimal freshness. If you are desperate, then I recommend waiting. (However the smarter thing to do would be to call the farm before you come! Stating the obvious here but you’d be surprised how many people make the hour Long drive into the mountains only to be disappointed. Ask if they have durians and at what time.)
However I still maintain that by staying overnight, you are guaranteed and reserved the fresher durians (including the unique numbing taste ones). The rooms are big and comfortable and there’s a pool filled with spring water so it was really relaxing time for us.
If you are self-confessed durian lover, never pass up the opportunity to stay here and get the full experience of enjoying durians all day Long and you will really discover the best durians in the world. If you only just want some good durians desperately, you are better off buying them off the streets of Penang during the durian season.
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