A New Era Comes to Balik Pulau

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Stunning views are available on bicycle and sunset tours at Balik Kampung at Balik Pulau.

Penang Island’s hinterland beyond the hills is developing on many fronts. Penang Monthly introduces some surprising examples.

Separated from its two nearest population centres – Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Ara – by over 8km of winding hillside road, Balik Pulau has a strong base of Hakka Chinese and rural Malay communities. The township has long been home to an aging population with the area’s younger generations moving to the east of Penang island for more lucrative job opportunities and contemporary infrastructure. Those left behind often operated traditional businesses, like noted silversmith Fong Ten Sent, who after decades of awing visitors with his intricate, shiny creations, passed away in his beloved shop in Balik Pulau town in the middle of last month. He was in his seventies.

All that, however, is quickly changing.


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