Monday, April 26, 2010
Villa Fit for the King of Fruits
While we're in the subject of Durian, a local farmer recently setup 2 cozy villas at his Sungai Pinang orchard to cater for durian lovers. These air-conditioned villas are equipped with a 32-inch LCD TV and private swimming pool each.
You can enjoy the special “eat-all-you-can” package where one can pay RM25 to enjoy the durians for breakfast, RM35 for lunch and RM45 for dinner. The farm stay at his private villas will cost you RM180nett.
Bao Sheng Durian Farm (349429-A)
150 Mk.2, Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia.
Fax:604-829 9000 Mobile Phone:012-411 0600 / 012-401 0800
BALIK PULAU: Penang’s “durian king” has come up with an innovative package for those who want to savour the fruit — you can do so in an air-conditioned villa with a private swimming pool and 32-inch LCD television.
Bao Sheng Durian Farm owner Chang Teik Seng has so far built two mini villas in his Sungai Pinang orchard and plans to build a few more if the project is successful.
He said he had spent more than RM70,000 (S$30,051) on the villas which were equipped with king-size beds and LCD TVs as well as swimming pools amid lush green landscape.
“The idea is for durian lovers to watch the sunset from their villas while savouring the king of fruits,” said Chang, fondly called “Durian Seng” by the locals.
He said the villa project was proposed by his customers, especially those from Hong Kong and Singapore, who had wanted to stay on for a few days to enjoy the different varieties of durians.
“There are also those who come here specially demanding for the just-dropped durians and they don’t mind waiting a few days for such fruits,” he said.
Chang said he is also promoting a special “eat-all-you-can” package where one can pay RM25 to enjoy the durians for breakfast, RM35 for lunch and RM45 for dinner.
“Durian lovers can get a RM88 one day pass to eat as many durians as possible the whole day,” he said.
He added this year’s unpredictable weather had affected the flowering season but the harvest period was expected to begin in mid-May and peak in early June.
He said he would try to maintain last year’s price but the demand and supply would affect the pricing.
The durians can cost anything from RM5 to RM45 each, depending on the grade. For instance, the premium ones such as Hor Lor (gourd) is priced between RM18 and RM35, Kun Poh (RM8 to RM18) while Ang Heh (red prawn) costs from RM20 to RM45.
He said that farms from Sungai Pinang to Teluk Bahang were experiencing a good yield with 60% of the trees fruiting.
Pondok Upeh orchard co-owner Tham Soon Seong, however, said the situation was not much better than last year as only about 30% of the trees bore fruit.
“Sungai Pinang and Sungai Rusa are experiencing a better yield compared to other places like Pondok Upeh and Bukit Cengkeh, while Pulau Betong and Teluk Kumbar are faring well,” he said.
Tham said durian prices this year might go up by between 10% and 20% if imports from the mainland were low.
Australian tourist Henry Kwaczynski, 62, and his wife Jocelyn, 60, described the villa package as like “having your favourite delicacy at your doorstep with a magnificient view.
“He (Chang) is very visionary. I wish I had such a place back home,” said the former pilot from Queensland.
The couple had, in fact, fallen in love with the king of fruits since Kwaczynski was based at the Royal Australian Air Force in Butterworth in 1975.
Kwaczynski, who owns an avacado farm in Australia, said he and his wife would make it a point to visit Penang every two years.