BALIK PULAU - PENANG COUNTRYSIDE
Balik Pulau is an old 'rustic' town in southwest of Penang that offers refreshing country air, charming mosques, soothing sight of paddy fields and variety of seafood delights. It showcases a glimpse of slow-paced rural life that is fast disappearing due to onslaught of modern development. The drive along the winding road there gives a fantastic view of the coastline and the beautiful surrounding
The town is made up of few fishing village such as Teluk Kumbar, Kampung Pondok Upeh, Kampung Sungai Burung, Gertak Sanggul and Pulau Betong.
These village have interesting origins of their names. For example, Teluk Kumbar was named after a palm called pokok kumbar, Kampung Pondok Upeh was so named because the earlier settlers built their huts with the leaves of the upeh pinang and Kampung Sungai Burung was founded on the mouth of a river with plenty of birds.
According to historical records, the early Malay settlers on Penang island were refugees from Kedah who were fleeing from Siamese invaders. They made their homes in Bukit Dumbar and Bayan Lepas. Later, in 1786 when the Chakri Dynasty came to power in then Siam and expanded the kingdom, there was more migration of Malays and Thai Muslims from Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Perlis and Kedah to Balik Pulau.
This scenic area, surrounded by hills, was a perfect place for them to escape persecution from their enemies. Today, many families in this town trace their ancestral roots from southern Thailand.