It started with a passion for cycling through the peaceful curving mountain roads and flat scenic paddy fields of Balik Pulau on a weekend afternoon with his buddies.
Refueling on durians was an added bonus.
In 2014, Adrian decided to start offering cycling tours of Balik Pulau. He needed somewhere to store his bikes, so he began renting an old Malay village house that happened to have a durian orchard attached at the back.
He, his friends and cycling guests would come by, whack some durians, and continue onward through a cultural tour of old Balik Pulau.
It was just luck that the trees were really old, and the absentee owner didn’t mind sharing the durian.
Everyone was enjoying themselves so much, Adrian decided to renovate the old house and begin offering a simple B&B accommodation in kampung style.
Now it’s one of the most popular places to stay in Balik Pulau and the most budget-friendly Balik Pulau durian homestay (farmstays can be kind of expensive!). You can book through Booking.com or Airbnb.
Titi Teras Village House – Balik Pulau Durian Homestay
The old house was originally built on stilts, elevated off the ground, but like many kampung style houses in the area, someone decided to board up the lower floor and make the house bigger.
Currently, all the bedrooms are upstairs, while the ground floor has a cool sitting area, a fully functional kitchen, and several bathrooms.
It’s clean and simple, however, I wouldn’t take my mother here.
There is no air conditioning or Wifi in the old house, and not much privacy.
The main room is a dormitory with 4 beds, attached to a double-room with a roll-down mat wall/door.
The other double-bed room is separated by an actual wall from the dorm room, giving a bit more privacy.
(The photos look a bit dark, mostly because my camera is broken *again* so am using a borrowed camera I obviously don’t know how to work. It’s dim and cool in the rooms, but really not so gloomy).
I personally wouldn’t mind staying here for a few nights, in part for the friendly company, in part for that fully-functional kitchen, and partly for the price.
As of writing, the dormitory costs Rm40 per bed ($9.60 USD) and Rm88 ($21.40) for a private room, and you’re welcome to eat durian that falls on the property during your stay.
Compare that to other Durian Farmstays in Balik Pulau, which start around Rm240 per night ($57 USD) and *don’t* include the durian, and you’ve really found a good deal.
The Durian Orchard
Behind the old house is 1.6 acre owned by an elderly Chinese-Malaysian man.
According to him, most of orchard is around 50 years old, but there were already some trees on the land when he bought it. One of the trees is at least 90 years old.
Adrian isn’t sure of the durian varieties, but we were able to identify at least one:
D2 is one of the oldest durian varieties in Malaysia, registered in the early 1930’s with the Department of Agriculture. You’ll find it occasionally around Penang on very old farms, but it’s not common.
I spotted it because of it’s unusual shape, the dark green “netting” around the thorns, and it’s peculiar tendency to have little baby thorns in between the big thorns (check out my book, The Durian Tourist’s Guide to Penang, for more ID specs)
Inside, a *good* D2 is fleshy with little bitty seeds wrapped in strawberry blond flesh. It’s a very sweet durian, that can hint at alcohol like a berry-cider or mulberry wine, but has a tendency to not ripen fully.
This one had parts that were beautifully soft like cream, and other parts that were still firm to the touch and a little bit more “Thai Style.” It’s very typically for D2, and one of the reasons it’s not common anymore, but nobody seemed to mind.
It’s still tasty 😋and if you *do* get one that has ripened fully, a dream of a durian.
Most of Adrian’s durians are probably kampungs, but this one I wasn’t sure about. It seemed familiar.
We were lucky, and these had just fallen before we arrived. The stems were still sticky!
It was exactly the flavor that my boyfriend, Richard, really likes. Very sticky and cookie-dough, with an intense egg-flavor and numb tingle.
Getting to Titi Teras Village House
Titi Teras Village House & Durian Homestay is easy to find. It’s about 2.5 km north of the Balik Pulau Bus Station, on the left-hand side of the road if you’re driving or bicycling to the durian wonderlands of Kampung Sungai Pinang (Bao Sheng Durian Farm, Stone House, Steven Chua’s, or Karuna Hill).
I’ve often cycled in this area, and found the traffic to be bicycle-friendy, so I wouldn’t hesitate to rent a bicycle from Adrian and cruise around hunting durians.
You can also check out his cycling tours at https://cyclingbalikpulau.com