Down in the durian valley behind Bao Sheng Durian Farm and up the Sungai Pinang creek from the little village is a small farmstay perfect for those who love peace, quiet, and little meditation before their durian smorgasbord.
It’s your own personal durian retreat!
About The Metta Lodge Durian Retreat
Metta Lodge is a new Farmstay in Penang that is designed for the consciousness lifestyle.
The 4-acre durian farm is tucked into one of the quietest corners of Penang, up the narrow road of the Sungei Pinang river valley. The property doubles as a meditation retreat center and treatment space for practitioners of massage, yoga, or Singing Bowl Therapy (highly recommended).
Dato Tan Jin Soon and his wife, Datin Tan , purchased the property around 2000 when he was getting ready to retire from teaching. The property already had mature durian trees, and he guesses that his trees are 40 to 60 years old.
They even have some of the oldest Musang King on the island, thanks to their neighbor being one of the first to grow it and spreading the durian love.
Today Metta Lodge is managed by KK, but you’ll often see the Datin there as well.
They each have their favorite trees – KK likes a Red Prawn in the corner by the meditation hall – but agree that of all their durians, the Green Skin is a stand-out in terms of richness, bitterness, and overall favoriteness.
The Durians of Metta Lodge
The property has around 70 durian trees, all lavished with organic TLC. Dato Tan was emphatic that he wanted his retreat center to be as natural as possible, and with a caretaker as health-aware as KK you can trust that this is a place you can eat off the ground without fear of chemicals.
Complete list of varieties:
I was excited visiting Metta Lodge for teh first time. KK had warned me their specialty was Green Skin, which I’m very partial to.
Green Skin is a heavy durian. It’s fatty and thick-textured, and one of the most bitter you can find on Penang. Penang Island typically specializes in sweet, berry, and alcoholic, but not so much on that satisfying OOMPH that makes you go this is durian.
The history of Chae Phoy is that someone working in the tin mines of Phuket brought a Chanee seed, planted it, and then someone took a seed from that tree and planted it, and then voilà we have a Green Skin.
So it’s likely a Chanee grandchild, and you can totally taste it.
This old Penang celebrity has definitely fallen out of the limelight with the rise of Black Thorn, but that’s mostly because it’s really hard to ship it anywhere. Look at how soft it is, that fragile skin spilling over with a fiberless, wine-milk-and-honey cream.
Inside Metta Lodge: Main House
Metta Lodge is a full-size, beautiful old Kampung House.
Think my Grandma’s old 1960’s-style home – except on stilts, with more dark wood and stain glass windows, and the homey wall decor with sayings like “My greatest blessings call me Grandma” are in Chinese.
Staying at Metta Lodge feels like staying inside someone’s home. There are family photos, a case of memorabilia, and a cozy kitchen filled with everything you need to cuddle up to a hot cup of coffee on a quiet morning.
The house comprises a living room, a large kitchen, and three simple bedrooms. There is no air-conditioning, just ceiling fans that keep the air moving. But in the shade of the valley, the temperature is usually comfortable anyway.
The house can be booked out as the whole house, or room-by-room. If you’re not comfortable sharing a toilet or living space with strangers, you may need to check if there are other guests.
Metta Lodge also offers 2 dormitory-style rooms that can accommodate up to 8 guests attending yoga, meditation, vegetarian, or other conscious-living gatherings.
Healthy Lifestyle Events
KK is a fabulous cook. Let me rain praises.
He really knows local ingredients that grow all over the Metta Lodge property; things like Raja Ulam and other edible leaves and herbs, breadfruit and gourds, and all kinds of local veggies.
On our Durian Tours, we always often stop by Metta Lodge for a demonstration of local flavors and flora.
Keep in mind that this is available only for small group retreats and tours, not for individual guests.
If you are traveling in a small group or want to hold small, intimate retreats for the durian devotees of the conscious-lifestyle movement, it’s a great option.
In total Metta Lodge can accommodate 14 people, so farm will never get too crowded or noisy.
The place just has a great vibe.
If you’re looking for a quiet refuge to devote your stomach space to organic durian, then take your own personal durian retreat at Metta Lodge.
How to Get to Metta Lodge
Metta Lodge is in the winding valley of Sungei Pinang, just down the hill from Bao Sheng Durian Farm and on the same road as Stone House and Karuna Hill.
Public Transportation: Two Penang Rapid Transit buses pass by the Sungei Pinang village. You can step down in the village and walk the 500 meters to Metta Lodge.
- 501: This bus goes from Teluk Bahang to the Balik Pulau Bus Station.
- 404: This bus goes from Balik Pulau Bus Station to Pantai Aceh.
Driving Yourself: Use our New App to get directions to Metta Lodge and find other durian farms nearby.
For the 2020 season, you can still order their thick and bitter Green Skin or other durians for home delivery.