Nutmeg, durian, cloves and coconut – these are just some of the favourites here in the southwest side of Penang. Balik Pulau is a self-sufficient agricultural locality boasting of their fresh produce straight from their farms. And where can you get these garden-fresh fruits and veggies? In the wet market located within the new municipal complex in Jalan Tun Sardon, the Balai Rakyat Pasar Awam Balik Pulau.
This public market is housed in a three-storey community centre which also serves as public hall for events such as weddings, gatherings and badminton games. Designed in classo-modern architecture, it has a well-articulated distribution of space. There are allocated sections for the wet and dry market and the food court. There is even a simple landscape garden, a surau for Muslims to pray and a playground for children to play while in the market. The complex has allotted resting areas for shoppers and old people to rest after their marketing. It is busiest in the morning with shoppers coming to buy the freshest batch.
In front of the market, you can see food stalls selling local breakfast delicacies, fresh fruits and sundry goods. Inside the wet market you can find a variety of fresh produce, poultry, beef, pork and dry goods. There is a segregated area for non-halal products. Some of the most sought after local products in the dry goods section are nutmegs, preserved fruits, cloves, fish crackers, juice and coconut. The long food court offers a variety of favourites that will surely kickstart your day, like Pasembur, Char Koay Teow, Wan Tan Mee and Asam Laksa.
In addition to the fresh produce, there are plenty of stalls for clothing, ticketing and salons. On the other side of the complex, you can find an office of the Penang Island City Council (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang).
Aside from the main market complex, there is also a weekly “Farmer’s Market” or “Pasar Tani” every Sunday morning at the back of the main bus terminal. During this time, the farmers sell their own fresh produce while fishermen sell their fresh catch. It starts from 6am and closes at 10am. This initiative helps local entrepreneurs to market their products.
Balik Pulau literally means the “behind the island”. It is more than half an hour’s drive from the city centre and is bordered by hills and long shorelines. Balik Pulau is one of the first Malay settlements in the island. This can still be seen in the colonial-era buildings dotted in the area together with the traditional houses. The old wet market built in the early 1900s is located in the centre of the town and has been refurbished into a parking area.
How to get to Balik Pulau Market?
Pasar Balik Pulau is just a few minutes’ walk away from the Balik Pulau Bus Terminal. As such, you can take any bus that terminates here. From the city centre, you may take Rapid Penang Bus No 401E and alight at the bus terminal. From Air Itam, you may take any of the Rapid Penang Buses including No 201, 203, 502 and 401E. Additionally, you may take Bus No 101 or 501 from Teluk Bahang.
If you are coming from KOMTAR, Balik Pulau Road is accessible via Lebuhraya Tun Dr. Lim Chong and then via Jalan Tun Sardon. It is a long trip with many zigzag roads, but you get to enjoy the green scenery along the way. There is ample parking space outside the market.
Nearby Sights and Properties
• SRJK(C) Sacred Heart
• SJKC Chong Teik
• Church of the Holy Name of Jesus
Pasar Awam Balik Pulau
Address: Taman Tun Sardon Road, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia