Some traffic tips for those who want to drive up to Balik Pulau on a weekday:
- In between 7:15am and 8:30am the whole stretch of Bayan Baru to Sungai Tiram right up to Sungai Batu is a no-no. You will be squashed among the cars and factory buses and vans heading towards the Free Industrial Zone.
- The two-way traffic in Jalan Tengah will become one-way street.
- Only use these roads after 8:30a.m.
- Coming down from Balik Pulau at 6pm via the same road is not the wisest choice. The traffic comes to a standstill.
- I can go on and on.... go figure it out yourself
- Why you should listen to me: I ply this route twice a week during peak and non-peak hours as mi casa is there and I need to go to work there.
There are three different routes heading towards Balik Pulau, the back of the isle. I prefer Balik Pulau than the Heritage Trail. I live in town area for so many years and I can't stand the traffic congestion, the unbearable heat and the lack of parking spots. Basically, I don't get out of the house. I work at home[s]. You can either go to Balik Pulau via the Teluk Bahang route which would be further unless you're staying somewhere up north of the island or you can go via the new route, not new anymore after all these years, the Paya Terubong route. I prefer the Bayan Lepas route as it's nearer to my house. Yeah, everywhere seems to be near to my house[s].
To go to Bayan Lepas, there are three different routes either. I don't think I want to go into details with routes. It will just discourage you from driving. After the airport on your left, drive straight up to the flyover, you will come into contact with the two-way-lane of small Bayan Lepas pekan, a small town, so small that you take only 1 minute to drive through the two rows of shophouses on your left and right. The photo above shows the route after the traffic light of the small little pekan. On the left is the newly built Pavilion Resort. I don't see why the developer want to name it a 'resort'. There's nothing there to see, trust me.
The mosque on your left is a good indicator that you're driving along the correct route. This is the Sungai Batu area with two schools on your right. If you want to see the real village with wooden houses, you turn left after the mosque. I will not lead you further because strangers are not always welcome. It's like barging into someone's compound without permission. And it's very rude to do that.
Drive along and you'll come to the Teluk Kumbar small town. It's just another small town but with good seafood. I'm not talking about Hai Boey Seafood. I prefer Good Friend Seafood which you can see along the narrow road on your left. Turn in and park at their compound. Opposite Good Friend, you can see a Chinese primary school, Yang Cheng which will be relocated soon further into the jungle. Take this as a scenic drive. The route is less dangerous compared to those two other routes.
See, it was quite empty. By the way, that's not aurora in the sky. That happened to be my CPL filter which I did not remove. And I'm not driving in a dangerous way like shoot-driving, not drink-driving. My hubby was holding the camera while I was holding the steering wheel. I'm a faster driver compared to my hubby and I like fast-driving so I must be behind the wheels. Hubby took lots of photos as I'm one who is very fussy with perfect photos. I like natural photos but that CPL filter intact seemed to have created an unwanted yet beautiful aurora in the clear blue sky.
You see that bus? That's Rapid Penang, our public bus which ply the uphill and downhill routes daily if you were to take the bus #401 or #401E. I took the buses before but due to the irregular arrival time, I couldn't take that anymore. I thought of living my life like when I was in other country where public transports are reliable. I took these a few weeks and then I simply just gave up. The amount of time wasted while waiting for it was not worth it at all. But if you're a tourist without your own transportation, then you will need this. It's only a few Ringgits. It's probably less than USD1 from the first stop at jetty to the last stop in Balik Pulau.
The entrance to Bukit Genting will come into view on your left. That's where I have read about where people get beautiful sunset shots. I was telling the hubby that I would want to go up to Bukit Genting for my sunset shots. But I didn't make it there. I found the best place in the whole world to take the sunset shots. I will show you soon after going through another 1688 photos. Yeah, a one day trip can choked my memory card with photos until the max. When you see Bukit Genting, give a pat on your back for making it halfway to Balik Pulau. Drive on.... drive on.... the best part of drive is yet to arrive.
That's the durian tree saying hi~! This bridge took years to build and it's just so majestic. If you only think that other countries have beautiful infrastructure, you will need to explore your backyard. On this island itself, you can find hidden treasures if you just take the time to search for it. In this one photo, you get to see the lush greeneries of the dense jungle. You see that small little isle on the sea? That's Pulau Betong. And driving along the road by the sea would bring you straight to where you will get a glimpse of the best sunset that you never imagine you would see. I went round Taiwan chasing after sunsets and sunrise and I didn't get any good view of any of those. Here I am, at my own backyard that I sat on a rock and waited upon the sun to set. I didn't do any running or walking. I was just sitting there and waiting.
You're not there yet. Continue driving down the windy route. No, it's not dangerous unless you drive like a madman. Check your brakes and the pattern on your tyres. It will be slippery on rainy days. You know you don't have to stop your car at every corner, get down and prop up your tripod to get a good shot. You can do that while you get another person to drive. You will be surprised with the photos that you get. It's not always the focused ones are the perfect ones.
The last half of the marathon drive was quite shaded with durian trees. Durian trees grow so tall that it's not suitable at all to have them in my garden or else I will just plant durian trees and wait for them to grow. Durians, the king of fruits are in abundant in the month of May. It's also out now from some trees but due to the little supply, the price is higher.
You see that signboard? Congratulations, you have arrived. Please decide where you wanna go. The left turn into Pulau Betong was quite sharp. If you overshot then turn back. Even if you go straight and head towards Teluk Bahang, you have other things to see. I will show you shortly.... my shortly can take days, weeks or months. I don't know....