Balik Pulau is Penang’s new tourist destination, says deputy minister

Muhammad Bakhtiar at the Balik Pulau Festival in Penang today. (Bernama pic)

BALIK PULAU (Penang): The landscape, terrain and uniqueness of Balik Pulau, the main town in rural Penang Island, makes it one of the country’s hidden treasures, Deputy Tourism Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said today.

Launching the Let’s Rock Balik Pulau event, in conjunction with the 2019 Balik Pulau Festival, he said visitors would be able to explore the beauty and treasure trove of natural experiences by going cycling, taking boat rides and trekking in the jungle.

Bakhtiar, who is the local MP, said: “Cycling and hiking are the best ways to explore Balik Pulau. You will be able to see the district’s hidden beauties. Its green landscape and fresh air are to be treasured, as well as the friendly people.”

An 11km cycling event around Balik Pulau, mangrove swamp tour by boat and trekking in the National Park in Teluk Bahang were among the features of Let’s Rock Balik Pulau.

Bakhtiar said he was committed to preserving and conserving the mangrove forests and combating the use and disposal of plastic waste that had polluted the environment.

It is understood that Balik Pulau is the ultimate destination for conserving and preserving mangrove trees. It is the destination for shelter for about 200 species of birds. This number can reach 300 to 400 species during the migration season.

The inaugural 2019 Balik Pulau Festival, held for three days beginning yesterday, offers a variety of programmes including running and cycling events, traditional orchestral performances as well as performances by invited artistes.