11 July 2024

Recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand unveiled an enticing guide, “17 Durian Destinations to Visit Before You Die,” highlighting Thailand’s esteemed durian cultivation spots.

For both seasoned connoisseurs and novices eager to delve into the world of this infamous fruit, this list serves as a treasure map, promising a journey through a spectrum of sweetness and creaminess.

Brace yourself (and your nose) as we explore the top 10 destinations, many of which are already renowned travel spots, perfect for setting out your Durian Odyssey.

These locations are guaranteed to offer an unforgettable adventure. Ready your taste buds and maybe pack some extra breath mints—it’s time to dive into the pungent paradise.

Nonthaburi

Varieties: Kan Yao, Mon Thong and Chanee

Season: May-June

The cultivation of durians in Nonthaburi is steeped in tradition, with many orchards being family-run for generations.

The central province is renowned for its exquisite durian varieties, including Kan Yao, Monthong, Chanee, Kradumthong, and local types.

These durians are celebrated for their rich, sweet, and buttery flavors, creamy textures, and distinctive yellow hues.

A farmer in Nonthaburi carefully picks a pair of prized Kan Yao durians, showcasing the province’s rich durian heritage.//Photo: TAT

The fertile soil along the Chao Phraya River, enriched with essential minerals, creates perfect growing conditions for these fruits.

Local farmers enhance durian quality by using coral tree (Thong Lang) leaves in their fertilizers, resulting in durians with exceptional taste and aroma.

These superior durians have become favorites among enthusiasts, reflecting Nonthaburi’s rich agricultural heritage and dedication to quality.

Laplae, Uttaradit

Varieties: Long Lab Lae and Lin Lab Lae 

Season: May-July 

Nestled in the verdant landscapes of northern Thailand, Uttaradit province is renowned for its agricultural abundance, particularly its prized Long Laplae and Lin Laplae durian cultivars.

Grown in the lofty mountainous terrains, they produce toxin-free fruits of exceptional quality. The Long Laplae variety features round-shaped fruit with dark yellow flesh, a smooth, sticky texture, and a sweet, creamy taste with a mild aroma.

A proud farmer in Laplae district, northern Thailand, shows her prized Lin Laplae durians.// Photo : TAT

The Lin Laplae variety, reminiscent of a carambola with its oval, star-shaped appearance, offers dark yellow flesh, a dry texture, and a sweet, creamy taste, distinguished by its flat seeds and subtle aroma.

Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima

Varieties: Mon Thong

Season: April-August 

Located just a two-hour drive northeast of Bangkok, Pak Chong in Nakhon Ratchasima province is a haven for both nature lovers and durian enthusiasts.

Amidst the wonders of Khao Yai National Park and the sight of wild elephants, locals cherish Pak Chong durian, available from April to August.

This prized fruit encompasses esteemed cultivars like Mon Thong, Long Lab Lae, Lin Lab Lae, Musang King, Namdam, and Med Nai Yai Prang.

Cultivated since 1974 in the Dong Phaya Yen Mountains, Pak Chong durians hold Geographic Indication (GI) status, representing excellence in durian cultivation. With smooth, dense flesh and a delicate fragrance, these durians are a must-try.

Sisaket

Varieties: Mon Thong and Kan Yao 

Season: May-June 

Known as the “Volcano Durian,” Sisaket’s prized fruit offers a sensory experience unlike any other in Thailand.

Grown in the ancient volcanic landscapes of the Phanom Dong Rak mountain range, these durians benefit from deep groundwater, rich in minerals, which enhances their exceptional taste and quality.

Sisaket’s Volcano Durians showcase a unique blend of dry, soft, and sticky texture, complemented by a lusciously sweet and creamy taste, and a delicate aroma.//Photo: TAT

The region’s climate, with low humidity and abundant sunlight, boosts nutrient absorption and photosynthesis, ensuring the durian flesh is packed with essential nutrients and vitamins.

As a result, Volcano Durians feature a distinctive dry, soft, and sticky texture, paired with a luscious sweet and creamy taste and a delicate fragrance.

Pa La-U, Prachuap Khiri Khan

Varieties: Monthong and Chanee 

Season: May-August 

Just a short drive from Hua Hin’s lively resort scene lies the serene Pa La-U rainforest, home to some of Thailand’s most coveted durian varieties.

Cultivation began in 1984 with the introduction of the Kan Yao and Mon Thong varieties, which quickly adapted to the region’s unique conditions.

Known for their rich flavor, moderate sweetness, and dense texture, Pa La-U durians provide a sensory journey unlike any other.

With a subtle aroma and a perfect balance of sweetness and texture, they offer a quintessential Pa La-U experience for durian enthusiasts.

Just a short drive from Hua Hin’s bustling resort scene, the tranquil Pa La-U rainforest harbors Thailand’s prized durian varieties.//Photo : TAT

Rayong

Varieties: Mon Thong 

Season: May-June 

Rayong is hard to beat when it comes to the finest Mon Thong durian. Blessed with an ideal climate and fertile soil,

Rayong produces exquisite Mon Thong durians known for their large size, creamy texture, and delightful sweetness.

What sets Rayong apart is its immersive invitation into durian cultivation.

Visitors can explore orchards and farms, delving into the art of growing Mon Thong durians.

Rayong, renowned for its exquisite Mon Thong durians, famed for their large size, creamy texture, and delightful sweetness.//Photo: TAT

Easily accessible from major cities like Bangkok, Rayong’s vibrant markets are filled with the aroma of freshly harvested Mon Thong durians during peak seasons.

Beyond the fruit itself, Rayong’s culinary scene showcases the versatility of Mon Thong durians with a variety of delicious dishes and desserts, from luscious durian sticky rice to aromatic durian ice cream.

Chanthaburi

Varieties: Phuang Manee, Nok Yib, Thong Linjong, Nuan Thong Chan, Kob Suwan 

Season: February-July 

In the wake of the devastating flood that ravaged 8,000 acres of durian plantations in Nonthaburi back in 1995, Chanthaburi province emerged as a sanctuary for sought-after durian varieties.

Gardeners, determined to preserve these precious varieties, relocated many from Nonthaburi to Chanthaburi.

Today, Chanthaburi boasts a rich diversity of durian cultivars, including the Phuang Manee, Nok Yib, Thong Linjong, Nuan Thong Chan, and Kob Suwan.

Additionally, it is home to new varieties ranging from Chanthaburi 1 to Chanthaburi 10.

Indulge in Durian Toast at Chanthaburi’s Tree House Durian Cafe, a delightful treat amidst Chanthaburi’s durian paradise.//Photo: TAT

These durians feature fine, yellow, or dark yellow flesh, some tinged with orange, and are renowned for their thick, smooth texture with minimal fibers.

From rich and mellow to sharp in sweetness, these durian varieties offer a delightful spectrum of flavors, making Chanthaburi a haven for durian enthusiasts.

Phang Nga

Varieties: Salika 

Season: June-July 

In the lush landscape of Phang Nga Province, an indigenous durian variety stands out, known for its unique characteristics.

This local gem features a round shape, thin skin, and short, dense spines. Its flesh is thick, fine, and deep yellow, offering a sweet taste with a fragrant but not overpowering aroma.

Notably, the core of the durian rind has a distinctive rust-red color, and its seeds are small and shrunken.

Salika Durian: Phang Nga’s Pride//Photo : TAT

Cultivated in the Kapong District, this variety is aptly named “Salika,” a name that derives from a local tradition likening its deliciousness to the beak of the Salika bird, renowned for its melodious sound.

This charming moniker has endured through generations. Remarkably, the original Salika durian trees in Kapong District are over 100 years old.

These ancient trees continue to stand tall, consistently producing fruit year after year, a testament to their enduring legacy and the rich agricultural heritage of the region.

Koh Chang, Trat

Varieties: Chanee 

Season: March-June 

Koh Chang, Thailand’s second-largest island, once thrived with indigenous durian trees known for their large seeds, soft flesh, and less-than-ideal taste.

Over time, the islanders introduced the Chanee durian from Chanthaburi, which flourished in Koh Chang’s tropical environment, developing a distinctive appearance and flavor profile.

Koh Chang’s Chanee Durian: Notable for its Elongated Shape, Large Spines, and Distinctive Brownish-Red Rind.//Photo: TAT

The Koh Chang Chanee durian is recognized by its elongated shape, large, widely spaced spines, and thin brownish-red rind, often with red spines and distinct ridges.

Its flesh is thick, finely textured, dry, and sticky, varying from deep yellow to yellow-orange.

Most seeds are small or shrunken. The taste is sweet and rich, accompanied by a fragrant aroma. This variety is grown exclusively in the Koh Chang District of Trat Province, becoming a local specialty known for its unique qualities.

Thale Hoi, Krabi

Varieties: Chanee and Mon Thong 

Season: May-August 

Located around 85 kilometers north of Ao Nang Beach, Ban Thale Hoi may not be the typical destination for beach lovers, but for durian enthusiasts, it’s a must-visit.

Renowned for its Mon Thong and Chanee varieties, Thale Hoi is celebrated for its intensely sweet flavor, velvety flesh, and dry seeds, resilient even during heavy rainfall. Cultivated in Plai Phraya and Khao Khan within Krabi Province’s Pak Phraya District, Thale Hoi Durian stands out with its vibrant yellow flesh and red seeds, offering a crisp texture and delightful sweetness.

Mon Thong Durian is renowned for its exceptionally sweet and creamy taste, making it a favorite among durian enthusiasts.//Photo: TAT

Nurtured in fertile soil with ample water sources and ideal weather, Thale Hoi’s durians boast exceptional quality and a unique, delightful taste, making them a top attraction in Krabi.