Love it, hate it, there’s no denying that the durian is the king of fruits, most especially to Southeast Asians. With its size and spiky skin that conceals its luscious flesh and distinct odor, it is, indeed, unlike any other fruit out there.
Although some may say it smells like hell—even the late great Anthony Bourdain once said “Your breath will smell as if you’ve been French kissing your dead grandmother.”—who cares if it tastes like heaven, anyway?
So, if you’re a big fan of durian, read up as we’re about to give you a lowdown on the best durian destinations in Southeast Asia.
Believe it or not, Thailand is actually the leading producer and exporter of durian! It produces six times more durian than anywhere else in the world and is home to over 230 varieties of the fruit—from the common Monthong and Chanee to the expensive Kan Yao. When planning a durian tour, the Land of Smiles is a durian wonderland you don’t want to miss.
Also known as Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yaowarat Road is a foodie paradise lined with countless durian stalls and carts selling the fruit fresh and straight from its shell at affordable prices.
Yaowarat Road, Sampanthawong, Bangkok, Thailand
This store in Nonthaburi Province, just northwest of Bangkok, offers nothing on their menu but—you guessed it—durian! Its owner is a durian connoisseur, who has tasted more than 100 varieties of the fruit. The store is well-stocked with the most common durian varieties as well as some rare ones.
222 หมู่ 4 Ratchaphruek Road, Tambon Maha Sawat, Amphoe Bang Kruai, Chang Wat Nonthaburi 11130, Thailand
After You Durian
Located on the ground floor of the Siam Paragon shopping mall, After You Durian gives local desserts a spin with the help of the king of fruits. Stop by and have a go at their durian sticky rice honey toast or have a sip of the house’s durian frappe. Their desserts are winning taste buds left and right that even the Michelin Guide has suggested this place dedicated to their avid readers!
991/1 สยามพารากอน Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Or Tor Kor Market
Looking for the finest varieties of durian? Or Tor Kor Market might just have what you’re looking for. This upscale outdoor market in Bangkok is one of the largest in the world and boasts a wide selection of durian. Walk its busy lanes and you’re sure to find neatly-displayed picture-perfect durian fruit at stalls.
101 ถนน ย่านพหลโยธิน Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
During durian season, which usually runs from April to August, the streets of Thailand are awash with durian vendors. Really, you wouldn’t have any difficulty looking for a place to taste durian because they are simply everywhere! To make your durian tour in Thailand easier, book a private transport service to take you to anywhere in the city under a flexible schedule.
Malaysia is the world’s second top producer of durian, and have numerous farms open to the durian-loving public. As of writing, the country has 134 official varieties of the fruit, but among the most common types you will find in the market are the Musang King, D24, and Red Prawn.
Fook Gor Durian Farm
Fook Gor Durian Farm is the collective effort of agriculture specialists, who are experts in cultivating Malaysia’s durian varieties. With over 30 years of experience, they are open to striking partnerships with businesses and individuals who love durian just as much. For more information, visit their official Facebook page.
No. 428 D M Malaysia, Taman Sungai Klau, 27630 Raub District, Pahang, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur’s foodie central is probably the most convenient place to buy durian in the capital city. Keep your eyes peeled for varieties like Musang King, D99, and the seasonal Red Prawn.
Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bao Sheng Durian Farm
Established in 1959, Bao Sheng Durian Farm is among the oldest durian farms in the country. They employ various farming techniques to uphold the organic and top-tier quality of their fruits. You may visit their official website for tour inquiries.
150 MK 2 Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
Just like what its name suggests, this cafe is a durian haven through and through, offering drinks and delicacies made with the fruit. From cakes to ice cream, they have a mouthwatering food lineup that appeals most especially to durian fans.
16, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
Reach the destinations in your itinerary through a local private transport service. It’s affordable and hassle-free!
Kuala Lumpur City Private Day Tour (customizable)
Penang Private Chartered 1-Day Service
Davao City in Mindanao is dubbed as the “Durian Capital of the Philippines.” The fruit is such a big deal in the entire Davao region, aiding the local economy in terms of exporting and tourism, that they even hold a festival in honor of it annually!
Partoza Durian Farm
This farm, about an hour’s drive from Davao City, welcomes durian lovers of all ages to take a tour and taste some of the province’s finest-tasting durian varieties. Since they are limiting the number of guests per day to ensure a pleasant experience, place a reservation at least three days prior to your visit, so they have ample time to make the necessary arrangements for you. Currently, they have two tours available—a day tour lunch package and a day tour snack package.
Tugbok, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines
Founded by the Candelario “Larry” Miculob, the Chairman of the Durian Industry Council of Davao City and Board of Trustee of the Mindanao Fruit Industry Development Council, D’Farmers Market is a family-owned business that takes pride in running a farm-to-table restaurant that features durian dishes. They also operate the first durian-freezing and export facility in the Philippines. Swing by to sample local varieties such as Puyat, Arancillo, and Durian sa Pari—among others.
Calinan-Tamayong Rd, Calinan District, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines
Ask any Davao local and they’ll tell you that the best place to get durian-derived sweets is Lola Abon’s. This beloved candy factory has been around since the 1950s, and continues to delight people with their irresistible durian specialties such as pastillas and yema.
23 San Miguel Village Matina, Davao City
Singapore’s obsession with durian is on a whole different level. They have the highest per capita consumption of the fruit, and every year, they import over 22,000 tons of durian from Malaysia. We don’t like doing the math, but one thing’s for sure: That’s a lot!
This durian stall has been around for over 50 years and has catered to some of the most durian-addicted locals and tourists. It’s most famous for selling the Mao Shan Wang durian variety a.k.a. one of the most premium types of durian. The place gets really busy, so make sure to come early to have a good pick.
249 Balestier Road, Singapore
This newly-opened cafe specializes in serving durian desserts. When you drop by, make sure to indulge in their Durian Mousse Cake, a divine vanilla sponge topped with fresh durian and palm sugar syrup, or sink your teeth in their Ice Cream Puff infused with the flavors of the Mao Shan Wan variety.
51 Upper Serangoon Road, #01-70 Poiz Centre, Singapore
Indonesia is an often overlooked durian destination. While it is not as popular as the other countries on this list, its varieties of durian are nonetheless delicious.
This small remote village in North Sumatra sits on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park. Tangkahan is best known for its attractions that allow interaction with elephants, but durian experts consider it as the mecca of durian in Indonesia. Visit the area for fruit-tasting then take in the beautiful sceneries it offers by trying out some outdoor activities like jungle trekking and river tubing.