Rayong Fruit Festival
The Rayong Fruit Festival takes place across a week. It usually falls in mid-to-late May, although in 2016 it took place from May 30th – June 8th.
2017’s dates are yet to be announced, so keep checking back for further updates.
This week-long fruit extravaganza is one of the biggest fruit festivals in all of Thailand.
A range of tropical fruits are on offer for your tasting pleasure. The durian – known across the region as the ‘king of fruit’ – is present in several different varieties. You’ll also find the rest of the usual Thai fruit suspects, including mangoes, mangosteen and dragon fruit.
The Rayong Fruit Festival features a fun parade, fruit eating contests, and a beauty pageant on the main stage where the winner gains the title of ‘Miss Fruit Gardener’. There are also live performances throughout the week, featuring live music and dancing.
Perhaps the highlight of the whole week is the opening performance on the first evening. Here, the colorfully-dressed performers re-enact the process of harvesting durians in a quite spectacular way.
Nearby Chanthaburi gets more attention for its World Durian Fruit Festival, but the Rayong Fruit Festival more than holds its own. In fact, Rayong is another one of the fruit centers of Thailand. The fruit harvest – particularly when it comes to durian – is hugely important in Rayong, which is why the Rayong Fruit Festival is such a big deal to the locals.
The enthusiasm they have for their livelihood is infectious. The fruit is at its tastiest in late May and early June, which is the peak of fruit-growing season; good news for you!
Rayong province is located in the southeast of Thailand, near to the Cambodian border, nestled in between Chonburi (home to Pattaya) and Chanthaburi. The Rayong Fruit Festival takes place in the city of Rayong itself, at the extensive Taphong Fruit Market.
Rayong is easily reached from Bangkok, via a bus from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Be warned, however, that if you take a public bus you’re likely to be dropped at the Rayong Bus Terminal – which is 10km away from the city center – meaning you’d also have to get another form of transportation. Private minibuses from Bangkok may cost a little extra, but they’re more likely to drop you in the center.
If you’re in Pattaya it’s an even easier journey. The two cities are only around 55km apart, and you can catch a minibus to Rayong from Sukhumvit Rd, or take a public bus from Pattaya Bus Station.
It should also be noted that Rayong and Chanthaburi are only a 2 hour drive apart, and the Rayong Fruit Festival and World Durian Fruit Festival often overlap. If you’re a massive Thai fruit fan, you could easily take in both!