World Durian Fruit Festival
The World Durian Fruit Festival takes place in May each year. 2016’s festival was from May 21st – 29th, but at the time of writing 2017’s dates are yet to be announced.
This fruity festival promotes some of Thailand’s most delicious culinary delights.
The World Durian Fruit Festival aims to celebrate the range of tropical fruits that are available only in Thailand. The main fruit on offer is, of course, the durian. There’s plenty more Thai fruit on display however, including Lamyai, Mangosteen, Chompoo and Salak. You can also gobble up other popular fruits from the region, including mango, pineapple and dragon fruit.
There are stalls absolutely everywhere, as you’d expect, selling a huge amount of seasonal fresh fruit at great prices.
If you’re starting to feel like your stomach might explode, and you need a break from eating fruit, there are other things to entertain you. These include cultural performances, stalls selling non-fruit wares like jewelry, and even eating competitions (which might make you feel sick all over again).
The durian is definitely the most divisive fruit in Thailand, and perhaps in the whole world. This is primarily due to its smell, which is incredibly potent (many of the country’s larger hotels simply don’t allow durian on the premises). If you can get past that, however, a creamy, complex and unique taste awaits you. It’s known as ‘the king of fruit’ by many people in Southeast Asia for a reason.
The World Durian Fruit Festival is held in the city of Chanthaburi. Chanthaburi province is extremely fertile, and produces huge amounts of tropical fruit. When it comes to durian, Chanthaburi is undoubtedly the country’s center; 50% of all the durian in Thailand is grown there.
Despite its agricultural prowess, Chanthaburi is not a tourism hotspot. The festival does a great job of generating both domestic and international publicity for the province.
Chanthaburi province is located right in the southeastern corner of Thailand, near the border with Cambodia, around 245km away from Bangkok.
The World Durian Fruit Festival takes place in Chanthaburi city, specifically at Somdej Pra Chao Tak Sin Maharat Public Park. The park consists of a beautiful lake with a large island in the middle, and paths running all around the lake.
You can get to Chanthaburi easily enough from Bangkok. Large, air-conditioned buses leave from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) daily, or you can catch a smaller but quicker minivans from Victory Monument. While the minivans have currently been moved away from Victory Monument itself, you can catch a shuttle bus from there to where the vans are located now. Victory Monument is connected via the BTS and you can walk on the raised walkway to where you need to go.