Wet gym socks, blue cheese, turpentine and onions – these are some of the smells used to
describe the King of Fruits. The smell of durian is so pungent that HAZMAT teams in NBC suits
and forensic police have been called in to investigate the odour. However ask any Malaysian
and we’ll tell you that the smell of Durian is just as amazing as your Parisian perfume. Times
ten. And the flavor? The rich, creamy, velvety texture? Second to none.
Being an almost elusive fruit that comes out during specific seasons, the durian can be a hard
fruit to catch. However once it’s in season, you’ll see durian stores popping up like mushrooms
everywhere. Ranging from an all-you-can-eat buffet that’ll cost you Rm40 to special grade
durians that’ll cost you Rm400, here’s a quick guide on where to find the King of Fruits.
Pasar Payang is the central market of Kuala Terengganu. Located by the Terengganu river, it is
a 2-storey building that sells wet goods such as fish, vegetable, seasonal fruits and traditional
delicacies on the ground floor and dry items such as songket, silk, brocades and handicraft on
the first floor. Visitors can expect to find a variety of grades of durian sold during the season.
Lawas, a sleepy riverside town situated by the riverside in the most northern part of Sarawak
comes to live each weekend. Lawas Tamu or Outdoor Weekend Market typically appears on
each Friday and Saturday and caters not only to the locals but also to the Bruneians next door.
Touted as the biggest outdoor weekend market, one can expect to find a plethora of things with
durian of course, being the star attraction. Sold in ‘ikat’ or tupperwares, one can choose
between one ‘ulas’, one fruit or even one whole tonne.
Jalan Gaya Food Night Market in Kota Kinabalu is one of the four markets in the same area that
was created by the municipality to increase tourism and promote sales of domestic goods and
specialties. However the things that stands out the most are it’s roasted durians. Durians clad in
aluminium foil, roasted on a hot bed of charcoal. Tourists as far as South Korea and Taiwan are
known to fly in just for this specialty!
If you’re familiar with durian and want to take it to the next level, you can hone your mastery at
Bao Sheng Durian @ Balik Pulau. Here one can get educated on the types of durian and
sample in the variety of breeds, hand plucked fresh off the tree. Here the owner of the orchard
himself will be your guide in this durian-exploration. Due to the year round availability of durian
on this Island, one can also find durian at the local markets and eateries.
Forest durians or wild durians that vary in quality can be found lining the highways and main
roads, primarily from to Cameron Highlands from Tapah. The wet markets and night markets will
also sell durians from Penang, Ipoh and Pahang right from the D24s to the Musang Kings.
Being the durian-capital of Malaysia, Pahang enjoys an all-round season for durian. An hour’s
drive from KL, Bentong is a small, cozy little town that can be explored on foot. The streets are
arranged in blocks and feature shops that are from the pre-war era, right to the 1900s. Famous
for a special breed of ginger and ginger byproducts, the inhabitants of Bentong have also
diversified their durian products. One can not only find the usual variety of durian but also durian
cake, durian ice cream, durian candy and almost anything that can be filled or made with durian!
Head over to the Bentong Durian Shop for durian galore.
Apart from being the historical centre of Malaysia and producing lesser durian as compared to
it’s bigger neighbour in Johor, one can find numerous places that sell durian almost all year
round. Durian Heng is a 5 acre orchard that specializes in rare finds such as the D25, D101, D4,
Kasap and Red Prawn variables. Apart from the usual road side stalls that sell durian by the
bucketload, one can also find durian in wet markets, coconut shake stalls and the pasar besar.
A national treasure and also a state treasure – Johor churns out twice as much durian as any
other state in Malaysia. One will need an excel sheet to list down all of the places to find durian
but for the sake of the reader, we’ll just list down a few that are easy to find. Ang & Chuan Fruit
Trading not only sells durian but also other local fruits. Longan Durian King Buffet charges a
measly Rm10 for an all-you-can-eat feast. Desaru Fruit Farm is a good place to spend the entire
day just feasting on durian and living the life of a durian picker. You get to choose, pick and rate
durians and even attend one of the many events hosted by them.
KL & Selangor
If Johor and Penang are the producer of durians, KL and Selangor are the magnets for it. With
an ever steady supply of durian throughout the year, locals and tourists alike are spoiled by the
various types of durians coming in. For the thrifty and big plated, there are durian buffets
ranging from Rm20 to Rm50 where you can park and feast all day. And then there are the
specialty durians – the creme de la creme. These you can find at Sinnaco Durian Specialists,
SS2.com in SS2, Say Heng Durian Stall in USJ 14, Donald’s Durian in Seksyen 19, PJ and the
Durian King in TTDI. Some have taken it to the next step by opening up insta-worthy and
tourist-friendly stores such as the Durianity @ Puchong and DurianBB Park @ Imbi.
So whether you’re trying durian for the first time or for the thousandth time, there’s always
something new to be discovered in these many different locations. Come for the durian, stay for
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