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Thailand’s 20 Most Famous Fruits

Thailand’s 20 Most Famous Fruits: A Guide

Thailand, known as the “Land of Smiles,” is not only celebrated for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine but also for its exquisite array of fruits. 

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand’s tropical climate and fertile soil have fostered the growth of some of the world’s most unique and delicious fruits.

In this guide, we’ll take you on a delectable journey through Thailand’s famous fruits, unveiling their flavours, textures, and cultural significance. 

Let’s get started!

Mango (Nam Dok Mai, Keow Savoey)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, especially in the central and northern regions

Average Cost: 20-50 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Mango Season in Thailand: February to July

Mangoes (row 376) are the crown jewels of Thai fruits, and you can’t visit Thailand without indulging in these sweet, juicy delights. These are always within arm’s reach, whether you’re strolling through a bustling market or relaxing on a tropical beach.

You can grab a ripe one, slice it open, and savour the explosion of flavours that come with each bite. And if you haven’t tried mango with sticky rice yet, you’re in for a treat – it’s a dessert that’s almost too good to share.

Local tip:

  • You can find mangoes in various other forms, such as mango shakes, smoothies, or as an accompaniment to savoury dishes like spicy papaya salad .

When selecting mangoes at a market, look for fruits with a slight give when gently squeezed – this indicates ripeness.

Durian (Tu Rian)

Where to Find It: Chanthaburi and Rayong, Bangkok, and most major cities

Average Cost: 100-200 THB per kilogram or between 45-90 THB per pound in Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Durian Season in Thailand: April to August

Durian, often referred to as the “King of Fruits,” is as famous for its polarising aroma as it is for its unique taste. Some adore its rich, custard-like flesh, while others find its smell overwhelming. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try, but be prepared for a flavour experience like no other. The creamy, sweet, and slightly savoury notes are well worth the adventure.

Now, here’s the real kicker – durian isn’t just a fruit; it’s like the cool kid who flavours all the popular Thai food products. Think candies, cakes, chips, ice cream, and even coffee! 

What about the top-tier brands? Well, they might make your wallet shed a few tears with prices soaring into the hundreds of baht, but when it comes to durian, quality is king. 

Local tip:

  • If you’re trying durian for the first time, start with the milder varieties like Monthong before diving into the stronger-smelling ones.

When you’re done eating and get that lingering aroma on your hands, grab those durian shells and give your hands a rub under running water. To kick it out, grab some coconut water and take a swig. 

Papaya (Ma-La-Kaw)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, particularly in the central region and Bangkok

Average Cost: 80-350 THB per kilogram or between 40-160 THB per pound in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Papaya Season in Thailand: Year-Round

Papaya is not just a fruit in Thailand. Thais don’t just stop at ripe papaya; they shred the unripe kind and create som tum, one of Thailand’s favourite salads

This salad is a riot of flavours, combining the crispness of green papaya with the zing of lime, the heat of chilli, and the umami of fish sauce. It’s a refreshing and spicy delight that’s sure to tickle your taste buds.

Local tip:

  • In Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and the Philippines, it’s quite common to use green papaya as a vegetable. For instance, it plays a key role in dishes like the popular papaya salad, som tam, enjoyed throughout Thailand.

However, when papaya ripens and turns orange, it undergoes a delightful transformation. The once savoury green fruit becomes sweet and juicy, with a flavour reminiscent of ripe cantaloupe. It’s like getting two distinct flavours from a single fruit! 

Lychee (Linchee)

Where to Find It: Northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Lamphun

Average Cost: Approximately 15 THB per kilogram

Lychee Season in Thailand: mid-March to mid-June

Lychee, with its delicate, translucent flesh and sweet, floral aroma, is a tropical delight. You’ll find vendors selling bags of these little gems on street corners, and they make for a refreshing snack on a hot day. 

Just peel off the rough skin and pop the juicy fruit into your mouth for a burst of sweet, fragrant goodness.

Don’t sleep on the canned versions either! They take a sweet syrupy bath that adds a unique flavour kick. Plus, they’re like the secret ingredients in desserts, especially in concoctions like bananas and lychees in coconut milk.

Local tip:

  • Lychees are like the cool cats of summer salads – they slide right in, not too sweet to steal the show, but just sweet enough to bring that extra zing and texture to your salad party.

Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

Where to Find It: Bangkok’s Central Plains lowlands and the Phu Ruea District, Loei Province highlands

Average Cost: 20-40 THB per kilogram

Dragon Fruit Season in Thailand: April to October

Dragon fruit, with its striking pink or yellow skin and speckled flesh, looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. It has a mild, subtly sweet flavour. 

Plus, it’s Instagram-worthy with its vibrant colours, making it a favourite among foodie travellers.

Local tip:

  • Grab a dragon fruit smoothie that’s not just refreshing but also Instagram-worthy with its vibrant pink hue. Or dive into a fruit bowl that’s bursting with the goodness of dragon fruit and other exotic flavours.

Longan (Lam Yai)

Where to Find It: Northern provinces of Lamphun, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai 

Average Cost: Approximately 30 THB per kilogram

Longan Season in Thailand: June to August

Longan is a small, round fruit with a sweet and floral flavour. These tiny bursts of sweetness are a staple in Thailand, and you’ll find them sold by street vendors and in local markets. 

Thai people love to chill them and enjoy them as a refreshing snack on a hot day. They’re also a common ingredient in various Thai desserts, adding a delightful natural sweetness to dishes like tub tim grob.

Longan is like the underrated sibling in the rambutan and lychee family. Eating it is a breeze; just pop the whole thing in your mouth, and out goes the seed. No fuss, no muss, unlike its rambutan cousin.

Local tip:

  • Look for longan-flavoured ice cream or desserts in the markets for a unique and cooling local dessert. Longan’s delicate sweetness lends itself perfectly to ice cream, creating a creamy concoction that’s both indulgent and refreshing.

Rambutan (Ngo; Ngaw)

Where to Find It: Chanthaburi Province, Chumphon Province, and Surat Thani Province

Average Cost: Approximately 35 THB per kilogram

Rambutan Season in Thailand: May to September

Rambutan looks like a hairy sea urchin but is a sweet and juicy fruit waiting to be discovered. Peel back the hairy skin to reveal a translucent, sweet flesh that’s often described as a cross between a lychee and a grape. 

You’ll see rambutan piled high in fruit stalls across the country, and it’s a must-try for fruit enthusiasts.

They named this fruit “rambutan” after the Malay word “rambut,” which translates to “hair.” 

Local tip:

  • Seek out those delightful rambutans and take them to the next level by stuffing them with pineapple or other tropical treasures. The result? A sweet and tangy flavour combo that’s a tropical party in your mouth.

Mangosteen (Mang Kut)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, especially in the central and northern regions

Average Cost: Around 90 THB per kilogram

Mangosteen Season in Thailand: mid May to mid-October

The “Mang Kut,” or mangosteen, is often referred to as the “queen of fruits.” With its thick, purple rind and soft, succulent flesh, it’s no wonder it holds this title. 

The flavour is a divine balance of sweet and tangy, making it a refreshing treat. When in Thailand, make it a mission to try this regal fruit, especially during the peak season from April to September.

Trying mangosteen in Thailand during its peak season offers the best taste, cultural experience, and an opportunity to explore the versatility of this delightful fruit.

Local tip:

  • While durian’s known to crank up the heat in your body, mangosteen’s like the chill sidekick, bringing a cool breeze to the party. It’s like a tropical fruit dynamic duo that knows how to keep things balanced in flavour and temperature! 

Pineapple (Sapparot)

Where to Find It: Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Ratchaburi Province, Phetchaburi Province

Average Cost: 30-65 THB per kilogram or between 12-30 THB per pound in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Pineapple Season in Thailand: Winter crop (October to December) and summer crop (February to June)

Thailand’s pineapples are a tropical delight. Sweet, tangy, and incredibly juicy, they’re the perfect snack to enjoy by the beach or on a hot day. 

You can also find pineapple slices served on sticks in street markets, often dusted with a spicy chilli-salt mixture for a tantalising contrast of flavours. 

Don’t miss the chance to have a freshly cut pineapple, and if you’re lucky, you might even get one in the shape of a heart.

Local tip:

  • If you’re planning to munch on it ASAP, go for the ones showing off a little sunshine with some yellow skin. That’s the basic rule of thumb. But here’s where it gets fun – some rebel pineapples are all ripe and ready, even when they’re rocking the green look.

Oh, and here’s the secret handshake for pineapple aficionados – check out the pineapple’s eyes. If they’re sporting a white powdery vibe, that’s like the fruit’s way of saying, “Hey there, I’m still young and not quite ready for the pineapple party.”

Banana (Kluai)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand

Average Cost: 50-80 THB per kilogram or between 20-35 THB per pound in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Banana Season in Thailand: Year-Round

Bananas (379) are a common sight in Thailand, and you’ll discover various types, from tiny finger-sized ones to larger, creamy varieties. They’re not just a healthy snack but also a crucial ingredient in many Thai dishes, including curries and desserts.

A favourite preparation is “Kluai buat chi,” where bananas are cooked in sweet coconut milk and topped with sesame seeds – a comforting dessert that captures the essence of Thai cuisine.

Local tip:

  • You can enjoy fried bananas in Thailand by slicing the bananas into strips, coating them in a sweet batter typically made with ingredients like coconut milk and peanuts, and then frying them.

You’ll find these delicious fried bananas at roadside stalls across Thailand.

Guava (Farang)

Where to Find It: Provinces of Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi

Average Cost: Around 20 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Guava Season in Thailand: Year-Round

Guava  is a tropical delight loved for its unique flavour and vibrant green hue. You’ll often find street vendors selling fresh guavas, which can be enjoyed sliced and sprinkled with a dash of salt for a sweet and savoury treat. 

Pluis, guavas are not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and dietary fibre, making them a healthy and refreshing choice for snacking in Thailand’s warm climate.

The Thai name for this fruit can sometimes lead to a good laugh because it’s a bit of a wordplay. You see, they call it “farang,” which just so happens to be the same word they use for Western folks.

Local tip:

  • Try guava juice or shakes for a refreshing and healthy drink option.

Pomelo (Som O)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, especially in Nakhon Chai Si

Average Cost: 35-45 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Pomelo Season in Thailand: Year-Round, October (Peak Season)

Pomelo  is the largest of all citrus fruits and is renowned for its sweet, slightly tangy flavour. The fruit’s thick rind conceals juicy, aromatic segments that burst with refreshing citrus goodness. 

During your Thai adventure, be sure to indulge in this refreshing delight, either enjoyed on its own or mixed into vibrant fruit salads.

Local tip:

  • To prep your pomelo for a tasty treat, start by breaking it into sections and being thorough in removing the bitter white peel. Keep in mind that the fruit’s colour can vary, ranging from white to pink, depending on the variety or hybrid you’ve got.

Once you’ve peeled it, your pomelo is all set for the spotlight. In Thailand, locals often keep it simple by enjoying fresh pomelo with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of chilli for a delightful flavour kick.

Jackfruit (Khanun)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand

Average Cost: Around 100 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Jackfruit Season in Thailand: October or November until May

Jackfruit is a tropical treasure known for its enormous size and sweet, fragrant flesh. Often used in savoury dishes, jackfruit is also enjoyed ripe and fresh. 

Its flavour is reminiscent of pineapple and banana, making it a delightful addition to Thailand’s rich fruit offerings. 

This fruit is like a little puzzle – it’s divided into sections, each with waxy flesh wrapped around seeds. Most of the time, folks in Thailand munch on it as is, all fresh and juicy. 

But guess what? Some creative Thais decide to give it a dip in batter and fry it up for an extra crispy twist!

Local tip:

  • Jackfruit is a versatile superstar! Besides enjoying it fresh, you’ll often find it dried and transformed into crispy chips or used as an ingredient in savoury Thai curries.

What’s cool about jackfruit is its meaty texture and neutral flavour, making it a fantastic meat substitute that adds a unique twist to your dishes. 

Tamarind (Ma Kham)

Where to Find It: Provinces of Phetchabun and Loei

Average Cost: 50-80 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Tamarind Season in Thailand: November to February

Tamarind plays a significant role in Thai cuisine, adding its distinct sweet and tangy flavour to various dishes. 

You’ll find sour tamarind all over Thailand, and it’s a real MVP in Thai cuisine. They toss it into chilli sauces, whip up some mouthwatering pad thai (row 664), and spice up tom yum soup with it. 

But tamarind isn’t just for cooking; it’s also enjoyed as a fruit. Break open the brittle shell to reveal the sweet, sticky pulp that Thai locals often roll into small balls for snacking. It’s a unique and flavorful experience you won’t want to miss.

Sweet tamarind, unlike its sour sibling, is a bit of a unicorn. It only pops up in certain parts of Thailand, like Phetchabun province. 

Now, these sweet gems might set you back a few baht more, but let me tell you, they’re worth every penny. 

Local tip:

  • This fruit is a real flavour chameleon – it can swing from sweet-and-sour to “Wow, that’s really sour!” And the fun doesn’t stop there – you can transform tamarind into all sorts of goodies, from candies to snacks and even thirst-quenching drinks!

Sugar Apple (Noi Na)

Where to Find It: Phetchabun, Nakhon, and Ratchasima

Average Cost: 50-60 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Sugar Apple Season in Thailand: June to September

Sugar apple is a lesser-known but delightful Thai fruit. Its creamy, custard-like flesh is a sweet indulgence often enjoyed fresh. 

The texture and taste are reminiscent of a creamy pear, and it’s a fruit that’s sure to please those with a sweet tooth. 

When it comes to sugar apples, forget fancy cutlery – you need a good old spoon!! And here’s the cool part – the flesh is super smooth and just slides right off the seeds, which you can casually spit out one by one. 

It’s like a fruity game of seed basketball! Oh, and here’s the scoop – sugar apples go by different names like custard apple or sweetsop, probably because they taste like heavenly, chilled custard.

Local tip:

  • Chill sugar apples in the fridge before eating for an extra refreshing experience.

Rose Apple (Chomphu)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand

Average Cost: 70-90 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Rose Apple Season in Thailand: Year-Round

Meet the whimsical rose apple, a fruit that’s as charming as it sounds. In Thailand, you’ll often encounter the green-skinned variety of this delightful treat. 

But here’s where it gets exciting: rose apples are not just any ordinary fruit; they’re the rockstars of Thai spicy salads, known as “ยำชมพู่” (yam chomphu).

They team up with dried shrimp and chilli peppers to create a flavorful explosion that’s sure to wake up your taste buds! 

Local tip:

  • When it comes to rose apples, you can go all-in! The skin, available in charming rosy pink or delicate light green hues, is totally edible, just like a regular apple.

Here’s the fun part – after trimming away the centre of the larger end, slice the whole fruit into wedges. Enjoy these wedges by dunking them in a sweet, salty, and slightly spicy condiment or sauce.

Starfruit (Ma Fai)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand

Average Cost: Around 40 THB  per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Starfruit Season in Thailand: October to December

Starfruit is a tropical delight that’s as unique as it looks. Slice this bright, yellow gem, and you’ll reveal its distinct star-like shape, earning it the name “starfruit.” 

With a sweet and slightly tart flavour profile, starfruit is a refreshing addition to any Thai fruit platter. It’s also a favourite in juices and smoothies, making it a go-to choice for beating the Thai heat in style.

Local tip:

  • When you’re on the hunt for starfruit, keep an eye out for the little details. Check those edges – they should be smooth, no bumps allowed! And the fruit itself? It should shine bright with a glossy look.

Overripe ones tend to get all mushy or sport unsightly brown spots. You want the goldilocks of starfruits – ripe, which means it’s sweet and just a tad tangy. 

Snake Fruit (Salak)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, especially in the eastern and southern regions

Average Cost: Approximately 50 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Snake Fruit Season in Thailand: June to September

Get ready to meet the intriguing snake fruit, a fruit that’s not only visually captivating but also deliciously intriguing. Named for its reddish-brown scaly skin, resembling snake scales, salak offers a unique flavour experience. 

The sweet and tangy taste, combined with a slightly crunchy texture, makes it a snack worth exploring. Once you peel back its protective layers, you’ll discover why this fruit is a must-try for adventurous foodies in Thailand.

Local tip:

  • One classic move to eat snake fruit is to go old-school and munch on it raw, like a satisfying snack. Just take a bite, savour the flesh, and watch out for those sneaky seeds – they’re not on the guest list!

Feeling fancy? Grab that fruit and slice it thinly for some salad or fruit bowl pizazz. 

But wait, there’s more – this fruit’s a sweet-treat wizard. Use it to whip up jams, jellies, and all sorts of delightful desserts.

Sapodilla (Lamut)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand

Average Cost: 15-30 THB per kilogram, depending on the variety and location

Mango Season in Thailand: September to December

Sapodilla is a tropical treasure that often flies under the radar but packs a punch in the flavour department. This unassuming fruit may not turn heads, but its sweet, grainy flesh is a delightful surprise. 

It’s like biting into a caramel-like treat, making it a beloved choice for a quick, sweet fix. Whether enjoyed fresh or used in desserts, sapodilla is a hidden gem that’s waiting to be discovered in the heart of Thailand.

Local tip:

  • When it’s reached peak ripeness, you’ve got a world of delicious possibilities. Go classic and enjoy it raw, or get creative by adding it to your yoghourt, blending it into salad dressings, or folding it into pastry creams.

But here’s where the magic happens – cooking sapodilla unlocks its brown sugary goodness and transforms it with a hint of roasted flavour. This sweet sensation can elevate both sweet and savoury recipes, from soups to jams and from roasted meats to seafood dishes. 

Coconut (Ma Prow)

Where to Find It: Throughout Thailand, especially in Ratchaburi Province

Average Cost: 150-280 THB per piece, depending on the variety and location

Mango Season in Thailand: Year-Round

When you think of tropical paradises, coconuts are likely part of the daydream, and in Thailand, they’re an essential part of daily life. Coconut is more than just a refreshing drink; it’s a versatile ingredient that stars in both sweet and savoury dishes. 

From the creamy coconut milk used in curries to the crunchy satisfaction of fresh coconut meat, coconuts are a culinary cornerstone in Thailand. Sip, snack, and savour the tropical goodness of this beloved fruit while you soak up the sun on Thailand’s sandy shores.

Local tip:

  • You can find mangoes in various other forms, such as mango shakes, smoothies, or as an accompaniment to savoury dishes like spicy papaya salad.

When selecting mangoes at a market, look for fruits with a slight give when gently squeezed – this indicates ripeness.

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