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The Top 20 Exotic and Popular Fruits to Try in Thailand

The Top 20 Exotic and Popular Fruits to Try in Thailand

By Mike HoUpdated Dec. 20, 2022

From the spiky and strong-smelling durian to the common mango, Thailand is a good place to go if you are fond of eating fruit. Because of its hot climate, Thailand is rich in tropical fruit. If you travel to Thailand, you are recommended to try some of its locally-grown fruit.

According to the data on the fruit production of Thailand, there are more than 1,000 kinds of fruits in Thailand! Here we are going to introduce the most popular 20 fruit that most Thais eat regularly.

1. Durians

Like it or hate it, the durian is the best-known Thai fruit that you should try in Thailand. With a green, sticky, and thick skin, durian is notorious for its very strong, sweet, rubbery smell (some say it's like rotten onions or turpentine), which most people can't bear at first. Therefore, eating durian is not allowed in public places, such as airports and subways. Although durian has a strong aroma, it is a sweet and delicious fruit that you can't stop eating after you have tasted its flavor.

Durians Durians

You don't need to buy a whole durian in the markets. There are many small bowls of prepared durian flesh on sale at the fruit markets. Durian is often used as an ingredient in cakes, candies, ice creams, and many other Thai snacks.

  • Thai name: turian
  • Price: about 250 baht (US$7.50) for 250 grams at a fruit vendors'
  • Best season: April to September

2. Rambutans

The rambutan got its name from the Malay word rambut, which means 'hair'. With a red-and-yellow sticky skin, the rambutan is another specialty fruit of Thailand. If you peel the skin off, it looks like the same as a lychee. And the seed of a rambutan is much the same as a lychee's, although its flesh is not as sweet as a lychee.

Rambutans Rambutans
  • Thai name: ngor
  • Price: about 35 baht (US$1.00) per kg in fruit shops
  • Best season: May to September

3. Rose Apples

The rose apple is also called a waxy apple or rose pear. Its shape looks like a (British) pear or a bell. With a bright and waxy appearance, rose apples have a crunchy taste and light sweet flavor. They are always eaten with salt, sugar, or pepper in Thailand. They soon go bad in the hot weather, so try to eat all you buy in one day.

Rose Apple Rose Apple
  • Thai name: chompoo
  • Price: 60 baht (US$1.80) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: all year round

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4. Jackfruit

The jackfruit is one of the largest fruits in Thailand, some of which can be one meter long and weigh about 35 kg (80 lb). With a thick sticky skin like that of the durian, jackfruits have a special aroma. Inside the skin, there are hundreds of waxy segments containing seeds. The flesh of the jackfruit tastes sweet and slightly citrus-y.

Jackfruit Jackfruit

Jackfruit can be eaten raw or cooked into a dish as a substitute for meat. It is best to eat jackfruit fresh. Sometimes it is used to make a Thai dessert with milk or coconut juice.

  • Thai name: kanoon
  • Price: about 40 baht (US$1.20) per 250 grams at fruit markets
  • Best season: January to May

5. Custard Apples

The custard apple is also called a sugar apple or sweetsop in Thailand. It is as big as a tennis ball and contains tiny seeds. The white meat of the fruit tastes like milky custard with a light, sweet flavor.

Custard Apples Custard Apples

You can easily separate the fruit into two halves by hand. Thai people always eat the fruit with a spoon. Putting a spoonful of fresh custard apple into your mouth is a special experience.

  • Thai name: noina
  • Price: 50 baht (US$1.50) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: June to September

6. Langsats

The langsat is also called a lanzones or longkong. It is one of the most popular south Asian fruits and has a thin, brown skin. The flesh of a langsat is translucent, and there are 4–5 segments inside the fruit.

It is easy to peel the thin skin of langsat by hand. The meat of the fruit is sweet and juicy. Spit out the seeds as they are bitter. This small fruit is a favorite of many Thai people as it is easy to handle and eat.

  • Thai name: langsat
  • Price: about 30–40 baht (US$0.90–1.20) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: July to October

7. Sapodillas

The sapodilla is also known as a chikoo or chico. It originated from south and central America. The sapodilla was cultivated in large quantities in Thailand over the past 30 years. Now it is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. The mud-brown skin and oval shape of the fruit make it look like a potato. But its flesh tastes sweet and juicy like a pear's.

Sapodillas Sapodillas
  • Thai name: lamut
  • Price: about 35–40 baht (US$1.00–1.20) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: September to December

8. Snake Fruit

Another name for snake fruit is salak. It got its name from its hard and brittle skin, which looks like the head of a snake. A snake fruit tree is a kind of palm tree originating from Indonesia. Ripe snake fruit has a hard red shell. After you break or crack the shell, you will see white flesh covering a seed. The flesh tastes sweet and sour. The seed inside is inedible.

Snake Fruit Snake Fruit
  • Thai name: sala
  • Price: about 30–35 baht (US$0.90–1.00) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: June to September

9. Plum Mangoes

A plum mango is much smaller than the common sweet mango you have probably seen on sale in your country. It is also commonly known as a marian plum. Because they belong to the same mango family, plum mangoes have a similar smell to common mangoes. When you skin a plum mango, you can see its orange flesh and smell its mango-esque sweet aroma. Peeling off the skin and dipping it in some sugar or pepper is a popular Thai way of eating it.

Plum Mangoes Plum Mangoes
  • Thai name: maprang
  • Price: about 35–40 baht (US$1.00–1.20) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: April to May

10. Mangosteens

The mangosteen is regarded as the “queen of fruits” in Thailand. It has a purple and thick skin. The white flesh of a mangosteen is so sweet and delicate that you probably won't be able to stop eating them. The best way to eat one is to cut the fruit in half and spoon out the meat. There are 5–8 segments in a fruit, the largest one of them containing a seed.

Mangosteens Mangosteens

It is said that mangosteens can cool down one's body heat in the hot Thai summers. So, it is a popular fruit in summer in Thailand.

  • Thai name: mangkut
  • Price: about 40–50 baht (US$1.20–1.50) per kg at fruit markets in season
  • Best season: April to December

11. Pineapples

The pineapple is the most common and most produced fruit in Thailand. The world's largest exporter of pineapples, Thailand has a good climate and lots of sandy soil for planting pineapple trees in.

Pineapples Pineapples

This sweet and tasty fruit plays an important role in Thai people's life. Pineapples can be cooked with other ingredients to make delicious Thai food. The most famous dish is pineapple fried rice, which enjoys high praise from tourists.

  • Thai name: sapparod
  • Price: 35 baht (US$1.00) for a big pineapple
  • Best season: April to June

12. Star Fruit

The star fruit got its name from its special shape. Five ridges run along the length of the fruit. When you cut the fruit across the ridges, the segments look just like five-pointed stars.

Ripe star fruit has a yellow or orange color and tastes a little sweet and sour. So, Thai people like to dip the slices into some salt, sugar, or pepper to eat them. Sometimes, they make juice or relish from the fruit.

Star Fruit Star Fruit
  • Thai name: ma fueng
  • Price: about 30–35 baht (US$0.90–1.00) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: October to December

13. Dragon Fruit

This strange-looking fruit can be seen in most tropical and sub-tropical regions all over the world. The dragon fruit is covered by a red and purple skin, and its white flesh is dotted by tiny black seeds. The flesh tastes light and sweet. You can slice it in half and eat the fruit directly with a spoon, or peel off the skin and dice it into small pieces to serve in a bowl and spoon into your mouth one by one. Many Thai people make dragon fruit juice in its season.

Dragon Fruit Dragon Fruit
  • Thai name: gao mung gorn
  • Price: about 50–60 baht (US$1.50–1.80) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: April to October

14. Guavas

The guava originally comes from central America. It was introduced to Thailand in the 17th century by European traders. This green-skinned fruit is about the size of an apple, and its white flesh contains yellow seeds in the middle. It tastes sweet and has a special aroma. Thai people like to eat it with some sugar, salt, or chili. It can be made into juice or other cold desserts.

Guavas Guavas
  • Thai name: farang
  • Price: about 25–35 baht (US$0.75–1.00) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: all year round

15. Pomeloes

A pomelo looks and smells somewhat like a grapefruit. Covered by a thick skin, much thicker than a grapefruit's, the flesh of a pomelo can be yellow, orange, or pink, and it tastes sweet or sour, and juicy. Thai people like to dip pomelo meat in salt, sugar, or chili. It can be also used in a Thai salad.

Pomeloes Pomeloes
  • Thai name: som-o
  • Price: about 30-40 baht (US$0.90–1.20) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: all year round

16. Longans

The word longan comes from its Cantonese pronunciation, which means 'dragon eye'. Longans have thin brown skin, which can be broken easily with your fingers. Each longan's black seed is covered by sweet and juicy translucent flesh. Thais usually put the whole fruit into their mouths and (discretely) spit out the black seed after chewing and swallowing the flesh. Longans are so sweet that you'll have trouble stopping eating them once you start.

Longans Longans
  • Thai name: lamyai
  • Price: about 25-30 baht (US$0.75–0.90) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: June to August

17. Lychees

Lychees were originally cultivated in south China and introduced to Thailand about 150 years ago. This red-skinned fruit is a sibling of the longan and rambutan. Lychees are a bit bigger than longans and not as sweet. It is easy to peel the thin skin of a lychee. Like with longans, you'll have to spit out its seed when eating. The translucent white flesh is so sweet and juicy that most people enjoy trying some.

Lychees Lychees
  • Thai name: linjee
  • Price: about 35–45 baht (US$1.00–1.30) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: April to June

18. Coconuts

The coconut is regarded as the healthiest fruit in Thailand, because its cool, sweet juice can cool down body “heat” in the hot and humid climate of Thailand. Coconut juice is also one of the most popular juices in Thailand. The white flesh of the coconut can be eaten with a spoon after you finish the juice. Remember to ask a local vendor to help you open the nut with their special tools.

Coconuts Coconuts
  • Thai name: ma-praow
  • Price: about 30-40 baht (US$0.90–1.20) for a whole one at fruit markets
  • Best season: all year round


The banana is the Thai fruit that is most common all over the world. But in Thailand, there are more than 20 different kinds of bananas! Some of them are very small and others are so large that you can't eat a whole one!

Bananas Bananas

They are also the cheapest fruit in Thailand. Besides eating them raw, bananas can be dried, boiled, fried, or made into a dessert with milk in Thailand.

  • Thai name: gluay
  • Price: about 25–30 baht (US$0.75–0.90) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: all year round

20. Watermelons

Watermelons are the most popular fruit during the hot season in Thailand. Iced watermelon juice is always popular to drive away the summer heat. It is easy to buy one from a street-side fruit vendor. Watermelons are also used to make many kinds of summer desserts in Thailand.

Watermelons Watermelons
  • Thai name: tangmo
  • Price: about 15–20 baht (US$0.45–0.60) per kg at fruit markets
  • Best season: April to September

Tips on Buying and Eating Fruits in Thailand

If you are traveling to Thailand and want to try some of the local fruits in Thailand, then the following tips may help you.

Where to buy fresh fruits in Thailand

It is very easy to find fruit stalls or fruit vendors who push their metal carts to every stopping spot on the main roads. Generally speaking, moving fruit vendors will give you a lower price, because they don't need to pay rent for their pitch.

How to buy fruit in Thailand

Only buy freshly cut fruit from the fruit stalls or fruit vendors, especially watermelon (which should be consumed quickly or wrapped and refrigerated once opened).

Don't buy the fruit that looks too bright or artificially good-looking. Some are (unscrupulously) dipped into (potentially harmful) chemicals to give them an attractive appearance!

How fruit is sold in Thailand

Vendors will expect to help you cut big fruit into small pieces so that you can easily eat it with a stick skewer (also provided). And they will typically ask you if you need a small bag of sugar or salt for certain fruits (mentioned above).

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