A Whole New World: Thai Fruits You Have To Try on Your Backpacking Trip

The cuisine of Thailand is some of the best in the world, and a stroll through a Thai food market is an education in amazing sights, smells and tastes. The Thais are renowned for their sweet tooth and will always grab a dessert after their pad thai or som tam main course. Often, that dessert is simply a portion of some of the amazing fruit that the country has to offer. You’re missing out if you don’t try a few Thai fruits yourself, so here’s our guide to the ones you don’t want to miss.


This first fruit is notably for its similarities in look to a sea urchin. Small, circular and covered in spiky fronds, it doesn’t look particularly appealing but its’ weird exterior conceals a hidden surprise. Break it open to find a white, syrupy center that tastes similar to a cross between an apple and a grape.


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The next fruit on our list is the Jackfruit, recognizable by the similarity to huge kernels of sweetcorn. Don’t be put off by the chewy texture; if you break into the middle then you’ll find a very pleasant soft interior with a strong perfume. You can eat jackfruit on its own or add it to ice cream for a double treat.

Thai Jackfruit


Perhaps Thailand’s most exotic-looking fruit, the dragonfruit is a crazy assault on the senses. Who first had the idea to break through the pink, jagged skin to see what was inside? Whoever it was they definitely had the right idea because these guys are delicious! The flesh is white or pink and dotted with chewy black seeds, perfect to be dug out with a spoon and eaten on its own or as part of a fruit salad.


This fruit is well-named, coming as it does encased in a hard, scaled skin which can be tough when the fruit is over-ripe. Break inside to find a sour, slightly more acidic fruit which is a great accompaniment to some of Thailand’s incredibly sweet desserts. Add this one to a fruit smoothie for a taste sensation.


We couldn’t write a run-down of Thai fruits without including the most infamous of them all- durian. You’ll smell it before you see it; this is one stinky customer and many hotels all over Asia have banned durians from even crossing the threshold, to avoid the whole building smelling of the stuff. Yes, it really is that bad!

The weird thing is that the taste is a lot better than the smell, so ironically it’s wildly popular and be found in pretty much every market in Thailand. Keep your eyes peeled for the distinctive green spiky shell and give it a go, if you dare. If you can hold your nose while you try it then you might even like it!

thai fruits you have to try - durian


The last of our must-try fruits is the dark purple mangosteen. Looking slightly like a beetroot from the outside, these spherical fruits have segmented sweet white flesh inside and a tendency to die your mouth purple. The best way to eat a mangosteen is to pop the segments into your mouth whole, and enjoy the explosion of sweet juices that flood out.

mangosteen fruit

Try each of these Thai fruits at least once!

Pretty much all of these fruits look a bit weird from the outside, but they’re all worth a try. Get past those spiky, furry exteriors and there’s a world of sweet flavor to enjoy, and all at a bargain price. They’re just another part of the wonderful food journey that is Thailand.