10 Thai Fruits You (Might) Have Never Seen Before

I'll never forget my first day of work in Thailand. It was scary and exciting. I had never taught before, and the morning had been so busy "learning the ropes" of working in a school. By lunchtime, I was tired and hungry and ready to sit down and eat! I sat down at a table in the teacher's dining room, and couldn't believe my eyes. There in front of me was a bowl of fruit... but I didn't recognize a single item!

There were these weird red spiky things, strange purple fruits that looked like bombs from the Zelda games, and more. And you know what? It turns out that all of thfe fruit in Thailand is amazing! Here are 10 delicious, exotic, strange, and amazing fruits that I had never seen before I came to Thailand.

10 Amazing Thai Fruits

Durian

 Durian, the "King of Fruit"

Durian, the "King of Fruit"

In Thailand, durian is called the "King of Fruit". Although this super stinky fruit is banned from Bangkok's MRT and most public places, once you acquire a taste for it, durian will really begin to grow on you.

Durian has been described as a fruit that "smells like hell but tastes like heaven", and that's a pretty good description. Durian really stinks. People say that it smells like everything from stinky old shoes to gasoline, but it tastes rich and creamy, like vanilla ice cream! Durian is soft, mushy, stinky, and delicious. Give it a try for yourself, and let us know what you think.

Mangosteen

 purple mangosteen

purple mangosteen

Mangosteen is called the "Queen of Fruit", and it's easy to find in the spring and summer in Thailand. This dark purple fruit hides a deliciously sweet interior, and stains the fingers bright purple when you crack it open. In my opinion, mangonsteen is the most delicious fruit in Thailand.

Rambutan

 rambutan - "ngaw"

rambutan - "ngaw"

Rambudan is a funky and spiky fruit with a nice, sweet interior beneath a weird thick skin. Rambutan has been described as tasting something like a mix between a grape and an apple. Eat around the big, woody seed hidden inside the fruit for the tastiest flavor of the rambutan. Rambutan is one of Thailand's summer fruits.

Lychee

 lychee

lychee

The sweet lychee is a popular flavor throughout Asia, used to add a sweet taste to everything from bubble tea to iced desserts. Open up this pink fruit to discover a sweet white interior surrounding a single solid seed. Lychee is so sweet and delicious, but it can be a bit hard to find out of season.

Jackfruit

 Thai jackfruit

Thai jackfruit

Jackfruit looks something like durian, and it smells just a bit like it too! Jackfruit is chewy and kind of rubbery, but the inside is sweet and tasty. Admittedly, it's an acquired taste. Jackfruit is used as a flavoring and added texture to a number of popular Thai desserts.

Longan

longan fruit thailand

Longan means "dragon's eye". The semi-transclucent interior surrounds a single black seed (some say it looks like the eye of a Chinese "lung" dragon) and tastes amazing! Simply use your thumb to peel off the fruit's thick shell, and spit out the hard black seed. Longan is a popular autumn and winter fruit in Thailand.

Dragonfruit

 Pitaya, "dragonfruit"

Pitaya, "dragonfruit"

Dragonfruit, or "pitaya", comes in two varieties; white and pink. Though the pink and green scaly exterior looks the same, the soft and juicy interior - soft, sweet, and full of chewy seeds - comes in a white or pink variety. Eat dragonfruit with a spoon, scooping out the juicy and tasty inside of the strange exotic fruit. It's really amazing, and can be found throughout Thailand year-round. Dragonfruit is an especially good way to cool off when it's super hot outside,

Starfruit

 starfruit

starfruit

The appropriately-named starfruit is a weird five-pointed fruit that is usually served sliced into star-shaped pieces. The fruit is a little bitter, a little sweet, and a little sour, and is found at nearly all Thai markets and supermarkets.

Snakefruit

 Thai snakefruit

Thai snakefruit

Just one look at the snakefruit's skin, and you'll understand where it got its name. Though it's not as common in Thailand as some of the other fruits on this list, it's easy enough to find at markets and supermarkets throughout the country. The snakefruit is a little tart and a little sour, and goes really well with a Thai dessert.

Custard Apple

 Asian custard apple

Asian custard apple

The custard apple may be a very common fruit in Myanmar (Burma), but it's easy to find in Thailand too. Sweet and juicy, the custard apple has a lot of fruit surrounding several big seeds withing a thick, green skin.