Thailand is known around the world for its excellent and varied cuisine as well as for countless varieties of Thai fruits. You can enjoy delicious Thai fruits throughout the year while traveling in Thailand. Even if you will see plenty of them here, leave bananas and strawberries for eating at your home and opt for something less usual. We have listed the most popular fruits that you should try before leaving Thailand.
Aside from visiting the most interesting places in Thailand, don’t forget to try these Thailand fruits when only you have the chance.
Mango or Ma-Muang (th:มะม่วง)
There are many different kinds of mango available in Thailand. Orange mangoes are very juicy and very sweet. The yellowish mangoes are also sweet but their texture is much drier. Some people like to eat raw green mangoes that are super sour. After all, mangoes taste really good and have a unique smell. You should really try it! Mangoes can be bought at any market or street fruit stalls in Thailand. The fruit is relatively cheap – price starts from 35-40 baht per kilogram.
Sugar Apple or Noi Na (th:น้อยหน่า)
Sugar Apple is quite small in size and its green skin is hard and you can find a soft white flesh and black seeds inside. The taste of this fruit is sweet like custard mixed with apple or pear. So sometimes it’s called custard apple. Eating sugar apple is easy, just cut it in half and eat. It's much easier than peeling its skin. Don't forget to remove the seeds!
Durian or Tu-Rian (th:ทุเรียน)
To the Western taste and odd smell, durian may not be an acceptable fruit. But for Thais it is the King of Fruits and the taste of it is actually good. You have to try durian by yourself to really know. Who knows, you might get to love it. If you don't really like the strong taste of it, can just try durian cakes, mooncakes, frappes, candies or even ice cream. Generally, the cost of durian goes by weigh. It should cost no more than 100 baht per kilogram.
Mangosteen or Mang-Kut (th:มังคุด)
Mangosteen is the Queen of Thai Fruits. It’s much more acceptable to the Western people. The pulp is soft, white and juicy. It gives out a fragrant smell and tastes perfectly sweet. Just taste it by yourself! Mangosteen has a hard purple exterior. Be careful when cutting it around as if the juice from the husk stains any clothing, it’s going to be there for a long time. Prices for Mangosteen are within 40-60 baht per kilogram depending on the season and location.
Dragon fruit or Gao Mung Gorn (th:แก้วมังกร)
Dragon fruit is definitely an exclusively looking Thai fruit. The flesh is white with small black seeds. It generally has a bland taste, like a mildly sweet cucumber. But mostly it’s pretty flavorless. You should eat it by cutting it in half.
Tamarind or Ma Kam (th:มะขาม)
Tamarind is a real combination of sweet and sour. It’s generally sour, but not like a lime or a lemon. The pulp has a very strong sour taste accompanied with good amount of sweetness. It can be turned into drinks or candies. In Thai cooking, tamarind is used for a variety of dishes, like Pad Thai and others.
Lychee or Lin-jee (th: ลิ้นจี่)
Lychee may be confused with Longan by some people as the taste is somewhat similar, but sweeter and juicier. The outer appearance is different as it has bright pink peel. It has a soft skin that separates easily from the flesh. You can try lychee drinks, canned lychee, and lychee candies besides the fresh fruit.
Longan or Lam-Yai (th: ลำไย)
Longan is a popular Thai fruit in the northern part of Thailand. It has brown outer shell. Inside it has white sweet pulp and big brown seed, just like lychee. The flesh is juicy and tastes very similar to lychee or grapes.
Guava or Fa-Rang (th:ฝรั่ง)
Guava is one of the most common Thai fruits you'll find on the street. It has about the same size as an apple with light green skin, white pulp and thousands of seeds inside. The taste is sweet and the texture is a little creamy when it’s perfectly ripe, in other case it can be a bit harder. Fruit stalls normally sell this fruit already prepared and ready to eat. Otherwise, you can buy it in the market.
Coconut or Ma-Prao (th:มะพร้าว)
Coconut is one of the most popular Thai fruits. It is a very refreshing treat in the hot, humid weather of Thailand. Fresh coconut water is great - slightly sweet and a little bit creamy. Try young coconut, it has a sweeter flavor.
Rambutan or Ngor (th: เงาะ)
Rambutan fruit can be easily identified. It’s a red fruit with a surface covered by green spikes with hair. Once rambutan is peeled, its deliciously sweet and sticky flesh is revealed inside, with a hard-woody seed in the middle. Rambutan contains a high amount of fiber. It tastes sweet. Rambutan is cheap and sold by weight. Normally a kilogram will only cost 30-40 Thai baht.
Rose Apple or Chom-poo (th:ชมพู่)
Rose apple, sometimes called a wax apple or a rose pear, is one of fruits that you will miss after leaving Thailand. The flavor and texture of rose apple can surprise you. It has a smooth texture, is spongy and juicy. You can eat it all, there’s no need to peel it.
Papaya or Ma-La-Gor (th:มะละกอ)
Papaya is another universally known tropical fruit. It’s rich in Vitamins A and C and calcium. There are two types of papaya – sweeter fruit with yellow inside and green papaya which is a very popular ingredient for Thai papaya salad - Som Tam. You’ll find plenty of papayas at various markets because they are cultivated throughout Thailand.
Pineapple or Sap-Pa-Rot (th:สับปะรด)
Pineapple is a very popular local fruit in Thailand too. Pineapple is an excellent snack here as it’s cheap and easily purchased throughout the country. The vendor will cut it out nicely for you and might even offer you to add some chili or brown sugar for more special taste.
Gac or Fak-Khao (th:ฟักข้าว)
Gac fruit is another fruit you should try when traveling in Thailand even if it’s not that popular among Thai fruits. In fact, it is really hard to find it on the street. Gac fruit is rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene, lycopene. It is also known in the world as the best fruit to supply vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Pomegranate or Tab Tim (th:ทับทิม)
The pomegranate is a wonderful fruit. It is packed with hundreds of small seeds. It has a fresh, sweet-tart taste. Pomegranate can be eaten raw and can be juiced. Try fresh pomegranate juice which can be easily found on every street corner in Thailand.
Santol or Kra-Thon (th:กระท้อน)
Santol is an exotic tropical fruit. It’s round and as big as a big apple in size. The pulp is a white juicy tissue with a sweet or sour taste and contains brown seeds. However, this fruit can be quite difficult to eat because separating the flesh from the seeds with your tongue and teeth is quite a trick.
Langsat is a popular fruit between Thais. It is usually eaten fresh. If langsat is fresh and ripe, it tastes sweet and a bit bitter. The pulp is firmly attached to the seed. It can be easily found, especially at fruit stalls by the streets in the countryside from July to October.
Pomelo or Som-O (th:ส้มโอ)
Pomelo is one of many delicious tropical fruits that you must taste. The flesh of pomelo is juicy and sweet and sour. Remember to ask the fruit seller to slice it open for you when you buy it, because the skin is thick.
Marian Plum or Ma-Parng (th:มะปราง)
The shape of Marian Plum is like small mango, but the taste and smell is different. The color of the skin is smooth and light orange. The Marian Plum is cheap in Thailand and there are plenty of them during the season. Check for this Thai fruit at fruit stalls or fresh markets where it is usually available.
How many of these Thai fruits have you tried already?
Best Place to Buy Thai Fruits
You will see Thai fruits being sold at supermarkets and on the streets but the best place to buy them is Floating Markets and fresh markets.