Finding Wild Durians on Pulau Ubin | Singapore

Pulau Ubin is an islet just off the coast of Singapore. It only takes 10 minutes to get there, but it's a world apart from the city. Few vehicles are permitted on the island, most roads are unpaved, and but for day trippers it's now mostly uninhabited. It's so quiet you might imagine that not much has changed on the island since the late 1880's when it was first settled, but that's not exactly true. 

What is true is that the trees planted by those early settlers are now huge, and their durians are both awesome and free, if you can find them. 

Durian Hunting In Singapore's Forbidden Forest

Hansel and Gretel did it. So did Little Red Riding Hood, and Harry Potter. They all went into forests which were strictly off limits - dark, creepy and dangerous even without tropical insects (although I guess Harry's spiders were comparable) - looking for something magical.

Singapore has lots of forbidden forests, and lots of durian trees growing within them, dropping free, wild durians grown in Singaporean soil.  When given the chance, what rational durian lover wouldn't venture inside?

The Durian Guy Across From 7-11 on Chulia Street | Georgetown, Penang Malaysia

His was the first durian I bought on Penang back in 2012. He's probably where you bought your first Penang durian, if you were staying on Chulia Street.

His stall is simple, just two collapsible tables wedged between his brother's juice cart and a guy selling coconuts on one of the busiest streets in the heart of the backpacker district. It happens to be located right across from the street from the 7-11. So that's what we called him, The-Durian-Guy-Across-From-The-7-11, all in one breath like it was some kind of name or title. But he has a real name. It's Ah Hoe.

Pictures of the 2015 Malaysia DurianTour | Or How Westerners Scarfed More Durian Than (Most) Locals

On Sunday I said goodbye to 9 wonderful durian lovers who decided to come on an adventure eating durian with me around Malaysia. I think durian attracts the best people.

We had a van and a plan and a checklist of all the yummy durians we intended to consume in 8 days. We ate all those durians and the van went unscathed, but plans didn't always go as expected. Here's a slideshow recap of 60 photos from the week, a list of the durians consumed, and a few comments on what I'm thinking about for the future.

Reflections On My Fourth (and Last) Durian Birthday Party, the Bao Sheng Durian Festival

When I graduated from high school, exactly four kindly aunties, uncles and godparents sent me identical copies of a Dr. Seuss book called "Oh, The Places You'll Go."

If I've learned anything in the durian-filled years between now and then, it's that life is full of surprises, and you rarely know where you're going when you set out. Four years ago I had a birthday party at Bao Sheng's Durian Farm. Exactly four people attended, including me and Rob. Last week, 64 people flew from around the world to celebrate durian, and inadvertently my birthday, in the first Western-dominated durian festival.

It's amazing how small ideas grow.

Four Ways Thais Cook Durian At Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, 2015 | Chanthaburi, Thailand

This year, the Chanthaburi Durian Festival moved away from it's old comfy if squishy headquarters around King Taksin Lake Park to a new location about 12 km from the city. There it sprawled into something not quite recognizable as a durian festival.

The most fruity part of the festival was the enormous Free Fruit Buffet, a madhouse of fruit and fruit eaters that took place every day from 11-2 AM and 5-7 PM. Along with all-you-can-stomach mangosteen, rambutans, snakefruits and of course durian, they served platters of durian cooked into four traditional Thai desserts.

*Please remember, all photos published on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Year of the Durian and Lindsay Gasik . If you want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!