Chumphon province supplies 17% of Thailand’s durian, with a season stretching between June and October. I’d heard rumors that this region was now producing out of season durian using a new pruning technique that doesn’t have any detrimental effects to the tree. Normally, when a farmer grows out of season durian he has to apply an intense regiment of hormones and other chemicals which kill the tree after only a few years of production. Such a pruning technique would be a boon to the industry, allowing durian to be easily grown year round.
|This truck is bound for Chanthaburi|
Every morning, pick up trucks coming from the farms in the area would drop off their durians at the various vendors. There middle men would pick through the fruits, rejecting some and piling the others in baskets weighing 60 kilos each. When the they felt they had enough durians, the middle men (or ladies, in the case of these two women from Chanthaburi province), would have the fruit loaded onto pickups with metal frames to make the long drive north to the export factories. I had a fun time playing pictionary and charades with the durian vendors, who thought Rob and I were pretty funny!
I’m also happy to report that Lang Suan has really good durian. Rob and I even felt that their durian was superior to Chanthaburi durian. No offense to Chanthaburi, but after a month in northern Thailand we were starting to think we didn’t like durian anymore. We enjoyed several delicious Chanees, one with gorgeous rainbow striated flesh of different oranges and yellows. Rob also enjoyed an intensely thick Monthong, so thick and sweet that it made me feel kind of nauseous, like I might feel after eating Costco frosting with a spoon. Rob got to enjoy that one by himself. He liked it so much he was laughing.