I’m glad we ended up in Dak Mil. It’s a beautiful, quiet town set on a lake. I really enjoyed jogging around the lake and admiring the many gardens with neat rows of brightly colored lettuces. We also saw durian everywhere. It seemed like everyone had few trees in their backyards.
Our hotel was right across the street from the lake side promenade, where we had the good fortune to meet
Peter, a student in Ho Chi Minh who was home for the summer holiday.
Peter’s family are coffee farmers. They have about 30 durian trees
interspersed around the 2 hectare plantation. Most are uncultivated
Vietnamese varieties, but they’ve begun planting Thai varieties too.
|Peter’s brother, niece, mother, and me
Peter and his older brother picked us up on motorcycles. The road to Peter’s farm was a narrow, muddy track through the jungle. “Maybe I should just get off and walk,” I suggested. “Nah, we do this all the time,” Peter said. Rob and I were very impressed with he and his brother’s driving skills.
At the farm they showed us how they climb the trees to knock down ripe
fruits. They encouraged Rob to try durian tree climbing, so he shimmied
up the trunk and shook the branches while the rest of us stood clear to
avoid any ricocheting spike balls. The men were impressed with Rob’s
climbing abilities. I always knew I married a monkey.
Peter also took us by a small durian distributor. They didn’t speak English,
but opened a few durians for us, refusing payment. One of those was the
best durian we have had in Vietnam, and ranks among the best we’ve had
so far on our trip. Bitter and creamy, it had that note of numbing that I
loved so much in Mr. Chang’s Red Prawn and Tina’s Musang King. Vietnamese
durian is good.
nice to meet Peter and his family. They taught us a lot about durian in
Vietnam. Thanks Peter!