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.
On Day 2, one of the durian lovers in my group asked if I was going to do the tour again next year.
“Well,” I said, “If all goes well, and you’re all happy, and nothing really terrible happens that crushes my soul and empties my bank account, then yes, I’ll think about it.”
Nothing really terrible happened. I was anxious sometimes, embarrassed twice, but my soul is intact and my bank account is happier for the experience. So am I, actually. What I thought might be an exhausting, nerve-wracked week turned out to be refreshing and exciting. I had a lot of fun, I really, really enjoyed the durian, and I count every person who came on my tour as a new friend.
Looking back, tour seems like the wrong word for what happened. I rented a van, asked a bunch of old durian friends if we could visit, and then drove around introducing my new durian friends to my old durian friends in a week long smorgasbord the Romans would be proud of, should they have ever tasted a durian.
This is an incomplete list of all the durians we tasted devoured this week:
- Durian Species: Durio pinangianus, Durio graveoelens, Durio lowianus
- Musang King
- Red Prawn
- Black Thorn
- Hor Lor
- Jackie Chan’s Wife
- Green Skin
- Kun Poh
- Ang Hua (Red Flower)
- Eng Hoe (Parrot’s Beak)
- Bak Eu
- D99 (Kop)
- D123 (Chanee)
- MDUR 78
Because nothing soul-smushing happened AND I made new friends AND the durians were amazing (see above pic), I am considering doing it all again next year.
In fact, I’m cautiously considering expanding to add an additional, shorter tour in Thailand. I literally wrote the book on traveling Thailand for durian (it’s called The Durian Tourist’s Guide to Thailand), and I’d love to show people that Thailand has some durians so amazing even Malaysians couldn’t turn up their noses. If you’d like to join me in either Thailand or Malaysia next year, please leave a comment below.
I want to send out big thank you’s to all of the people involved my events this summer, from Bao Sheng’s Farm to Green Acres Farm to Eco Freedom Farm to Tina the Musang Queen to Raub Durian Orchard and all the ones I haven’t yet written about for this blog.
And I also want to shout-out to everybody reading these words, to those who came on this trip or who I’ve met or traveled with in the past and in the future and to all of you whom I may never get the chance to meet in person. When I started this blog nearly four years ago, I never imagined any of you existed, or that I would meet any of you. And it never crossed my mind that any of you would ever join me hunting durians. That is the Best. Thing. Ever.