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.
Alex Aguero says
Hi Lindsay, Hello from Perth Australia. I have been having durian craving something wicked and came across your blog. Great to see there’s a few more gwailoh that love durians besides my Chilean born Aussie raised husband.
When is your during tours in 2016?
[email protected] says
Sorry to miss your comment! The dates are May 25-June 3rd in Thailand and July 2-10 in Malaysia. We still have a few openings so if you’d like to come, it would be awesome to have you!
Erin Tan says
Hi Lindsay, I live in KL. Me and my family love durians, we've only had a handful of the ones that you mentioned. I'd like to join you next year definitely. Erin
Lindsay Gasik says
Hi Erin, it would be a thrill to have locals along for the tour! I'm so glad you're interested. Make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can get the dates and info for next year. Hope to see you then!
Jeff LaPorte says
Hi Lindsay, Loved the photos and would definitely be interested in next years tour or tours. If they are close enough together I may just do both.
Lindsay Gasik says
Hi Jeff! It would be great to see you next year. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to find out more about next year's tours and keep in touch 🙂
donald yap says
Lindsay, i didn't receive this 2015 Tour blog, forwarded to me by Steve in Guatemala.
.looks interesting….got Musang King in West Malaysia too?
last Sept. i bought a box of MK mooncakes in KK, at 50% OFF Clearance.
i know how to shop!
From Singapore here! I would love to join! Only be able to make it in mid-June though… That's if my honeymoon plans don't fall then too 🙂
Lindsay Gasik says
Hi Aloysius, would love to have you along next year 🙂 The dates depend on the peak durian season, so we can hope for an earlier season next year!
Hi Lindsay, I love to go on one of these durian adventure tours with you but I am afriad I may not like durians as much as I think I do. I plan to try the other Bao Sheng tour next year and see how much I like than do this one the year after. what do you think?? Fred
Lindsay Gasik says
Hi Fred, it would be lovely to have you for either trip. I think it depends on what kind of experience you are looking for – the Bao Sheng Fest focuses more on health and well-being and is located in one place, while this tour was more a celebration of Malaysia and its durians that traveled all over the country.
Why do you doubt your durian love?
Well, I live in Orange County, California, USA, We only have frozen Monthong here. Ocasonally the stores have so called fresh ones but I am not sure… I just like to try the other verieties and see which ones I like the most…