“I’m sorry for this delayed response,” I write for the upteenth time to my emails. I feel like I’ve been running late all year. I arrived in Penang late, finished some projects late, put up blog posts late, and am announcing the Malaysia Durian Tours late. I’m sorry to tell you that the 2017 Penang Durian Season is also late.
Me and the durian season, we’re apparently in sync.
But at last, the roads and walkways are littered with falling durian flowers. The air is filled with that strange sweet, curious odor of coming durians. The trees are filled with heavy blooms. On my table, I have a bouquet of fallen flowers I picked up on a run, the stem shining gold under the creamy petals.
So now we can talk about what’s going to happen this upcoming Penang Durian Season.
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Deets on the Durian Situation in 2017
The old folks are grumbling about climate change, but so far in my experience of durian seasons (this is my 6th one) every year has been just a bit different.
Here’s what’s been going on this year and what you can expect this summer:
It’s been raining. As I’m writing this post, it’s overcast and still. To the north, a storm is brewing and the horizon is turning dark. I think it will rain soon. Lucky for me, but not so great for the durian flowers.
Excess rain effects durian production in two ways:
- Durian trees expect at least 2 weeks of drought, or dry weather, in order to produce flowers. An extended rainy season delays flowering (like this year).
- Excess rain and wind knocks off durian flowers before they’ve had a chance to be properly pollinated, reducing the number of baby durian fruits successfully created.
The durian season is late. That’s why the durian season is late. Because of the prolonged rainy season, the durians flowered late. Last year, we ate the first durian of 2016 on April 26th. That’s only two weeks from now, and while there are a few tiny durians on the trees, most trees are still in gorgeous full bloom and won’t be dropping any fruits until the end of June.
There will be less durian than last year. The rain is also the reason that there will be fewer durians than last year. Some farmers are reporting dire numbers — like 5% of a “good” crop — but most think it will be around 30% of a “good” crop. Since last year was considered a “bad” crop, I feel like things will be okay.
Durians are more expensive every year. Partly it’s hype, and partly it’s the weather situation. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for good quality fruits, and keep your fingers crossed that next year will be a durian flood.
The durian season will be short. Compared to last year’s four-month durian season, this year will feel comparatively brief. Most farmers think their trees will drop for only 4 to 6 weeks this year, so pay attention to the information below when planning your trip.
When To Come to Penang in 2017
The peak durian season this year will be from the end of June to the beginning of August, with two minor “humps” or times of abundance at the end of June and the end of July.
Where to go in 2017 Penang Durian Season
To get a sense of how everyone on the island was doing with the season, I went ahead and called a lot of the farms I know and recommend to get their estimation of the durian season.
Friendly Home Durian Farm End of May and early June
Green Acres End of June and first two weeks of July
Eng Hoe’s Durian Stall in Batu Ferringhi End of June through end of July
Bao Sheng Durian Farm End of June through Early August
Durian House July
Mr. Hoe on Chulia Street (Across from 7-11) His farm is actually not far from Bao Sheng. End of June and July.
Stonehouse Durian (Rumah Batu) end of June through first week of August
Soon Huat July and August
Kampung Ku July and August
Freedom Eco-Farms End of July and August
Let Me Show You Penang
Or if you’re coming to Penang/Malaysia and wanna say Hi! make sure to send me an email or find me on Instagram so we can connect!