When I tell you where I ate my 10 best durians of the year, I’m telling you a story about me. “Best durian” are deeply personal. They’re where I was and what I was doing and what was important to me when I ate them. This post, The 10 Best Durian of 2017 is essentially […]
Fast Facts About Cambodia's Durian
Many, but not all durians you see being sold crossed the border from Thailand and Vietnam. These tend to be lower quality than Cambodian-grown durians.
The durian called "Oyekak" is the same as Thailand's "Chanee."
Native Cambodian durian varieties include Ang Siam, Nungoi, Laichee, Jouhot, and Dongkat. One of my favorites is Nungoi.
There are three main durian-growing regions in Cambodia: Kampot and Kep, Kampong Cham and Meimut, and around Battambang.
Sometimes my fruit hunting adventures take me to really interesting places, not just really interesting durian. This ancient Khmer bas-relief is carved into the side of the sweeping red sandstone cliff that now serves as the contentious borderline between Cambodia and Thailand. Only 600 meters away in Cambodia rests the Preah Vihear Temple, a 1,100 […]
The last time Rob and I visited Phnom Penh, we did the usual tourist thing and visited all the really depressing monuments to the mass genocide of the 1970’s. Rob wrote one of his few yet treasured postsabout the experience, a somber, philosophical article that has nothing to do with durian. This time around was […]
One afternoon, I road the 20 km to Wat Han Chey, a temple overlooking the Mekong with a bizarre fruit theme. The Frenchman who owned my guesthouse didn’t recommend it. “It kind of strange place,” he said “All this giant fruits, animals eating fruits. Sort of … kitschy.” I actually couldn’t remember what “kitschy” meant (so […]
Nestled along the Kampong Bay River at the foot of the Elephant Mountains, Kampot is a quiet, peaceful place that is quickly gaining a reputation as Cambodia’s number one tourist chill out. Most Western tourists probably have no idea that Kampot is also practically synonymous with durian. That might explain the prominent setting of Kampot’s […]
Durian typically prefers slightly elevated interior regions, and so we spent over two months in Thailand avoiding those gorgeous stretches of white sand I always see in travel magazines. Rob actually hates sand anyway. But I would happily be a beach babe, and in Kep I finally got my days of sun, sea air and […]
One of the things I like about durian hunting is that it has a tendency to lead me off the beaten track, even in heavily tourist-ed areas. There are no beaten tracks in Koh Kong. Koh Kong is the southwestern-most province in Cambodia, and is still largely unpopulated. Most of the interior is accessible only […]
It’s pretty well established that crossing overland into Cambodia is asking to get ripped off. Whether it’s bogus visa sellers, fake quarantine tents, artificially elevated transport prices or corrupt officials, somebody’s getting more cash than they should. I remembered that Rob and I had a little trouble last year when we took the Ban Pakard/Prum […]
After a longer than intended stay in Phnom Penh, Lindsay and I headed north to Siem Reap, the city nearest to ancient Angkor Wat. We arrived around 2 a.m. after the best bus ride we’ve had in SE Asia. Our chairs rivaled first class airplane seats and the bus even had a toilet. It was […]