The land of temples, religion, and incredible sprawling cities, Thailand is a natural stop on any traveler’s itinerary. You may have come to Thailand to try some of the famously rich curries and snacks, but don’t miss out on the Thai fruits! The warm climate and mineral-rich soils on many of the islands make this country a fruit-lovers paradise, and the experience of markets in Thailand shouldn’t be missed.
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Where To Buy Fruit In Thailand
Unlike many Western countries, Thailand does not focus its fresh produce in grocery stores. Instead, many locals pick up their essentials at convenience stores located on every corner in major cities like Bangkok. However, fresh fruits and vegetables are usually sold at markets in Thailand. When we lived in Bangkok, we often picked up our fruit at the market in our neighborhood. Sometimes it was even peeled, cut, and ready to eat.
If you’re in a hurry, convenience stores and airport shops may stock limited quantities of common fruits from Thailand. However, these produce pieces are likely to be of lower quality and higher price than those you’d find at a market.
An essential part of buying fruit at a market in Thailand is knowing the Thai fruit names! Many locals will speak some English, but it shows great respect and appreciation for their culture if you can ask for the fruit you’re after by its Thai name. Many Thai fruit names are also steeped in history and have links to Thailand’s cultural foundations.
Learn more about eating and drinking in Thailand:
10 Fruits To Eat In Thailand
|🇹🇭 Thai Fruit||🇹🇭 Thai Name|
|🍎 Rose Apples||Chom-poo|
|Dragon Fruit||Gae-oh mang gorn|
|🥥 Young Thai coconut||Ma-praow|
You might have come to Thailand for the history and sightseeing, but make sure you try some of the delicious, unique fruits during your stay. Here are some of the best fruits in Thailand for you to track down while you’re traveling.
Curious about other fruits to eat when traveling in Southeast Asia?
Snake Fruit – Salak
Snake fruits are one of the most distinctive fruits from Thailand on this list. Named for their scaly brown exterior, snake fruits are common in Thailand’s southern and island parts during the summer months. The fruit is around the size and shape of a fig, with an acidic taste described as ‘fizzy pineapple.’
To enjoy these Thai fruits, pinch the tip of the snake fruit and gently pull the skin off. You’ll be left with two or three white lobes, similar to garlic in appearance. While the flesh is creamy and sweet, make sure you spit out the inedible seeds in the middle!
For anyone with a serious sweet tooth, you can’t go past the Thailand mangoes! There are many different kinds of Thailand mangoes available around Southeast Asia, though the most common varieties are orange, yellow, and green. Orange mangoes are very sweet, ranging all the way through to the super-sour unripe green mangoes famous in the north of Thailand.
Thai mangoes will often be sold with a small packet of salt, shrimp powder, and sugar – dip the green slices of mango into this powdery mix for a unique taste experience that you won’t find anywhere else!
Thailand mangoes are pretty affordable in their homeland, with most varieties going for around 20 baht per pound in markets and grocery stores. They are in season during late spring and summer, and during exceptionally wet years, will even be fruiting into the fall months.
Durian may be the king, but mangosteen is the queen of Thai fruits. These juicy treats are much more popular with tourists but can present an issue when it comes to eating them. If you’re wondering how to eat your mangosteen, the inner pulp is divided into segments – simply cut the outer skin off, and pry the sections out from the sides using your fingers.
One thing to know – mangosteen is the national fruit of Thailand! Mangosteen is more expensive than many other Thai fruits, at around 40 baht per pound in major cities. This sweet Thai fruit is available from fall through to mid-summer and is a perfect treat after a long day of exploring!
Langsat are also related to lychees and rambutan, but they are not quite as sweet. Native to Malaysia, these fleshy fruits grow in clusters of around 15 and are widespread in the north of Thailand.
Due to their plentiful harvest and gelatinous texture, langsat is traditionally used in Thai stews, salads, and curries. Many green mango salads will also contain slivers of langsat, particularly in the islands like Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi. Langsat is also relatively cheap to purchase, costing around 15-20 baht per pound at markets in Thailand.
Much like its well-known cousin, the lychee, rambutan is characterized by a deep red, spiky exterior that makes it impossible to miss amidst colorful fruit shelves!
As far as the fruits of Thailand go, the rambutan is one of the more popular snacks for on-the-go locals during the warmer months. In addition, these distinctively sweet Thai fruits are a common ingredient in salads, desserts, and drinks across Thailand and much of Southeast Asia.
Rambutan is in season during the fall and winter months, though trees will often fruit twice a year depending on rainfall. If you’re not a massive fan of the fleshy texture, look for rambutan-flavored candies and sorbets sold in convenience stores throughout Thailand.
Jackfruit may be famous as a meat alternative in western nations, but did you know it originated in Thailand? These spiky Thai fruits may look intimidating but cut one open, and you’ll see hundreds of fleshy white pods. From the same family as durian, jackfruits have many of the same properties – just without the strong scent.
Jackfruit can be eaten raw, but this is not the most common way to enjoy this Thai fruit. When cooked, jackfruit has a similar texture to pulled pork and absorbs sauces and marinades well. As a result, you’ll find jackfruit all year-round in curries and stews, and sometimes even fried and sold at Thai night markets.
Chompoo – Rose Apples
Chompoo, also known as rose apples, is an often misleading fruit of Thailand. If you ask for a rose apple at a market, you may be surprised to be handed what looks like a small red pear. But, don’t worry, it’s not a mistake! These popular fruits of Thailand are waxy, crunchy, and delicious, and like apples, they are designed to be eaten whole.
Several varieties of chompoo are available in Thailand, though the most common has light green skin and is available year-round. Originating in Malaysia, chompoo are known for their juicy flesh and thirst-quenching properties.
Chompoo is sometimes stewed with sugar and salt. However, the most common way to eat these crunchy Thai fruits is fresh and raw. You can also dip them into Thai spices or chili powder for a Thai twist on this local fruit.
Durians may not be a Westerner’s first choice, but in Southeast Asia, they are king! Known in Thailand as the ‘king of fruits, these spiky, smelly fruits are surprisingly delicious once you get past the scent. In the great ‘durian vs. jackfruit’ debate, durians are usually favored by locals, and jackfruit by tourists. Just look out for restrictions on where to eat durian in Thailand. Some hotels will ban eating during because of the smell.
The flesh is creamy, stringy, and sweet, and this Thai fruit is often a key ingredient in ice creams, durian cakes, and candies in Asia. If you aren’t a fan of the raw fruit smell, you can buy flavored candies or ice pops in Thai convenience stores to ease your way into the distinct taste.
Durian is also relatively inexpensive, costing around 50 baht per pound. You can pick this prized fruit up at markets in Thailand or convenience stores in major cities and towns.
Dragon fruit, known by many as the ‘ugly duckling’ of the Thai fruits world, is possibly the prettiest fruit on this list! The exterior is pink to deep pink with soft green spikes. The inner flesh is crunchy and littered with tiny black seeds.
These Thai fruits come in three colors: white, pink, and (rarely) yellow. The taste of dragon fruit is relatively inoffensive, with many preferring to eat it for the texture and refreshing juices.
You will be able to find dragonfruit in markets, grocery stores, and streetside vendors during the summer and fall months. So grab one of these delicious native Thai fruits and eat straight from the skin with a spoon.
If you’re looking for an impressive fruit in Thailand, look no further than the pomelo! These monstrous citrus fruits can grow to around a foot in circumference. This makes them one of the largest citrus fruits. With a taste between an orange and a grapefruit, pomelo is well-known in Thailand as a marinade ingredient for seafood and meat dishes. The high acidity in the peel and flesh helps cook the meat and leads to a zesty, refreshing flavor at the same time.
In Thailand, the season for harvesting pomelos is between March and August each year. Journey to the plantations around late January to see thousands of pomelo trees in full blossom, or visit at the start of the harvest to pick your own.
One of the things I miss most about living in Bangkok is the pomelo. We would eat it almost every day, often purchasing it already peeled because peeling is a pain.
Young Thai coconut
Now, this is one Thai fruit you would have heard of! Thai coconuts are a very popular tourist specialty. They are sold by street vendors on nearly every corner. Young Thai coconuts are full of delicious and refreshing coconut water. Often served cold, these are a great option to sip and enjoy in the hot weather.
Young Thai coconuts are picked before they can turn brown and so are usually green-white in color. However, they can be cumbersome to carry around, so the best choice is to sit and drink the refreshing inner liquid in the shade for a quick energy boost!
Originating in China, the English name for these fleshy fruits stems from the words long-gan, meaning ‘dragon eyes.’ Related to lychees and rambutan, longan is possibly the most popular of this Thai fruit family.
The flesh of longan fruit can be either pale pink or light green. This depends on the variety of longan. In Southeast Asia, these fruits are favored for their iron-rich properties. Oftentimes, they are given to women after giving birth.
The Thai version of longan is known as longtan and is much larger and sweeter than its Chinese cousins. These Thai fruits are usually far more expensive in markets and are prized for their association with long life and good health.
Tasty Thai Fruits
So there you have it – a list of some of the best Thailand fruits. Fruits found in Thailand are unique, tasty, and well worth a trip to the market! If you’re not sure how to eat many of these unusual fruits, watch what the locals do. You’ll get an authentic experience and the most enjoyment out of your fresh Thai fruits.
FAQs – Thai Fruits
While many might say coconut, hands down, the most famous Thai fruit has to be mango. Used in numerous Thai recipes or eaten fresh, Thai mango is not to be missed.
Thai rambutan, also known as ngor is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. Sweet but not too sweet, rambutan has a similar look and texture to lychee.