Thai Fruits

Chompoo Banana Mango Dragon Fruit Watermelon
Fruit Stand
A stall in a Chiang Mai market selling a wide range of fresh Thai fruits. You can click on some fruits for more information.

When-ever and where-ever you go in Thailand, you'll see stalls selling an amazing variety of fruits. While many popular fruits have a season, Thailand's tropical climate means these seasons are spread more or less evenly throughout the year. Thailand has many native fruits, but also manages to grow several imports from other parts of the world. This part of our guide describes some of the many unique fruits you're likely to find on your visit.

It would be hard to imagine Thailand without the banana. The fruit actually is believed to have its origins in southern Thailand, along the Malay peninsula. Even today, there are many different types of bananas available in Thai markets, varieties you will have never seen in western supermarkets.
Dragon Fruit
Towards the end of the rainy season, around September, the markets around the north are filled with piles of the oddly shaped dragon fruits. This relative new-comer is now a common sight in the markets and on the table when it is in season.
No discussion of Thai fruits can be complete without the durian. This odd fruit is like truffles to the French, or perhaps haggis to the Scots would be a more apt comparison, since it is hard to think of a more objectionable edible product.
Guavas are one of the most common fruits you'll find on the street. They are always in season and always popular for afternoon snack. Thai guavas are about the size of an apple, or slightly larger.
The jackfruit has to be one of my favourite Thai fruits. It has a completely unique taste and texture that is unlike just about any other fruit. It's also definitely high on the list of the world's strangest fruits.
The lichee is perhaps the most well known of several fruits from northern Thailand, all having a similar general structure and taste. Without their woody stems attached, the lichee fruit could almost be mistaken for a strawberry.
The longan seems to be the most loved of the many lichee-like fruits available in Thailand. The fruit comes in season a bit later than the lichee. Longans are small, almost spherical fruits with a mottled light brown to beige coloured skin.
Mangoes are perhaps one of the most popular fruits among Thais. They are available in a stunning variety in Thailand, from the sweet yellow mangoes commonly found in the west, to tart green mangoes that find their way into many Thai dishes, both sweet and savoury.
Dubbed the "queen of fruits", the mangosteen is native to Malaysia and Indonesia, although it is now found throughout South-East Asia, where it is a favorite almost everywhere. The mangosteen is a small spherical fruit about the size of a tangerine, but with a skin that is very dark purple, and quite thick, reaching 10 millimeters in thickness. Inside is a soft white sectioned middle.
One of the first tastes a new visitor gets of Thailand is the mildly sweet flavour of fresh orange juice with their morning breakfast. Thai oranges are sweet and low on acid, which makes for a smooth and sweet drink.
The rambutan gets my vote for the world's strangest fruit. It is spherical or oblong with a bright cherry red skin. What makes it so strange are the green 'hairs' that extend about an inch out from the skin and sometimes end in tiny leaves. These stems are not stiff, like spines, but soft and pliable. The fruit looks more like a children's toy than something edible.
Rose Apple
The rose apple is yet another fruit with a surprise up its sleeve. Based on its outward appearance, it could easily be mistaken for a small pear, although the skin is usually quite waxy compared to pears. But when you cut the rose apple open, you won't find a core filled with seeds.
Like the chillies that are now a fundamental part of Thai cuisine, pineapples originated in the New World and were bought to Asia by the Europeans. The fruit is now a part of the everyday landscape of Thailand.
It sometimes seems that pomelos are everywhere in Thailand. But then, a fruit this big is quite difficult to hide. The pomelo is a very large citrus fruit, perhaps the largest in the world, and its scientific name Citrus grandis suits it well.
Sugar Apple
This lumpy fruit is about the size of a large apple, but there the comparison more or less ends. The skin is dusky green and covered in bumps the size of your fingertips.
In Thailand, watermelon can be grown all year round. It's one of several fruits you can count on seeing on every fruit platter, along with pineapple, rose apples and guavas. Watermelon is one of the most cooling of all Thai fruits.