The first thing you’ll notice in your hotel is NO DURIAN signs – everywhere!
What is Durian? Durian is a large fruit with a thorn covered husk native to South East Asia. It has a very strong odour that many find offensive. Some say the smell is similar to raw sewage. Thailand takes its” no durians on the premises” seriously and signs can be seen in almost every hotel and train station.
Given the reaction people have to this fruit we knew we had to try it.
It was more difficult than expected to find. Given its hard shell we decided it was better to try it mixed in with something, instead of buying a raw durian and breaking it open. Luckily we found it in mochi balls. Mochi balls are a Japanese rice cake often filled with a fruit or ice cream.
The taste wasn’t that unpleasant. It was fruity but then had an after taste of egg. The smell was subtle but I understand how in large quantities this would be offensive. I’m glad I tried it and I’m also happy I didn’t have to eat a whole durian.
Scorpions and other insects
While in Bangkok we stayed in Chinatown. Even though this area was a bit off the beaten track it definitely had its own vibe and felt less touristy.
In search of insects to try we went down Yaowarat in Chinatown one night and found plenty in the street food markets, including crickets and cockroaches.
I even tried a scorpion; it tasted mainly of the soy sauce it was cooked in. I wasn’t a fan of the texture because it was very difficult to bite into, hard and chewy which hurt my teeth.
While in Thailand I tried lots of iced tea. My favourite was the green tea frappe available in almost every coffee shop followed by blueberry and pomegranate. I got this outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Delicious!