Operation Street Food – Day 2 (Tropical Fruits)

Posted: February 4, 2010    Categories: Thailand

Jackfruit Vendor

Jackfruit Vendor

Another day of street food has come and gone. Here is what I had to eat on Thursday.


  • Jackfruit – 20 baht (US$0.60)
  • bag of chicken skin and 2 chicken wings 42 baht ($1.27)
  • bag of longkong – 50 baht ($1.51)


  • Skewer of chicken gizzards and grilled fish – 20 baht (US$0.60)

I had a big lunch and not much for dinner. I skipped breakfast totally, which is what I usually do.

I went to go get my daily bag of rambutan from the local fruit seller on the corner and they were out. I ended up buying the longkong which is almost as good. Some of you might know it by the name langsat (Malaysia) or lanzone (Philippines).

One of my general travel rules is to eat fruit whenever you have the chance. In a tropical city like Bangkok, not only is getting fresh fruit easy, but you have a selection here you simply cannot find in Western stores. (and I’ve looked).

The infamous durian fruit. Beloved by some and hated by most

The infamous durian fruit. Beloved by some and hated by most

My favorite tropical fruit is rambutan. It looks red and hairy on the outside and if you didn’t know better you’d never want to touch it let alone eat it. You can see me eating rambutan in Honduras in this video with the girls from GalavantingTV.

Another favorite is longkong which I had today. It also goes by langsat or lansone in Malaysia the Philippines. It is similar to rambutan in that you have to pinch the skin to get out the fruit, but you can get many more per kilo because the husk is much lighter.

In 2008 I went with a group from the University of Singapore to a fruit farm in Malaysia where we got to eat durian. It is a fruit, but in no way, shape or form does it taste like a fruit. The best description I’ve heard is it tastes like mushy, cooked onions. Nonetheless, some people go nuts for it.

Water apples, papaya, ladyfinger bananas, lychee, mangos, mangosteens, dragon fruit, and more are just some of the things I’ve seen sold by fruit vendors on the street in Bangkok.

Many of these fruits are either illegal to import to some countries (because of fruit fly infestations) or difficult to ship, so you wont see them for sale in most western grocery stores. If you are ever in this region, make sure to go out of your way to sample the fruits because many of them you will never see if you live in North America or Europe.

What are your favorite tropical fruits?

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