The land where durian and mangosteen grow

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Banchamrung2_Arno Maierbrugger
Durians ready for harvesting All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s southeast is not just home to the country’s most developed industry clusters, it is also an agricultural hot spot where exotic fruits and herbs popular all over Southeast Asia and beyond are growing.

Among the fruits are some of the tastiest, non-smelling and therefore most expensive durians in the entire region, together with other yummy fruits such as rambutan, longan and snake fruit, and they are grown in Rayong province at the Southeastern Seaboard of Thailand.

The best-known community that grows the delicious fruits is Ban Chamrung, widely seen as a model community not just for fruit cultivation, but also for rubber farming and exotic ventures such as turtle breeding. It follows, like many other rural communities in Thailand, the sufficiency economy principle purported by Thailand’s king, meaning the community is more or less self-sustaining and can supply most of its needs from within its boundaries, relying on a neighborhood network based on kinship relations.

Banchamrung12_Arno Maierbrugger
Clockwise from the top: Rambutan, mangosteen, snake fruit and longan

The community has long been known for its excellent fruits and in the past put its emphasis on organic farming, which makes its products even more desirable. It has established a learning center for farmers and visitors, a community shop which sells fresh fruits and processed organic products, and a number of homestays for agritourism which attract both domestic and international tourists.

Durian: Nutty taste with a breeze of butterscotch

Particularly, the durian sorts that the community cultivates can be highly recommended. They are among the most expensive on the domestic market, and their fresh, nutty taste with a waft of vanilla, a breeze of butterscotch pudding and a subtle hint of hives, paired with the creaminess of caramelised onion, will blow your palate away, no doubt, and they don’t even smell as strong as we are used to when dealing with durians.

Bam Chamrung is just one hour’s drive from another interesting agricultural site in the region, namely HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn HerbalGarden in Map Kha, Rayong, where more then 260 indigenous herbs are cultivated, processed and sold.

The garden consists of over 20,000 trees and bushes categorised in 20 groups according to their medical significance. It also serves as a source for medicinal plants for research at renowned Thai universities Mahidol and Chulalongkorn and is certainly worth a visit.

Banchamrung11_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung10_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung9_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung8_Arno Maierbrugger
Longan fruits
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Rambutan, ready to eat

Banchamrung1_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung6_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung5_Arno Maierbrugger
That’s in fact a durian tree
Banchamrung4_Arno Maierbrugger
Community in Ban Chamrung

Banchamrung15_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung14_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung13_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung16_Arno Maierbrugger
Turtle breeding in Ban Chamrung
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindkorn Herbal Garden
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Herbal Garden

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Durians ready for harvesting All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s southeast is not just home to the country’s most developed industry clusters, it is also an agricultural hot spot where exotic fruits and herbs popular all over Southeast Asia and beyond are growing.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Banchamrung2_Arno Maierbrugger
Durians ready for harvesting All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s southeast is not just home to the country’s most developed industry clusters, it is also an agricultural hot spot where exotic fruits and herbs popular all over Southeast Asia and beyond are growing.

Among the fruits are some of the tastiest, non-smelling and therefore most expensive durians in the entire region, together with other yummy fruits such as rambutan, longan and snake fruit, and they are grown in Rayong province at the Southeastern Seaboard of Thailand.

The best-known community that grows the delicious fruits is Ban Chamrung, widely seen as a model community not just for fruit cultivation, but also for rubber farming and exotic ventures such as turtle breeding. It follows, like many other rural communities in Thailand, the sufficiency economy principle purported by Thailand’s king, meaning the community is more or less self-sustaining and can supply most of its needs from within its boundaries, relying on a neighborhood network based on kinship relations.

Banchamrung12_Arno Maierbrugger
Clockwise from the top: Rambutan, mangosteen, snake fruit and longan

The community has long been known for its excellent fruits and in the past put its emphasis on organic farming, which makes its products even more desirable. It has established a learning center for farmers and visitors, a community shop which sells fresh fruits and processed organic products, and a number of homestays for agritourism which attract both domestic and international tourists.

Durian: Nutty taste with a breeze of butterscotch

Particularly, the durian sorts that the community cultivates can be highly recommended. They are among the most expensive on the domestic market, and their fresh, nutty taste with a waft of vanilla, a breeze of butterscotch pudding and a subtle hint of hives, paired with the creaminess of caramelised onion, will blow your palate away, no doubt, and they don’t even smell as strong as we are used to when dealing with durians.

Bam Chamrung is just one hour’s drive from another interesting agricultural site in the region, namely HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn HerbalGarden in Map Kha, Rayong, where more then 260 indigenous herbs are cultivated, processed and sold.

The garden consists of over 20,000 trees and bushes categorised in 20 groups according to their medical significance. It also serves as a source for medicinal plants for research at renowned Thai universities Mahidol and Chulalongkorn and is certainly worth a visit.

Banchamrung11_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung10_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung9_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung8_Arno Maierbrugger
Longan fruits
Banchamrung7_Arno Maierbrugger
Rambutan, ready to eat

Banchamrung1_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung6_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung5_Arno Maierbrugger
That’s in fact a durian tree
Banchamrung4_Arno Maierbrugger
Community in Ban Chamrung

Banchamrung15_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung14_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung13_Arno Maierbrugger

Banchamrung16_Arno Maierbrugger
Turtle breeding in Ban Chamrung
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindkorn Herbal Garden
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Herbal Garden

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