A Durian Vendor in Kuala Lumpur
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A Durian Vendor in Kuala Lumpur

A Durian Vendor in Kuala Lumpur


And after publishing… It turned out it’s not a Durian, but a Jackfruit… 🙂

Strange fruit, the durian. Outside, this tropical fruit is rather awesome, but I had never seen how it looked inside, neither how it tasted.

Wandering in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, where food stalls are ubiquitous, I stepped into a vendor deeply concentrated in cutting and preparing durian. Curious, I asked him if I could taste it, and indeed it had a strange flavor (for an European palate not used to it) but not that bad.

My curiosity was further enticed later on, when traveling through Burma. More than once, I stumbled into a sign at the hotel reception warning guests that the infamous durian fruit was not allowed in the rooms. I couldn’t help wondering why and that’s how I found out that durian is well-known for having a very strong odor, apparently extremely bad-smelling to the point that many consider it even revolting. I hadn’t noticed the bad smell in Kuala Lumpur, but I also stopped for a very little time and maybe the durian odor was mixed with so many other food smells that it was somehow covered…

Still, the ‘king of fruits’, as it is often referred to in Southeast Asia, is widely used to prepare various sweets. Moreover, according to Southeast Asian beliefs and traditions, the durian would have healing properties, not to speak about its aphrodisiac qualities as they seem to think in Java.

And oddly enough, I found out that the Singapore Esplanade, the performing art centre with its unmistakable awesome shape and one of the nicest buildings in the SE Asia city-State, is nicknamed ‘the Durian’.  I thought it resembled a stylized hedgehog, but now that I think of it, it also resembles the ‘king of fruits’! 🙂


Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Social Media Marketing. Besides travel writing SImon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.

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  • Seqiah
    Posted at 23:20h, 31 July Reply

    Hi there,

    The picture shown with the caption “durian vendor KL” is not that of a durian but rather ‘cempedak’, a kissing cousin of jack-fruit

    • Simon
      Posted at 06:27h, 02 August Reply

      Oh my! Thanks for pointing this out. Honestly, when I asked the vendor I couldn’t understand the name of the fruit. I thus asked someone else who told me it was a durian. Now I’ll go and see what the ‘cempedak’ is 🙂

  • Roy | The Riding Dutchman
    Posted at 10:33h, 31 July Reply

    Nice experience! I was told that if you like the smell of the durian and also the taste of it, you would someday live in Malaysia.

    Just a myth though :P.

    I have found that the smell is pretty present…

    • Simon
      Posted at 12:24h, 31 July Reply

      Nice myth… Although I don’t think I could live in Malaysia. I like the seasons 🙂

  • Laurel
    Posted at 11:16h, 31 July Reply

    Great photo. Durian is such an interesting looking fruit, but between the smell and the taste, I have no idea why anyone would buy it, other than to try it once. Once was enough for me when I lived in Thailand.

    • Simon
      Posted at 12:25h, 31 July Reply

      Thank you, Laurel. Well… I’m like you. I just tasted it out of curiosity, but that was all 🙂

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