I want everyone to know I’m really trying to control my excitement on this one. But before we get to the details about Rayong’s Wholesale Fruit Market (ตลาดผลไม้ตะพง), you should know that deep down on the inside I’m doing cartwheels and yelling:
“Whollyshiiiieeet look at this durian forra dolla!”
Durian is pricey in Bangkok and not always that tasty, so I’m in Rayong a LOT (here’s my growing list of my favorite places to eat there). I need to write more about it. It’s a great place to eat and especially the summer months when all the fruit is in season. I show up at this market and I’m digging through the durian, trying to pick one or two— meanwhile people are driving up and buying truck loads for a few thousand baht.
The Thai Tourism authority organizes some festival in Rayong and a lot of tourists come here on buses to visit fruit farms, but if you can actually find your way around Rayong, you can kinda organize your own fruit smorgasbord during the harvest season.
Let’s just say for some odd reason, my sexy durian talk doesn’t really entice you, well the baby sister fruit, mangosteen was less than $2 per three kilos. I bought a giant bucket and could hardly carry it all!
The market is located outside the main city, on the way towards La Hin Kao Beach. If you’re headed to the beach or atleast dinner at one the beach side eateries, stop here first. Many of the vendors are farmers themselves and if you can speak Thai can be great to laugh and have a chat with. Also be on the listen for the local Rayong dialect (hee, hee). This may sound like a trivial aside, but you should be friendly and eat as much fruit as you can while you’re standing there chatting to sample the quality of the fruit.
I took back more than enough fruit to share and much of what I hauled ended up with the lil ones attending our volunteer pre-school with In Search of Sanuk.
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You may want to keep in mind, this is a country style market and it’s nothing fancy. It can get pretty hot and dusty or really muddy when it rains. Although I think it’s most exciting during durian season (which will probably only last until around the end of July) the market has all sorts of cheap fruit all year long. And if you don’t have time to come here, there are ton of fruit vendors downtown and all over, so be on the lookout while you visit Rayong!