By Story and photo by Charoon Thongnual/NATIONPHOTO
The heady scent of durian fills the air everywhere in Thailand (though not in the posh hotels, as the concierge will insist). It’s especially true in the South, where Betong durian is used as a key to unlock tourism and build fortunes.
Demand for the pungent fruit is rising all the time, and the two local varieties, known as Black Thorn and Musang King, are currently fetching Bt600 per kilogram on market weigh scales.
Durian growers can count on increasing riches thanks to these coveted breeds and the ever-popular Golden Pillow and Long Stalk.
Jittima Jitrunganant and Phannee Thongsant, the heirs to one orchard, had little trouble deciding to leave behind desk jobs in Bangkok.
They sell their durians to local wholesalers and retailers and to online shoppers.
And business should get a further boost next year when Betong Airport opens, bringing in more folks hungry for a sampling of the best the country has to offer.
More details about both women's durian business