Top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Being located in the tropical zone makes Vietnam a destination for the food and fruits. There is list of Top Exotic Fruits you must try in Vietnam- they are not only delicious and popular, but also meet the criteria for export to the world. With the understanding of the local food and culture, below is the guide to fruits to spot out when you travel to Vietnam.

Top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam

1. Durian fruit- King of fruits (Sau Rieng)

If you are in Vietnam especially in durian season from May to August, you should try it for yourself. It’s easy to find durian in any markets or supermarkets of Vietnam.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Half loved and half despised in Southeast Asia, Durian is compared as King of Fruits because of its humongous size, interesting odor, an outer husk covered in spikes. While durian skin looks really intense, its smell can make people run away. Forbidden in some air-conditioned restaurants, airplanes and some public places, durian is transparently not for everyone.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Know what? I love its incredible taste and believe me when I say, if there is “10 things to taste before you die”, Durian will be on the list. A bit expensive to Vietnam money standard, durian flavor goes to ice cream and yogurt rather than the real thing for those who treasure its unique taste.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Where to find?

In the local markets or fruit shops along the road. But durians is seasonal fruits and can only be found during some months of the year. Luckily as I mentioned above, you have durian flavored option in some food products like cake, ice cream and sweet soup.

How to eat it?

I wouldn’t suggest you eat durian in public space. Knowing how to open it also require a bit skill but don’t worry because the sellers often open it for you.

2. Mangosteen (Mang Cut)

If the mighty durian is king, the mangosteen is compared as the queen of fruit thanks to its semi-firm exterior shell which could not be much to look at, but what impresses people on the first time trying is that the soft and delicate flesh of the white interior.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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From my personal fruit taste, Mangosteen is the tastiest fruit of Southeast Asia. Covered with a dark red rind that often stains your fingers when peeling it. It can’t be denied that Lai Thieu Mangosteen is the best mangosteen in Vietnam with thick peel, white and sweet-and-sour sedments made people remember forever. In the feudal time, Mangosteen was compared as a noble fruit and used in rich families as well as offered for Royal Family.

Where to find?

In the local markets and major grocery stores when they are in the season. Only within ten weeks from May to August. Don’t miss it if you travel to Vietnam during those months.

How to eat?

Use a knife to peel them or use your both hands to slowly break the mangosteen into two pieces. Be slow and be patient!

3. Dragon fruit (Thanh Long)

Was known as Pitaya fruit, Pitahaya fruit or commonly as the Dradon fruit is among the most nutrious and wonderful exotic fruits. Native to Central and South America and cultivated in many places as diverse as South East Asia and Australia, this fruit from the cactus species come in three kinds – red skin with red flesh, red skin with white flesh and yellow skin with white flesh. Especially, Vietnam Dragon fruit with its sweet and crunchy taste.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Where to find it?

It is easy to find dragon fruit in any Vietnamese markets. To select a nice fruit is quite easily, simply look for full-bodied, full colored fruits. If the fruit has a lot of blotches, it may be over-ripe. Another sign of an over-ripe dragon fruit is its stem will be very dry and brittle brown, or brown on the tips of the “leaves”. We can hold the dragon fruit in our palm and try to press the skin by thumb or fingers – it should give a little soft or mushy but not too much. If it’s quite firm, it may need to ripen for a few days.

How to eat it?

Dragon fruit’s mild flavor and tasty consistency make it a perfect summer treat on its own, or after a meal. Cut it into slices like watermelon to eat it by hand, or add it to a salad to give it a tart kick. And don’t order a drink with the impossible request “I want a dragon fruit smoothie without seeds inside”, this is kind of hard for the sellers!

4. Pomelo (Buoi)

This tropical fruit looks a bit like an overgrown orange but is much sweeter. In Southeast Asia, pomelo is a great ingredient to make salads, sweet soup or eat fresh with a bit chili salt. There are several kinds of pomelo regionally famous for their taste like Nam Roi, Phuc Trach pomelo. Green peel pomelo is a specialty of the southern province of Ben Tre.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Where to find it?

Street markets and supermarkets. Pomelo is sold in both peeled or unpeeled.

How to eat it?

Pomelo grind is super thick and needs a knife to open. As said above, pomelo is used to make a tasty salad or juice.

5. Longan (Nhan)

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Longan, also known as “dragons eye” (because of a white eye-shaped mark on the pit that appears as a pupil in the large eye) are softer and smaller than lychee fruits. Longan fruit is brown in color and is considered as little brothers of lychee fruits. Scientific term of longan is Dimocarpus longan, originated in China and later spread across the globe and is now widely cultivated in Thailand, India and in several other countries of Southeast Asia including Vietnam. Longan is best grown in the summer season and can be consumed both raw or as dried fruits

Where to find it?

Better eat them fresh off he branch in the fruit gardens. Longans also comes together with lotus seeds inche sweet soup.

How to eat it?

Peel it with your fingernail. Prepare yourself the wet tissue because longan meat is quite watering.

6. Lychee

Lychee is a nice fruit with a sweet smell and taste, available in the summer and also a small fruit full of healthy nutrients. Lychee has a rough skin outside and contains juicy flesh inside. It is used as medicine in Asia.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Lychee is a great delicacy of Northern Vietnam thanks to its bunches of red-ripened litchis with fine skins, very small seeds, much sweet meat, a purely fragrant taste. Luc Ngan litchi products have been gaining popularity not only across the country but also have been exported to many foreign markets.

Where to find it?

Comes to its season in May and June, you can find it in the local markets. The most famous lychee in Vietnam is “vai thieu.

How to eat it?

If your fingers are strong, use your hands to open the hard sheels of lychee. Otherwise, knife should be an option.

7. Mango ( Xoai)

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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The ripe mango is normally eaten in fresh and the unripe which taste is mostly sour is used for cooking as well as making varieties of pickles. You know what? Vietnamese eat green mango with chili sauce or spicy fermented shrimp sauce which is a hug sursprie to Westerners.

Where to find it?

Sold widely in the markets or streets. Mango can be found when eating raw or cooked in salad.

How to eat it?

Ripe mango is easy to eat but the green mango comes tastier when dipped with chili salt or fermented shrimp sauce. Vietnamese locals make it their way a special mango recipe call the shaking mango “xoai lac”. 

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

Green mango after being the shaking with dry chili, sugar, salt

8. Rambutan (Chom Chom)

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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Full of carbohydrate, protein, fat, phosphorus, iron, calcium and vitamin C, rambutan is one of the top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam. This plant can be also used as a medicinal fruit and have benefits for health such as losing weight, helping skin become softer and good for our hair.

Where to find it? 

Markets or fruit yards around June and July.

How to eat it?

Slice the rind down the middle carefully with fingernails or a knife. use the plastic bag from the vendor you get when buying the rambutan to discard pits.

9. Mandarin orange (Quyt)

Mandarin oranges are one of most popular citrus fruits of the orange family. The has a thin skin that is easy to peel which can be a material of children’s snack.

Main production areas of mandarins in Vietnam are Can Tho, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Tra Vinh, Dong Nai, Hoa Binh, Nghe An and Lang Son. Ly Nhan Mandarin of Vietnam is not only widely sold in the domestic markets of Vietnam but also exported to the world markets.

10. Star apple ( Vu Sua)

Star apple is native to the West India and has spread to the lowlands of Central America, throughout the tropics like Southeast Asia and including Vietnam.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

The star apple tree is a tropical or subtropical species and grow well only in the warmest locations of southern of Vietnam. The most famous Star apples located in Can Tho Province in the Mekong River Delta. In this place, visitors can enjoy themselves the hundreds of star apples suspended from the branches. Star apples in here are famous for the round smooth and equal size fruits. The shape of the star apple matches the name attached to it, as does its juice which is fragrantly sweet and milky white like breast milk. If visitors are unfamiliar with the region, they can be guided by locals to enjoy this fruit.

top exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam Saigon Ho Chi Minh motorbike scooter tour saigon by night after dark food tour day tour

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We hope that through our list of Top Exotic Fruits you must try in Vietnam, you will have great experience tasting them. If you ever roaming around the local markets of Vietnam, don’t hesitate to give them a try.

Below is a cute Vlog the girl drivers team of Saigon Kiss Tours do when taking Suzanne to the local market and taste fruits.

Visintg a local market that only the locals go and have the chances to admire the food ingredients and the fruits that you don’t often see in your home country will be a blessing for your great adventure.

Looking for an authentic, local experience with 3,5 hours on the back of the bikes, check Saigon Motorbike Day Tours

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Natalie Vo
Natalie Vo
100% Vietnamese, my passion is traveling and running projects related to tourism. I'm here to share what I know about Vietnam for travelers.

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