10 Must - Try Tropical Fruits in Vietnam

With its diverse climate, Vietnam is blessed with many kinds of precious fruits that should be on your bucket-list. Here are our top choices:

1. Durian

Durian is a unique tropical fruit known for its pungent smell, spiky and hard outer shell. In Southeast Asia, it’s nicknamed “the king of fruits”. The flavour is described as sweet, though many people find its taste is close to an overripe banana.  Despite its smell, durian is actually very high in nutrients as it is naturally rich in potassium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B complex. In Vietnam, durian is mostly planted in the South.

2. Longan

In Vietnamese, Longan is called “Long Nhan”, which means dragon eyes. Its size is about the size of a ping pong ball, with sweet and juicy pulp. There are many varieties of Longan in Vietnam, in which the “Cage-Longan” is the most popular. The name itself comes from the technique of covering the fruit with cages to protect them from birds.

3. Rambutan

A lot of rambutans are grown in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The fruit is about 3-4 cm and has fleshy hair all over its shell. It has a sweet flavour, with a touch of acidity and is very refreshing.

4. Sapota (Sappodilla)

Originally imported from Central America years ago, sapota has been quite popular in Vietnam nowadays. This fruit is grown mostly in northern Vietnam, with the shape of an egg and brownish skin. When ripe, the brown and yellow pulp is very juicy and has a molasses-like taste.

5. Lychee

 As one of very common summer fruits, lychee fruits are known as one of the Four Southern Fruits, in which other three are along with banana, pineapple, and longan. Needless to say, nothing beats lychee when it comes to pleasing your taste buds. This low-calorie fruit has more Vitamin C than citrus fruits, as much fibre as an apple and potassium levels comparable to a banana.

6. Mangosteen

Mangosteen is the unique fruit of South East Asia region. It has purple, hard rind yet the flesh inside is delicious with a touch of sweet and soft sours. When buying mangosteen, go with the smaller ones as the big size one usually does not have much flavour.

7. Starfruit

A star fruit is a popular yellow fruit grown on trees in Vietnam. When it is cut cross-wise, it is shaped like a star and can be eaten either cooked or raw. There is a Vietnamese folktale about the Starfruit tree that tells the story of two brothers and a raven. One brother appreciates the gold the Raven gives him, while the other wants more, and consequently dies because of his greed.

8. Dragon Fruit

Nowadays, dragon fruit is widely grown in southern Vietnam. Usually, it has dark red colour, although you may also find it in pink or yellow. The plant is actually a type of cactus. Dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, plus fibre and antioxidants.

9. Custard Apple

Custard Apple is usually called “Na” in the North or “Mang Cau” in Southern Vietnam. The skin of custard apple is thin but tough, which is usually yellow or brownish when ripe. Once the fruit is ripe, the pulp inside is sweet and contains many black seeds. Custard apple contains magnesium, which plays a vital role in relaxing muscles and protecting the heart against disease.

10. Star Apple

Ending the list is star apple. As special as its name, the fruit is called “Vu sua” in Vietnamese, which means “milk from the breast”, due to its milky sweet juice from its flesh.  Some people eat the fruit as a whole by first gently squeezing it until it becomes tender, then drill a small hole on top of the fruit and drink the flow of mixed-up meat and sweet juice.

Our list could go on forever as there are still many other tasty fruit choices. How many of these fruits have you already tried? Tell us how you like (or dislike) it! 

Author: Andy

Having been to over 20 countries, travelling is no longer a hobby but a passion for Andy, in which each journey is a process of self-exploration and integration of a human being into nature, culture and history.