Have you ever wondered why Thai people are so healthy looking ? One answer could be because they eat such a great variety of amazing fruit. Indeed, visiting Koh Samui and eating only the fruit you know is a bit like traveling to France and drinking only Perrier Water. Just as the French have become masters of the vineyard so too have Thai people become experts in cultivating an amazing selection of fruit that can only be found in Europe in the expensive produce sections of the more up market stores. Visitors to Samui are therefore strongly advised to wholeheartedly indulge in the local produce. So rather than eating a slice of pineapple try a delicious mangosteen instead or go for some papaya instead of watermelon. Try a fresh coconut instead of a fizzy coke or taste some durian or jackfruit rather than eating a regular banana. Some doctors even claim that fresh coconut milk feeds the mind just like fish, and durian is well known for being one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. Also there is rambutan, pomelo, custard apples, rose apples, sapodilla, tamarind, guavas, mangoes....... and the list goes on and on depending on the season. In short, Thailand and Koh Samui are blessed with an amazing selection of delicious fruit. Of all the different kinds of Thai fruit perhaps the most exceptional is the Mangosteen (see photo). Beneath the thick deep purple skin is a multi-sectioned cluster of tender white fruit that literally melts on your tongue. Mangosteen are in season from April to September. Mangosteen In May, one month after mangosteen comes into season, the curious looking Rambutan joins the fray. This red fruit is covered with scores of green tendrils and inside is an oval chunk of cool and refreshing white succulent fruit. Jackfruit is the largest fruit in Thailand and shares the same season as rambutan. When removed from its giant casing this tangy fruit looks like little bags of gold. Another Thai fruit known for it's size - but more so for its smell - is Durian and this comes into season from May to July. On Samui it is difficult to escape durian as the mountains are rife with durian orchards and the island has already gained a reputation for growing some of the best durian in the country. The fruit is extremely rich and nutritious although it should not be consumed with alcohol as this causes the body to dangerously overheat. Papaya is another fruit with a curious taste and most people squeeze a bit of lime over it to help counter the bitter flavour. Known in Thai as malagar, papaya contains lots of vitamin C and is easily identified by its dark-green skin and its deep-orange flesh. Papaya is also a good food to help settle an upset stomach because it contains a natural digestive enzyme. Pomelo (som-oh) is also available throughout the year and resembles a grapefruit in both looks and flavour. The skin of the pomelo is so thick that about half the weight of the fruit is discarded by the time the inside fruit is reached. This fruit, like a grapefruit, is made up of hundreds of individual capsules bursting with a juicy vibrant flavour. Som-oh is found in many Thai salads most notably those from northern Thailand. Noi na or custard apple practically grows wild on Koh Samui. The bulbous skin of the apple is easily broken open to reveal a creamy white inside fruit concealing numerous black pips. The flavour is a cross between pineapple and fresh strawberries. Chom-phoo or rose apple is a succulent and crisp fruit and is eaten in much the same way as a regular apple. The fruit gets its name from the delicate rose fragrance that emerges when eaten. Originally from India, the rose apple always has three seeds inside. La-mood or sapodilla has earned a special place in the hearts of most Thais and the rich, dense fruit tastes like brown sugar and figs. Ma-karm or tamarind is another Thai favorite. It looks like an overgrown green bean and is usually used to make delicious sauces. Farang or guava is best eaten when young. The locals jazz this fruit up by dipping it into a sugar and red chilli mix. It's eaten skin and all. Mamuang or green mango resembles a kidney-shaped peach. Ripe and unripe mangoes have widely different tastes and while an un-ripe mango tastes bitter, a ripe one tastes somewhere between an apricot and a pineapple. Ripe mangoes can be found in one of Thailand's most famous after dinner treats - mango with sticky rice ! Ma Phrao or coconut. Many people think that Koh Samui means coconut island and it's easy to see why because the island is literally covered with hundreds of thousands of coconut palms creating an 'export' market of over 2,000,000 coconuts per month. It takes about six months for a coconut to ripen. The green coconut contains a sweet and very refreshing tasty watery liquid and a thin jelly like layer of delicious coconut skin. Many other fruits, both familiar and unfamiliar, are available on the island depending on the season. Don't be afraid to do a little experimenting and remember that Thai people are proud of their fruit and will always help you if you need to know anything.