Location : Kampung Bidak, Padawan District, Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Durian season this year has been exceptionally generous. E-marts in Kuching are throwing offers of ‘Eat all you can’ at only RM10. This rarely happens unless supply exceeds demand. Last weekend a group of us decided to take up the same offer but at the source of Kampung Bidak at Padawan. The ‘year end special package’ included a dip at the Sebarau waterfall 30 min away from the village. Husband and wife, Rinang and Rind, has a small farm at Bidak filled with fruit trees like langsat, belimbing and durian which have lasted at least 3 generations. The 15min stroll to her farm was easy and there must have been about 50 fruits waiting for us when we arrived. I wished there was a jungle table and benches made from bamboo for the occasion but sadly not. Maybe next year Rinang will do it more professionally. Anyway, we got down to business quickly and must have gulped down about 10 fruits, mostly huge ones in about 15 min. Quite poor by most standard when you consider there were 14 of us. 10 of us proceeded to Sebarau fall to kill the heaty effects of durian eating.
Durian feast in the jungle
Villages should be more proactive in promoting ‘durian eating’ packages by tying up with tour operators. I remember 2 very memorable experiences I had decades ago when I was invited to stay overnight in temporary farm huts built specially for the durian season. Every time a fruit dropped (very loud) in the middle of the night, my host would beat a short piece of bamboo to warn others the owner was somewhere closeby. Locating the fallen durian in the thick undergrowth was done purely by the sense of smell which wasn’t very difficult. Trust me, waiting for and eating durian at the source is a lot more fun especially right in the middle of the jungle in Borneo. Fruits from different trees have distinctly different unique tastes unlike those of commercial durian orchards in some parts of West Malaysia where there is just one common and boring taste because their durian trees are cloned ones.
But of course there were other nice fruits as well accompanying the ‘King of Fruits’. There was langsat, mangosteen and tarap just to name a few. Tourists foreign or local should be given a chance to experience this once in a year thrill. Villages like Sibakar, Sadir, Kiding or Tepoi just to name a few can easily host such ‘fruit season packages’.