Banphasawan – Ban Tai, Thailand - Atlas Obscura
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Ban Tai, Thailand

Banphasawan

From dragonfruit to mangoes to durian this Thailand resort allows guests to stay inside all manner of giant fruit. 

Baanphasawan is a large upscale resort that has fashioned each of nearly 100 dwellings into the shape of fruits, vegetables, and other plants, and in its fruity obsession has managed to assemble Thailand’s only seed bank for the foul-smelling/sweet-tasting durian.

The resort stands alone at the end of a road off the main highway, over 18 miles from the nearest city, which itself is a tiny market town near the border of Myanmar with no amenities for tourists. However once arrived at the resort guests can sleep in fully stocked dwellings shaped like colossal pineapple, dragonfruit, durian, mangosteen, mushroom, bamboo shoots and more, all the while surrounded by orchards growing the real deal.

Clearly a lover of  sweet produce, the owner plans to attract school groups and clubs interested in horticulture and nature. Twelve years ago, he began collecting rare fruit varieties from all over Thailand to plant on the 80 acre property, as well as exotic flowers from abroad. In particular, he focused on durian, a fruit whose bizarre combination of lethally sharp spikes and pungent aroma makes an instant impression (it is also known as the “corpse fruit”). Now the site cultivates over 100 varieties of the stinky fruit, making it one of only a few places in Thailand that serves as a a genetic bank. Visitors seek who want to taste durian should visit in late May or June. 

In addition to the quirky fruit buildings, nearby attractions include a small waterfall, a natural hot spring, some beautiful misty mountains. Given all of the natural beauty in the area the question isn’t really why someone would build this place here, but who manages to find it.

Know Before You Go

The nearest town to Ban Phasawan is Thong Pha Phum, about 30 km away, which has no amenities for tourists. The resort is at the end of road leading off the main highway.