I’m currently in Ubud in Bali, and whenever I’m in any Southeast Asian country, I’m on the lookout for durian. I absolutely love durian, and I don’t think it smells bad–it just smells like durian to me.
After not finding much information on the internetz and following multiple false leads (probably because it’s not durian season in January), I finally found someone selling durian at Ubud Market. In the mornings (pre-9am), Ubud Market is primarily a market for locals looking for produce. During the day, it transforms into a market for tourists looking for souvenirs.
My initial mistake was looking for durian at Ubud Market in the mornings when the locals shop. I couldn’t find anyone selling durian the first time I came to the market around 7am (note that I have since found that you can occasionally find fruit vendors selling durian in the mornings, but each time I found someone they only had one durian for sale, so it wasn’t very obvious).
But at 11am, a woman sets up some fruit on the side of the road and has durian for sale. She’s there from 11am until whenever she’s done, which is usually around 6pm. She’s located at the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Karna, or the first road on the right if you start walking along Jalan Raya Ubud from Ubud Palace.
You can expect to bargain for your durian (and anything else you want to buy in the market). Today, she asked for 80,000 rupiah (about $6.50 USD), but I ended up getting a whole durian for 50,000 rupiah (about $4 USD). I later came back to the market and gave her more money just because I want to make sure that she keeps selling durian.
If you want, you can ask for the vendor to open up the durian and put the fruit into a plastic bag, or you can do it yourself later (the durian here are already cut open so you just have to pull it apart). I ask for mine to be opened on the spot because I can’t wait to start eating it and I can eat an entire durian on my own, but be warned that once it’s open it starts to smell more.
UPDATE: From asking around, there is apparently another fruit seller that occasionally has durian during the off season. She is located on Jalan Raya Nyuh Kuning. Walk west along that road from Jalan Raya Pengosekan (the road that Jalan Hanoman becomes if you keep walking south), and you should see her stand. Depending on how much durian she has on hand, prices are significantly cheaper than those in Ubud market (like 10k or 15k rupiah per durian). I have not verified this personally as it’s quite far from where I’m staying, so I’m happy to pay an extra couple of dollars for convenience.
UPDATED UPDATE: My durian lady did not have durian today, but she assured me that she would have durian tomorrow. So I guess even she isn’t a sure thing.