As the weather in Singapore is heating up on the mid-year, the durians are also heating up during this season as well. Grown in the Southeast Asia, we regard the durian as the “King of fruits”. This husk full-of-thorns fruit has a distinctive strong smell that might deter some people. Many claimed it smelled like sewage or gasoline, but for myself, that is called sweet fragrance.
Together with the uncles and aunties from the same neighbourhood, we took a two hours bus ride to Ledang, located near Muar. We are going to get our fingers really messy with the yellowish and marshy durian pulps. Let me call that “finger licking good”. In the bus, we entertained ourselves by playing BINGO, singing songs together and enjoying the scenery of Johor to Muar. Of course along the journey, there were stops for meals and restrooms. The tour guide also shared with us a popular folklore regarding the mountains surrounding Daerah Ledang. I will share with you about it at the end of this post.
Reaching Daerah Ledang, here’s where we feast on the durians during our lunch hour. Stepping out of our bus, the weather was very hot and humid. Due to many tour buses parking along the roads, the walkway was cramp hence we have to walk on the roadside. Traffic controllers were there managing the pedestrians and vehicles.
Stepping into the Durian Buffet spot, there were plenty of banana and durian trees. I can’t imagine when someone got hit by a durian while walking under the trees. Ouch!
It was very crowded and I am glad we got ourselves a large table. The uncles and aunties quickly rushed to select the durians they want when the basket of durians arrived. Some people might not like this place because you will be having the durian buffet in the plantation. No concrete floor tiles and air-condition, just sand, fans and lots of ants. Very skilful and fast, the staffs cut the durians perfectly with a medium-sized knife.
With the durian husk slightly opened on our table, we started feasting on the durians. Kayden was really excited with them. He kept shouting “I want! I want!”. Unlike Mao Shan Wang, the durians had no “woah” element in them, just simply sweet and creamy. In fact, most of the best durians are already in Singapore so that the farmers can fetch a much higher selling price.
There was also fried bee hoon and vegetable curry served in this place. This is a very important dish because after eating lots of durians, you might get sick of the creaminess and sweetness. Having some spiciness will make you feel much better so that you can carry on to have more durians!
The Popular Folklore Called Legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang
Back in the old days, there was a princess who resides within the mountains of Ledang. She was a beauty but it was claimed that no Man could marry her due to her extravagant marriage conditions. When the Sultan of Malacca heard about this story, he decided to try to win the heart of this beauty. The Sultan was very rich and powerful back then.
When the Sultan of Malacca met this beauty, he asked, “My lady, what can I do to marry you? I have all the riches and power you could ask for.”
The beauty then requested, “In order to get my hands for the marriage, you need to fulfil all my seven conditions to show your true love to me.”
Here are the first six conditions from the beauty:
1. A bridge made of gold for her to walk to Malacca from her home in the mountains.
2. A bridge made of silver for her to return back home in the mountains.
3. Seven barrels of virgin girls’ tears for her to bathe.
4. Seven barrels of young beetle juices from the Betel trees for her to bathe.
5. Seven trays filled with the hearts of germs.
6. Seven trays filled with the hearts of mosquitoes.
The Sultan of Malacca ordered his men to fulfilled all the first six requirements requested by this beautiful lady. When the Sultan presented all six items, the beauty was happy. Finally, here comes the last condition.
The beauty said, “I want a silver bowl of the blood of the Sultan’s young son.”
Everybody was shocked and the Sultan knows that he could not do that because his son will be the one who will succeed him. With great disappointment, the Sultan and his men rode down back to the palace.
So, where’s the beauty now? She is still residing among the mountains.