A Blog by John Halkett

Tag: Malaysia

Tastes like heaven smells like hell – encounter with the Durian tree not for the faint-hearted

Your breath will smell as if you’ve been French-kissing your dead grandmother.

Out in the Malaysian forest with forestry people beware if you happen upon a durian tree with ripe fruit. You are likely to be invited to try some as others watch on in a sort of forest initiation. It is really an invitation you can’t decline.

Durian (Durio zibethinus) trees are members of the hibiscus or mallow family, and are renowned for their large edible fruit. They are also related to breadfruit and jackfruit. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, the durian is now cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines,… Read more “Tastes like heaven smells like hell – encounter with the Durian tree not for the faint-hearted”

Penang mahogany tree

Just back from working in Penang, Malaysia. This mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) tree is the sole remaining survivor of those planted in the church grounds in1885.

The church, St George The Martyr, is the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia. It was built by convicts brought in from India in 1819. A critical component of the church’s construction was mahogany beams that travelled from India to Penang on the same ship as the convicts.

The church was damaged by Japanese bombing in 1941 and repaired in 1948. It was given national heritage status by the Malaysian Government in 2007, together… Read more “Penang mahogany tree”

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