NONTHABURI - A treasured durian fruit has sold for a staggering 1.5 million baht (S$65,325) at an auction in Thailand.
The kanyao variety - which is the most expensive in the world - attracted bids from dozens of wealthy fruit lovers at the event in Nonthaburi, central Thailand on Saturday (June 1).
Officials had handpicked the durian just a day before from a nearby farm where the minimum price of the fruit is 20,000 baht (500GBP).
But the luxury durian - chosen for its perfect size, shape, and ripeness - smashed the previous year's record of 800,000 baht when it was put up for sale at the King Of Durian 2019 festival.
The glamorous event - which saw models parade the fruit on red and gold velvet pillows - included nine durians. They were the Monthong, Kanyao, and Kop Med Tao species with each one fetching more than 300,000 baht (7,500 GBP).
Owner Maliwan Han Chai Thai, who runs the Pa Toi Lung Mu farm where the 1.5 million baht durian was grown, said: ''I knew this was a very special durian but I was amazed at how much it sold for. I was expecting one million baht so for it to sell more is very good.
''I hope the high bidder enjoys eating the durian. This variety is the tastiest in the world and we will keep growing them.''
The kanyao durian, the most expensive and sought after variety of durian in the world, was sold to a wealthy local businessman.
Total proceeds of 4.5 million baht from the auction will be passed back to the farmers with a slice also being donated to local charities for buying medical equipment for hospitals.
The kanyao durian - which is specific to the Nonthaburi region some 40 miles north of Bangkok - is considered to be the best in the world thanks to its sweet taste and creamy texture.
Kanyao durian was virtually wiped out following a mass flood several years ago but the farm is one of the only places to have cultivated them again.
Whole durians usually sell in Thailand for around 500 baht - or even more expensive in the west - depending on their weight, but at the farm, prices start at 20,000 baht for one.
Durian fruit is one of the most popular and expensive delicacies in Asia.