SEPANG: With its scale-like exterior and dark pink or creamy white flesh, the dragon fruit is one of the more unusual looking fruits commonly found in Malaysian kitchens.
Malaysia’s climate is perfect for its cultivation. In fact, did you know that Asia’s third largest dragon fruit farm is in Malaysia?
HL Dragon Fruit Eco Farm is located in Sepang, just 30 minutes away from the airport. Not only is it a farm; it is also a burgeoning agrotourism spot that deserves to be put on the travel map.
The first thing one would notice when approaching the ticket booth at the farm is the logo of the Guinness World Records painted on a wall.
The logo serves its purpose if it piques your curiosity. As the gates swing open, you get to see what’s so record-breaking here. Row after row of dragon fruit trees cover the landscape as far as the eyes can see. It is quite a sight.
Most tour groups will be led around by farm staff. When FMT Lifestyle was there, Axel Chia was the man who led the tour.
“Here at Eco Farm,” he said, “we grow four types of dragon fruit. The Red Ruby is the most commonly found here, followed by Yellow King, Honey White and Pink Ruby.”
According to Chia, the Red Ruby is most distinctive due to its roundish shape and sweet red flesh. In fact, it is the sweetest of the four varieties.
Yellow King, on the other hand, has a taste that is a balance between sweet and sour. It gets its name from its yellow skin.
Honey White is similar to the Red Ruby in its skin colour, but its flesh is milky white. Its shape is more oval than round.
The last variant, Pink Ruby, is a hybrid dragon fruit with pink flesh and an oval appearance. It’s sweeter than Honey White, but less so than Red Ruby.
According to Chia, dragon fruits are rarely out of season since the Red Ruby trees fruit all year round.
“They grow best during the hot season which, in Malaysia, lasts from July to September. In one month, we can harvest up to 10,000 fruits.”
One interesting fact regarding dragon fruit trees is that their flowers bloom for only one night. They rapidly wilt before sunrise.
The part of the farm that is open to visitors covers three acres, with a thousand trees grown on each acre.
And smack in the middle of one of these acres is a rather unusual sight. Towering over the farm at a height of more than 9 metres, the dragon-fruit-shaped building is the reason why Eco Farm has been recognised by both the Malaysian Book of Records and Guinness World Records.
It looks deceptively tiny from the outside. Once you step inside, you’ll be surprised to see that there’s a lot more room than you expected. In fact, it houses a museum, with murals detailing the district’s agricultural history.
On the top level of the landmark, you have a good commanding view of the surrounding area. Truly a photographer’s dream come true.
When you’re tired of walking around the farm, pay Eco Farm’s halal restaurant a visit and have a good look at the menu. You’ll see items like Dragon Nasi Lemak and Dragon Fruit Chips.
Yes, dragon fruit is an ingredient in many of the dishes. One of these is Jumbo Dragon Bun, a large loaf of bread made with dragon fruit extract with chicken curry filling.
If you’re thirsty, a cup of Dragon Breath Smoothie will put you back on your feet. The dry ice vapour wafting from the cup is a nice touch.
So, whether you’re passing through Sepang or just love dragon fruit to bits, HL Dragon Fruit Eco Farm is really worth your time.
HL Dragon Fruit Eco Farm
Lot 7608, Jalan Besar, Baru Satu,
43900 Sepang, Selangor
10am-6pm daily (closed on Wednesdays)
Contact: 011-3528 7687