GEORGE TOWN - They may be from "Fragrant Harbour" (Hong Kong) but the aroma of the durian has lured them to Penang.
Many Hong Kong tourists are visiting the island just to satisfy their craving for the King of Fruits.
For example, two buses carrying 80 Hong Kong visitors were at a eat-all-you-can durian buffet in Jalan Anson here on Saturday.
Chan Sui Heung, 51, was seen feasting until the last seed.
She even drank water from the durian husk.
"I am here just for the Mau Shan Wang (Musang King) as the variety is popular in Hong Kong. In my country, durians are very expensive, with prices reaching up to RM350 for one fruit," she said.
She also said she loved the creamy and smooth texture of the durian.
For Yow Pee Kam, 49, it was a nostalgic trip as well.
"I was born in Jalan Pintal Tali, but at the age of six, my family moved to Hong Kong."
"So I was thrilled upon touching down at the airport here," said Yow, who loves Malaysian durians.
"The ones that we have in Hong Kong are imported from Thailand.
"It is worth coming here for the durians. They are the best," she said. Yow came with nine friends.
She will be making more visits in the future to sample the laksa, cockles and kopi-o.
Yow was part of the Gourmet Tour Package which was handled by inbound travel operator Evergloss Tours (M) Sdn Bhd.
Besides savouring durians from nine varieties such as 168 and Xiao Hong, they were also treated to rambutans and mangosteens.
Evergloss managing director David Tham said there would be 18 trips from Hong Kong, with the last one scheduled on June 30.
Penang Tourism Malaysia deputy director Logi Dhasan said plans were being made to expand these durian tour packages for foreign tourists to visit other states such as Perak, Pahang and Malacca.