‘Training’ dragon fruits for a record

SEPANG: Standing at over 9m tall, the world’s first-ever official largest dragon fruit-shaped structure in Sepang may just be the boost the local tourism industry needs.

The landmark, located at the Hong Long (HL) Dragon Fruit Eco Farm in Sepang, is 9.299m tall and 9.4m wide and is painted in the iconic purplish red and green colours of dragon fruit.

The structure also functions as a mini-museum with a fully air-conditioned interior that houses a glow-in-the-dark display painted on its walls that highlights the history of Sepang and Selangor.

The structure earned the farm the prestige of being the first holder of Guinness World Records’ largest dragon fruit-shaped building.

The award ceremony was conducted by Emi Saito, Guinness World Record adjudicator, at the farm yesterday.

The award was then received by HL International Group Sdn Bhd founder Lydia Goh, who was joined by the company’s chairman Sam Chia and chief executive officer Eugene Chia.

The farm also features a restaurant that uses its own produce to make unique takes of local favourites, like dragon fruit nasi lemak and dragon fruit curry bun.

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board director-general Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar said the structure, which began construction in 2020, represented the key role that private industry players could play in drawing in tourism.

“These kinds of packaged experiences are key as they allow visitors to experience multiple aspects of our culture, from sightseeing to food, all in one place.

“It also helps to build on our growing ecotourism brand, which not only helps economic development but also educates tourists about the beauty and importance of our local sustainable agriculture.

“HL’s efforts have put us on the world map for dragon fruit lovers to come visit us, and I hope to see more from other private businesses as well,” he said during a press conference after the Guinness World Records award ceremony at the farm yesterday.

Ammar added that the farm’s close proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) would play an important role in helping the government prepare for its planned Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

On this, he said the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, which is under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, would continue its efforts to ensure tourism support systems such as hotels were sufficient to meet the expected demand.

The Guinness World Record certificate ceremony was also held together with the farm’s biggest dragon fruit carnival, which saw hundreds of visitors enjoy over 30 booths offering carnival games, fresh produce and even handicraft stations.

Also in attendance at the event were Balakong assemblyman Wayne Ong Chun Wei, Sungai Pelek assemblyman Lwi Kian Keong, and Selangor local government and tourism committee chairman Ng Suee Lim.

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