Eating in Thailand – A view from Asa Elliott

Whilst travelling in Thailand, a fellow tourist from Singapore told me some valuable words; “travelling is all about the food”. This one sentence stuck with me and is something I now live by when out of my home country.

My travelling food philosophy is to try not to eat in chain food stores when abroad  and if you can get it at home, you’re wasting valuable meals eating it.

In Thailand, you will eat a lot of ’street food’. This isn’t deep fried rat or things caught on the street, but street vendors selling fast, tasty local Thai foods

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Tourism street food in Thailand

The Thailand traveller’s staple is ‘Pad Thai’. A simple dish that is readily available throughout Thailand for around £1 a portion. Prepared in around 60 seconds, Pad Thai consists of soak dried rice noodles, bean sprouts, egg, tofu and may contain other vegetables too. You can choose your meat (usually chicken) and everything is cooked together and served with a wedge of lime and crushed peanut. It is one dish that you’ll most definitely try to recreate back at home when the withdrawal kicks in!

Street food is very cheap and delicious. Try as much as you can stomach and you’ll find some new all time favourite dishes. A tip to keep yourself fed well is to ask for an extra egg or two in your meal, a cheap and tasty source of protein. 

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Real street food in Thailand

One misconception of Thai cuisine is that Thai’s live on cooked insects and bugs. These can be found to buy and eat in the tourist areas, but are really only a gimmick to get you to part with your hard earned Baht and to take pictures of for Facebook. 

When abroad, we all know that Brits do tend to consume rather a lot of alcohol. Again, I side stepped the Budweisers and Heinekens and only drank native beers. The most prominent brands in Thailand are Chang, Singha and LEO. Depending on location and how touristy it is, beers can vary from £1 to £4 a bottle. My favourite was LEO beer, a lovely refreshing taste and was also the cheapest. I heard from several different people in Thailand that Chang should be avoided because when produced, it contains varying alcohol levels batch to batch. Who knows if this is true or just a myth, I did have a very sore head after a night on the Chang though, I’ll give that one a miss next time. 

Happy eating (and drinking)!

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Author: Dan Collins

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