Thailand Country Guide



Thailand's food alone is reason enough for a trip to the country. Try the curries, fruit shakes, stir fries, fresh fish prepared in a variety of ways! Food in Thailand can be as cheap as 25 baht for "pad thai" (Thai fried noodles) cooked at a street stall. It can be even as expensive and complicated as USD100 for a ten-course meal prepared by a royal chef served in one of Bangkok's five-star hotels.

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Since most backpackers will be sticking closer to the first rather than the second, one of the great things about Thailand is that food from stalls and tiny sidewalk restaurants is usually quite safe to eat. Unlike some Asian countries, travellers in Thailand should worry more about overeating, too much chilies or curry spice than about unclean kitchens and bad food. In fact, street foods (where you can see what you'll get and everything is cooked on the spot) can be a safe option.

Food cart at a night market by Dragfyre

Vegetarian Food
Vegetarians won't have too many problems eating in Thailand. However, there is one significant exception i.e. fish sauce (naam plaa) often used in Thai cuisine as soy sauce is used in Chinese food. Keeping fish sauce out of soups, curries and stir-fries will be a challenge.
Anyway, Thailand is a Buddhist country and vegetarianism is a fairly understood, especially among Chinese Thais (many eat only vegetarian food on certain festivals).

Tofu is part of traditional Thai food and they aren't afraid to mix it up with non-traditional dishes such as omelettes, submarine sandwiches and burritos. Since Thai dishes are usually made to order and therefore easy to ask for anything on the menu to be made without meat or fish. Bangkok features several fantastic veggie and vegan restaurants but outside of the big cities, make sure to check that your idea of "veggie" matches the chef's.

Thai dining etiquette is easy to follow with a few simple rules. Thai food is most commonly eaten with fork and spoon. Hold the spoon in your right hand and use it to eat and reserve the fork for piling food onto your spoon. Chopsticks are only employed for noodle soups and East Asian-style dishes.

Thai food is meant for sharing. Everybody gets their own plate of rice and soup bowl but other dishes are laid out in the center of the table and you're free to eat what you wish. Dishes served at a restaurant are generally brought out one at a time as it is prepared. Therefore, don't expect to wait until all the dishes are brought and tuck into each dish as it arrives.

At a local Thai restaurant by Takeaway

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