The Husband is currently planning a 3 week trip to Thailand in 2020 to visit his family so it has been non-stop research here at Tramp HQ.
Other than seeing family, he’s ready to jump in to the history, culture and of course the delicious food Thailand has to offer!
Food often defines a country. For example, Bali in Indonesia is a tourist hotspot and a big reason why is its cuisine. Bali has many tasty treats that makes the country a must visit. Now from sampling Bali’s best dishes, let’s turn our attention to its Southeast Asian neighbour: Thailand. The Kingdom, like Indonesia, is beautiful and is also famous for its cuisine. The following, in particular, are 5 delicious reasons to visit Thailand.
Tom Yum Gung
CNN Travel hails tom yum gung as a masterpiece as it is authentic Thai cuisine full of mushroom, shrimp, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. It’ll hit every part of your taste palette, as the soup is sour, salty, spicy, and sweet all at once. You can order yours with coconut milk and cream (called tom yum gung nam kohn) or without ( tom yum gung nam sai). Either way, you’re getting a tasty treat to remember. The Banana Leaf Restaurant in Silom serves some of the best tom yum gung in Thailand. Worth checking out, too, are Je Ngor’s Kitchen, Apinara, and Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu (an unassuming but good value food stall near Khao San Road).
Last year, Som Tam was the 5th-ranked dish in Lonely Planet’s top 500 best dishes travel guide. It is well deserved. An outlandish dish in every sense, som tam is made of shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, dried shrimp, peanuts, palm sugar, runner beans, tamarind pulp, garlic, and chilli (lots of them). It is then sprinkled with fish sauce and lime juice. The result is a gastronomic treat with a distinctive sweet-sour-spicy flavour. For the best som tam in Thailand, you won’t go wrong with the Ta Bun Tum Restaurant in Pin Ngen Market, Nomjit Gai Yang in Ekkamai Road, and La Deng in Silom. You can also visit the northeastern state of Isaan for truly authentic som tam.
Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes, and it is a treat tourists often sample. This fried noodle dish is often made with either chicken or shrimp, but a vegetarian alternative is just as delicious. But aside from being a delightful meal, Pad Thai is an all-time favourite of locals and tourists alike because it is quite cheap. This means it is widely available in restaurants and food stalls everywhere. But for the best Pad Thai, you might want to check out Baan Phadthai in Silom, Pad Thai Ekamai in Sukhumvit, and Thipsamai Pad Thai in Maha Chai Road.
Thailand has a rich coffee culture. Medium’s Coffee and Culture series explains how the locals drink coffee all day and how the coffee is often sold cold in a plastic bag on the street. This special iced coffee is called Oliang and is made by roasting espresso beans twice — first, with any combination of corn kernels, tamarind seeds, cardamom, and soy; second, with sugar and/or butter.
Another reason to try coffee in Thailand is to embrace their café culture. In particular you should visit the board game cafés, which are becoming popular haunts for Thailand’s citizens. It is here that you can take part in another important Thai tradition while drinking some Oliang: card games. Thailand has a long tradition of playing cards, dating back as far as the 10th century. While strict anti-gambling laws dictate that Thai citizens may not own more than 120 playing cards, this hasn’t stopped the locals from enjoying popular card games. In Expatbet’s feature on Thai card games they explain how Black Frog Red Frog, Goa Gae, and Fool Card are widely played across the country. This gaming culture invariably intersects with Thailand’s coffee culture in establishments like Kopi-O Board Game Cafe, Ninive Game Store, and the Hobbyist Cafe, all in Bangkok. Head into one of those cafés to learn more about Thailand’s popular card games and drink excellent coffee.
Moo Dad Diew
A Thai street food staple, the moo dad diew are bits of deep fried pork that have been marinated in sweet soy sauce. These succulent pieces of meat are then eaten with Jim Jao, or chilli sauce, with lots of green onions. Mood dad diew are best served with sticky rice. Some of the most mouth-watering moo dad diew are served at Ta Bun Tum in Pin Ngen Market.