Thailand Food and Drink
The cuisine of Thailand is known for being very spicy and for using fresh herbs and spices. Thai people also like to combine different flavours like spicy, sour, sweet, and salty and often use fermented fish sauce for that extra tang. Those who don't eat meat can avoid problems with the word "mangsawerat" for vegetarian, or “jay” for vegan. Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice, which is a staple of many Thai dishes, eaten with most meals. Khoa Pad is fried rice made with pork or chicken and flavoured with chillies and fish sauce. Khao Tom is a breakfast dish that resembles porridge and is flavoured with pork and garlic. There is also Khao Niaw or “sticky rice” which is eaten by hand.
Curry in Thailand is quite popular but differs from curries found in other parts of Southern Asia, using fresh herbs and aromatic leaves as opposed to spices. While there are several types of curry, the majority of them are coconut milk-based. Gaeng Massaman is a mild peanut and potato curry. Gaeng Kiaw Wan, otherwise known as Thai Green Curry is thicker and spicier than Gaeng Massaman. Gaeng Daeng or Red Curry is thinner but is also much spicier. Tom Yam Kung is known as the quintessential Thai soup and is renowned for being incredibly hot.
Thai salads are quite popular and are also very spicy. Thai salads are usually composed of raw vegetables that are mixed with chilli, lime, and fish sauce. Yam Som-o is a mild salad with pommels (a fruit similar to grapefruit, but not as sour) as the base, while Som Tam, a salad of Laotian origin, is very spicy. It is known worldwide and is made with a base of shredded papaya mixed with lime, chili, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Som Tam is particularly hot in Thailand as a fistful of chopped hot Thai chili is added.
Drinking tap water is not recommended in Thailand, however, bottled water is readily available and is cheap to buy. Ice however is generally considered safe because the majority of it is produced commercially in hygienic and safe conditions from clean water. Beer in Thailand is very cheap and has a high alcohol content. Singha and Chang are the most popular brands. Smoothies and fruit juices are also popular, and so too are Thai ice tea and coffees. Red Bull was invented in Thailand and there are a variety of other local brands available. Be aware, tastes and potency differ from brand to brand.
Things to know:
Tipping is customary in Thailand with an automatic 10% service charge added to hotels and restaurants, however, tipping taxi drivers is not necessary.
Drinking age: 20
Thailand Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Thailand.
Learn about the history and culture of Thailand, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Thailand's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Thailand for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Thailand tours today!
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