Thai Special Foods: Different Tastes of Food in Thailand

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia known for its juxtaposition of scenic beaches and technologically advanced cities. It is need to know the food in Thailand as tourist to avoid any unexpected situation. Thus, it is currently one of South East Asia’s most popular tourist locations and fishing in Thailand. This makes it an ideal location for a much-needed vacation. With its mix of opportunities to explore and vivid nightlife, Thailand will be perfect for you, whether you’re travelling solo or in a group.

However, the factor that Thailand is probably most fondly know for is its unique cuisine. Tourists from all over the world are seen flocking to Thailand to sample the many varieties of food the country has to offer and there is no reason to be surprised at the sheer popularity of Thai food, for the quality certainly lives up to its demand.

So if you’re a foreign national visiting Thailand for the first time and are having reservations in terms of food- this guide is here to shut down any doubts.

As a foreign national looking visit Thailand for a food fueled vacation, you will need to make an application for a tourist visa depending on your nationality. This visa once granted is valid for a stay in Thailand of 15-30 days and you are not permitted to work under this visa.

In order to truly understand what makes Thai food as good as it is, we must first look at the bases of Thai cooking. It can be said that Thailand in itself has five main Thai cuisines. Each of which is specific to the main regions within the country itself. They are listed as follows:

  • Bangkok
  • Southern Thailand
  • Central Thailand
  • Northern Thailand
  • Northeastern Thailand

It is also interesting to note that in a popular online poll made to determine the world’s 50 best dishes, an amazing 7 dishes out of the top 50 originated in Thailand, they are as follows:

Pad Thai

A dish of stir fried noodles, what sets pad Thai apart is its flavourful array of ingredients, including the tangy flavor of a freshly squeezed wedge of lime. As one of Thailand’s most mainstream dishes, pad thai is available everywhere from high end restaurants to street vendors.

As a tourist in Thailand, the following dishes are an absolute must try during your stay here. The best part is all of these dishes can be found anywhere in Thailand, be it a high-end restaurant or from a friendly vendor in a busy street.

Tom Yam soup

Tom Yam is a soup that combines both hot and sour flavours. Made by boiling a variety of spices, Tom Yam soup is often accompanied by a meat such as shrimp or pork.

Som Tam/ Green Papaya Salad

For most people, papaya would be associated with a sweet taste, however, in Thailand, unripe papaya is shredded and tossed in a mix of spices featuring chili and lime. This dish is said to have been brought from Laos.

Green Curry

Aptly named after the color of the dish, green curry or Thai green curry is a gravy-based dish made from coconut milk and crushed green chilies. This dish is often served with a meat, usually fish, but is often served with chicken as well.

Massaman Curry

Commonly served with chicken, this curry is a fat-rich curry made with a blend of mild, yet flavorful spices.

Thai fried rice

Unlike normal fried rice, the Thai variety is cooked using shrimp paste to add its unique flavor. This paste makes the dish slightly salty and adds a pungent smell to it.

Nam Tok Mu

In food items in Thailand, a variety of salad, Nam Tok Mu is prepared with grilled pork that is tossed in chili powder, fish sauce, lime and a few other ingredients and is commonly served with vegetables and sticky rice.

Other than the dishes that appeared in the ranking for the World’s 50 best dishes, Thailand also stuns with the following popular ones. They may not have made it to the list, but they are worth every effort you make to taste them!

Pad See Eiw

Pad See Eiw, which translates to thick noodles, is a stir-fried noodle dish that features wide flat noodles that are tossed in soy sauce and cooked with a meat, usually chicken or pork.

Gai Tod

Gai Tod or fried chicken is certainly not uniquely Thai, but what sets the Thai version apart from the mainstream fried chicken is the method in which it is prepared. First the meat is soaked in a marinade of Thai spices, before it is tossed in rice flour and deep fried. It is commonly served with sticky rice and a dipping sauce.

Kao Niew Ma Muang

Surely this list would be incomplete without at least one dessert. And Kao Niew Ma Muang or mango sticky rice is probably Thailand’s most popular dessert. This dish features sweetened sticky rice that is served with a side of freshly cut mangoes and topped with a thick coconut milk cream

Flavours in Thai Food:

Known for its unique flavor, Thai food has a tendency to be prepared with fresh herbs and spices rather than the dried kind. This preference is what sets Thai food apart. Common flavours are drawn from the following foods:

Garlic Lemongrass
Shallots Chilies
Pepper Coriander leaves
Limes Fish sauce
The leaves of Kaffir limes Blue ginger

Other than the listed flavours, Thai food makes heavy use of the following ingredients and a large percentage of thai dishes will feature one or more of the following ingredients:

Rice (The staple food of Thailand)

Noodles, of several varieties, from thick to glass

Sauces as a side

Meat, usually chicken or pork, but beef and mutton being an option as well


And sin sod

If you’re looking for help with booking your ideal food vacation in Thailand, be sure to contact us at S & F consulting, where we put your happiness at the forefront.


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