Travel Tips for Thailand Food

Thailand food is cheap and delicious. While many people are only familiar with pad thai, the food in Thailand goes far beyond simple noodles!

Read tips for what to eat, how to eat it, and what exactly makes Thai food so damn good.

Fast, bustling, insane -- Thailand's busy capital of Bangkok may be a lot of things, but predictable will never be one of them. These Bangkok tips will help you make sense of the chaos! Bangkok has a reputation for wearing out new travelers on their first visit. Luckily, there is hope.

A few simple Bangkok travel tips from experienced travelers can help make your landing in Thailand just a little softer!

Great Japanese Food in Bangkok Great Japanese Food in Bangkok

Check out the area on Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 for a great selection of authentic Japanese restaurants. Several are tucked down the street, around corners, and upstairs from other places. Expect the real deal – shoes off and incredible food!

* * * * ½ 9 votes
Vegetarians in Thailand Vegetarians in Thailand

Being a vegan or vegetarian in Thailand is not easy. Tell people you want “gin jay” which means to “eat red” as the monks do. This is the only way to ensure that pork is not used in your noodles, broth, etc.

* * * * ½ 7 votes
Mama Noodles Mama Noodles

Any menu item with the name “Mama” in it such as Mama noodles refers to the instant, Ramen-style noodles often given to kids in soup cups. These are obviously the cheapest noodles, and are deep-fried – not the best of Thai noodles.

* * * ½   7 votes
No Alcohol on Holidays and Election Days No Alcohol on Holidays and Election Days

Expect no legal alcohol sales on election days, the King’s Birthday, and during a few other holidays in Thailand. Of course, you can still find people willing to sell on Khao San Road in Bangkok and in some bars/restaurants.

* * * *   6 votes
No Alcohol Sales After Midnight No Alcohol Sales After Midnight

Strangely, you now cannot buy alcohol in 7-11 or shops between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Also all sales stop in shops after midnight. This new law is strictly enforced by 7-11, so prepare for a big queue during peak times!

* * * * ½ 8 votes
Buddhist Calendar Expiration Dates Buddhist Calendar Expiration Dates

When buying yogurt and other items you’ll notice many time the expiration date doesn’t make sense. Thailand uses a Buddhist calendar; the year 2554 refers to 2011 and so on.

* * * * ½ 7 votes
Bangkok Street Food Bangkok Street Food

You’ll find a great row of street carts with seating one block away from Khao San Road on the temple side of Soi Rambuttri. Turn right at the end of Khao San Road onto the main road, take your first left and walk until Rambuttri bends to the left.

* * * *   26 votes
Avoid Western Food Avoid Western Food

Western food is nearly always an expensive letdown. We all get tired of rice and noodles eventually, but remember: If they can’t spell it on a menu correctly, they probably can’t cook it correctly!

* * * *   4 votes
Choose Restaurants that Are Busy Choose Restaurants that Are Busy

When choosing a place to eat, look for volume. Busy restaurants with higher turnover buy fresh ingredients constantly; your chances of getting sick from bad food are less. These places are usually busy for a reason!

* * * *   5 votes
No Need to Tip No Need to Tip

With only a few exceptions in Western hotels and five-star restaurants, tipping is never expected or required in bars, cafes, and restaurants.

* * * *   15 votes
How to Eat Properly How to Eat Properly

Although no one would ever say anything, the proper way to eat in Southeast Asia is with spoon in your right hand and fork in your left. The fork never goes into the mouth. Chopsticks are only used for noodles and soup.

* * * * ½ 14 votes
Beware for Peanut Allergies Beware for Peanut Allergies

Nearly all dishes – including pad thai – in Thailand are cooked with peanut oil in the wok. If you suffer from peanut allergies, beware, and preferably eat at Western restaurants where you can clearly communicate the allergy.

* * * *   9 votes
Pad Thai Pad Thai

Pad Thai is the default noodle dish in Thailand. Expect rice noodles with egg, your choice of meat, bean sprouts, other vegetables, and lots of seasonings. Pad Thai varies from place to place, but nearly every variation is delicious.

* * * *   12 votes
Street Food Street Food (Click to read more)

Yes, it’s safe to eat the street food in Thailand! Read about how to find safe street food and see a few pictures…

* * * * ½ 51 votes

Need help with your Thailand trip? Use this backpacking guide for budget travel planning and advice.