thailand is known the world over as a nation who loves spicy food and even when you are shopping dried fruits, dried meats and dried seafoods in Bangkok, the difference is that although this kind of dried foodstuffs are available in other east asian and south east asian countries, thailand made theirs unique by adding hot stuffs like chilli peppers and chili leaves at these dried foodstuffs, to make tham uniquely thai. you can but these assorted dried foodstuffs around bangkok and prices depends on the kind of spicy dried food stuffs you are buying, like a pack of spicy dried squid at 120 baht, a pack of spicy dried juvenile crabs at 150 baht, a pack of spicy dried or pickled fruit at 60 to 80 baht a pack.
Fondest memory: lots of dried and spicy food stuffs in bangkok.
althoug you can buy the packed thai curries (green curry, red curry, yellow curry, massaman curry) at supermarkets and convenience stores arond bangkok, you still need the additional aromatic flavors of thai spices like galanggal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and right concentrations of fish sauce, lime juice and chilli peppers to make your favorite thai dishes such as tom yum or tom kha gai. it's a good thing that the supermarkets and the duty free stores offer the all in one thai curries in plastic packs and inside include the pre packed concentratied curry, the dried aromatic herbs and spices, the lime juice and fish sauce at separate containers, which you can now mix in your kitchen and then add the ingredients like fish, shrimp, meats, mushrooms and more. it also has an english step by step instructions on how to mix the ingredients.
prices are 70 baht at supermarkets and 98 baht at the duty free stores (as compared to 25 baht for the powdered thai curry in supermarkets).
Fondest memory: these pre-packaged thai curries are more expensive than the regular powdered thai curries sold at supermarkets, but at least you don't need to find the necessary additional flavors to cook authentic thai curry dishes,
For a question of safety I never eat in the streets in tropical countries. I respected that precaution in Bangkok, but I must confess that nowhere in the world the food looked so nice and apettizing.
Well presented, cheap, and with hygienic precautions, so, if you are in a budget that may be a good solution.
Massaman Curry originated in India but it's popularity spread to all around asia as the Indian Diaspora began in the middle ages and many settled in southern thailand where this dish became really popular and made into a thai favorite ad they have adapted it to thai cooking and is now popular in the central thai areas and bangkok as well. It's a fragrant yellow curry that incorporates lemongrass and nuts and coconut milk. chicken massaman curry consists of chicken thighs, drums or breast, preferably with bones and skin on, potato, coconut cream and milk, roasted peanuts and seasoning with palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice and massaman curry paste and is available everywhere in bangkok too, one order costs 40 baht at food stalls and street carts.
Fondest memory: taste the sauce of the massaman chicken curry first as it is usually the spiciest chicken curry dish in thailand.
shrimp paste is a generic thing in south east asia where it is used to flavor dishes or as a dipping sauce, it is only in thailand where it is added to the rice itself and made into a complete meal.
the fermented shrimp paste rice, where the fermented fish paste (Khao Kluk in thai and bagoong in the Philippines and balachan in malaysia and indonesia and ngouc man in vietnam) is added to jasmine rice.The flavor of shrimp paste is strong, and is complimented by the sour mango, sweet pork, chilies, shallots and fried shrimps and some pork bits are added to it. It is different from the fragrant thai fried rice as this has a pungent odor and sort of an acquired taste. it is a full meal in itself and you can buy this anywhere in bangkok and the cost is 50 baht if at the street food stalls and up to 100 baht at the thai restaurants. try to eat it as it is soo good!
Fondest memory: the khao kluk gapi, which is really popular in the thai restaurants in the philippines, unfortunately, nodody translated the name so that filipinos only know it as bagoong rice.
If you are really a soda or softdrinks junkie and would just want to drink soft drinks and bottled water when travelling, instead of trying the local favorite drinks in the country you visited. then don't despair as thailand and bangkok has your fix of Soft Drinks and Sodas! they have a large selection of soft drinks and you can buy them everywhere, even at the fast food stands and at the local KFC's, Mc Donalds, Burger King, Th Pizza Company and at the assorted local food stalls and supermarkets and convenience stores all around bangkok. for a 330 ml alunimun can of your favorite soda will cost 15 baht at the convenience stores and the bottled ones at 12 baht at the food stalls and up to 35 baht if buying really large cups at burger king!
Fondest memory: lots and lots of soft drink choices
again, if you are not the adventurous type and is afraid to eat the wonderful local and assorted thai snacks and street foods around bangkok due to the fear of the food being spicy, then don't despair as you can have your favorite snack and junk foods like potato chips or nachos or corn chips and more as the international brands have a prescence in bangkok like frito lay, planters and more. they are available everywhere, at supermarkets, convenience stores and even at local stores and prices vary, depending on the snack but the average price is 15 baht for a small pack and up to 30 baht for a big pack.
Fondest memory: this is your alternative to eating snack foods if you don't have the stomach to try the wonderful thai snacks
Like in any country in the world, thailand has many kinds of fruit juices and even the famous international brands like tropicana and Lipton, nestea and more have a prescence in thailand and if you are not into thai iced tea or don't want to try the local refreshments and local thai cold drinks, then you can buy these interntional brand juice that are available at the local convenience stores around bangkok and thailand.
Fondest memory: you can buy almost any kind of bottled fruit juice, powedered fruit juice and more at the convenience stores in bangkok if you are not th adventorous type who will taste local refreshing drinks.
Favorite thing: Fish Sauce is really popular around south east asia and various south east asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc has their own version and own ingredients and have different levels of saltiness. It is usually made with fermented anchovies, stored in jars with salt for months. In thailand, it is named Nam Pla and is s often used as a marinade for fish and meat, as well as a condiment (usually mixed with fresh-cut chilies and lime juice) and you can find it along with chili paste, chili sauce and soy sauce at tables at thai restaurants and food stalls, where it can be used as a dipping sauce. It adds flavor to the meal and is available everywhere and it costs 25 baht for a small bottle and 50 baht for a big bottle.
Satay Style of Barbecuing Meats originated in Indonesia and spread to Malaysia and Indochina and eventually to thailand via the former malayan sultanates that became part of thailand. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, other meats, or tofu; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings.The thai version of the Satay Barbecue is also served with the peanut sauce but the difference is that the peanut sauce in Thai Style Satay is spicier than the malaysian and indonesian counterparts and there are many other sauces in the Indonesian Satay. Satays are available all over Bangkok and cost 20 baht a stick for the chicken and 22 baht for pork and 25 baht a stick for th chicken.
Fondest memory: the thai style chicken satay barbecue with spicy peanut sauce!
Cha Yen or Cold tea in Thai is their version of Iced Tea since Iced teas are popular around asia (tarik tea of malaysia, pearl milk tea of hong kong, pandanus tea of the philippines, bubble tea of Singapore, etc). It is made from strongly-brewed powdered black tea. The Iced tea is usually made to order at the assorted food stalls and street vendors and they brew the strong black tea and mix some coconut milk and condensed milk to make it creamy and add large volumes of crushed ice to make it froth and look good! it is a nice drink when eating the spicy thai food as we all know that milk is the best liquid to counteract the spicy taste instead of water!
Fondest memory: Locally, it is served in a traditional tall glass and when ordered take-out, it is poured over the crushed ice in a clear (or translucent) plastic bag. it is available everywhere and is even peddled by street vendors wherein they put in it big 500 ml plastic glass containers with lots of ice. it cost about 25 Baht a glass but in restaurants, it cost 40-56 baht! try one now!
it is available everywhere!
Despite the fear by some people to eat at the foodstalls you find on every corner they are generally safe. The street foods in thailand was ranked number 3 famous around asia by the prestigous CNN GO for 2012!. Just make sure your food is prepared on the spot and heated sufficiently. Eating at the foodstalls is cheap with meals like fried rice or Phat Thai at around 35 baht. Here you'll get a real impression of the Thai cuisine and its definetely woth giving a try. No English spoken though and if there is a menu it will be in Thai (unless you are in a major tourist area). Don't worry though just remember how to say some of the standard dishes and even if you forget them just point to what you want.
The list of Thai dishes is so elaborate that you need years to figure them all out (or just see my other Bangkok tips which have full of thai food, sweets, drinks!)
Fondest memory: Most of these foodstalls are open 24 hours a day and don't be surprised by people eating right on a 4 lane street packed with traffic. One thing you have to be careful of is the ice served in your drinks, make sure there is a hole in your ice cube since this means that it is made in a factory and it's not tap water.
The Thai cuisine can be ranked among the worlds best with an enormous diversity in dishes. Rice is of course the main ingredient but western food is also widely available. Be Careful! as it is a habit in Thailand to put entire chillies in the food, these are not for eating and remember: The smaller the chili the louder it will make you scream. Eating in Thailand is a social event, Thais therefore never order individual dishes but order a bunch of them and all share so if you don't like a certain dish you can safely switch. Also ttell the waiters or the people you order from to make the meal less spicy or no spiciness at all as not to make your stomach churn if you are not used to spicy foods.
(pls see my restaurant and local customs tips for assorted thai foods, drinks and sweets!)
dont buy your bottled water in the Hotel, it is too expensive. "triple 7" type stores or mini supermarkets are usually opposite the big hotels or they are always only a few steps donn the street. buy a pack of bottled water so CHEAP!
dont waste your money on buying expensive bottled water save it to spend on shopping for clothes, bags and shoes!
Everything goes in Thailand's capital, and that rule applies to tipping as well. Some places expect it; others don't. In general, the more Westernized the place is the more likely you'll be expected to leave a gratuity.
Restaurants: Some top-end eateries will add a 10% service charge to the bill. If not, waiters will appreciate you tacking on the 10% yourself. However, if you're eating at a down-scale restaurant a tip is not necessary.