I’m super proud of my extremely creative title for this post. However, it is accurate because this is a post solely devoted to the types of food I’ve tried so far while in Thailand. No, I haven’t tried mango sticky rice yet! I have been told several times it’s a must and I do plan to try it eventually but I am not a big dessert person so that’s why I haven’t rushed to try it in my first couple of weeks here.
Sugar is added to almost any kind of cold drink here. It’s been difficult to find coconut water, iced tea, iced coffee, or any kind of healthy fruit/greens drink without a lot of sugar added. I went against my better judgment and tried a strawberry smoothie one day and could not believe how sweet it was. This has been a challenge for me since at home I drink hot or iced black coffee, plain iced or hot tea, and coconut water with less than 14 grams of sugar (that was the lowest amount I could find so far and it ranges as high as 24 grams for just a small bottle).
I eat a lot of salad, greens and other vegetables at home. Here it is very difficult to get very many vegetables at any food establishment. While there are plenty available at grocery stores, it is actually cheaper to eat out for every meal here than to cook. There’s a place near the school where I often have lunch that only costs $1-2 for a tasty, good sized meal (see photos below). Some places I go for dinner can cost around $4 for a good meal or $6 for a meal with a beer but so far I haven’t seen prices much higher than that and they’re often lower.
I am a pescetarian which means I don’t eat any meat but I still eat fish/seafood and I am about 3 months away from my 2 year mark. I would say it’s pretty impossible to be vegetarian or vegan here. While there is less dairy used in a lot of the food here, it is an extremely meat-based diet. The rare dishes that do not contain any kind of meat contain seafood. Additionally, ordering food here is very unlike ordering food in the US because you can’t easily substitute food items or ask for a certain dish without meat in it. Luckily I have been able to find things I can eat fairly easily so far.
Above are all things I ate while down in Phuket. The first was a Mexican Thai place. The second picture is red curry. The third is shrimp and vegetables with noodles. The last is just shrimp and vegetables in a light sauce.
Sometimes the menus are completely in Thai in which case I look for a picture of anything that resembles shrimp, order it and hope for the best. I attempted yesterday using Google Translate to ask for a vegetarian dish to which the owners of the restaurant responded that they don’t offer any vegetarian options. I ended up trying a different place instead and found something with just shrimp in it. I have learned the Thai word for chicken so at the very least I can try to tell them “no chicken” since that is the most popular kind of meat eaten here.
Another difference from the US is that meals are brought out as soon as they are ready here. So while one person may be finishing their food, another person at the table may not have even received theirs yet.
The one thing that’s healthy that I’ve been eating more of is fruit. I didn’t think I even liked mangoes before I came here and now I eat them all the time. There is a store really close to my apartment with fresh sliced fruit as well as some food carts will often have it as well! I have also started buying salad at the supermarket and recently bought a coconut that already has a hole in the top and came with a spoon and straw 🙂
UPDATE: I managed to find some pretty decent pizza! 🙂