RTW in Food: Part 1, Thailand and Cambodia

posted in: Chris | 2

I have been meaning to share some of the food experiences, because I know some people have let me know they are interested in what we are eating. We are eating surprisingly well, and our kids have adapted well to the changing food choices. We have snuck in some McDonald’s here and there; which is funny, because the kids actually hate McDonald’s at home. But sometimes familiar is comforting.

Thailand is well known for its food. Of all the places, I was looking forward to eating here. I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten good Thai food before, besides some lame imitations–which I still loved. Alison and I routinely go on a date to House of Thai and love it.

The food here is like an explosion of flavor. One thing to note, if you are not a spicy food lover (as in spicy hot), then it really isn’t a problem anywhere we’ve been. You simply tell them, and they tame it down. Everywhere we have been understands that Westerners can’t handle “Thai spicy” or “Indian spicy”. Even without the heat, there is so much flavor–sour/acid, sweet, savory–it’s all balanced perfectly in a well cooked Thai dish.

Street Food: Fish Cakes, Bangkok
Bangkok Breakfast
Latte Art, Chiang Mai
Green Curry, Bangkok

 

Chicken Fried Rice, Bangkok

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Bangkok

 

Fried Chicken, Bangkok
Som Tam, Papaya Salad, Bangkok

 

Mixed Mushroom Soup, Bangkok Street Food

 

We all agreed that the peak of Thailand eating for us was the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market. This is a massive, crowded (I mean you’re touching someone constantly) night market with vendors of all kinds, and tucked away in the side streets are all manner of delicacies. We went twice and both times it was heaven for a foodie. I enjoyed just wandering around sampling anything and everything that looked interesting.

Fresh seafood noodles, Chiang Mai Night Market

 

Thai dumplings, Chiang Mai Night Market

 

Grilled Squid, Chiang Mai Street Night Market

 

Mushroom Omelet, Chiang Mai Street Food

 

Grilled meats, Chiang Mai Night Market

 

Strawberries and Waffles, Chiang Mai

 

 

Grilled chicken, street food, Bangkok

 

They loved seeing Walden and I coming for the grilled chicken. We would routinely buy all of them. They were like 10 cents a piece and delicious.

Siem Reap, Cambodia was very interesting. I found this city to be fairly cosmopolitan. Suddenly we were given choices of what looked like authentic European restaurants. We found an Italian place, and that sounded great at the time. We enjoyed a very civilized meal, and everyone left happy. The first night we were beat after our border crossing extravaganza and decided to eat the familiar burger and fries at an Aussie owned sports pub. Sometimes these familiar flavors just give you some comfort.

Burger and Fries, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

The next night we wanted to eat authentic Khmer, and so we found a great place. The prices were so cheap; we got appetizers, steak dinners and kebabs, and followed this with ice cream and fruit shakes. This was a definite highlight. We were so busy enjoying ourselves, I didn’t grab any pictures.

Chicken noodles, Angkor Wat

 

The noodle dish above is pretty simple food. Not nearly the flavors that Thai food imparts.

Dragon Fruit, Watermelon, Oranges, Siem Reap

 

In general, we found the food far more accessible than we imagined. We ate street food that was fried or taken off the grill immediately, and that gave us some confidence. I will say, most all of us had sort of a steady rumble in the belly the entire time, until we ate vegan for a week at the Elephant Nature Park. After that there were no issues. Not sure if that is from the food safety or just a drastic diet change.

Dealing with Walden’s peanut allergy was a bit tricky. Food in Southeast Asia does commonly include peanuts. However, we had brought some translation cards and also kept the epinephrine at the ready. We did find that when we asked the waiters this tended to cause more confusion than anything. Sometimes they thought we wanted peanuts added to the dish. We eventually just relaxed and if concerned avoided it or had one of us pre-taste it. He had no issues at all.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few of our meals while in the food wonderland of Thailand. Let me know if you have any more questions about these dishes.

2 Responses

  1. Leanne Hunter

    Love reading this! We are moving to Japan in about a week and are excited (and a little apprehensive) about all the different food. We also plan to visit Thailand and some other countries.

  2. Gwynn

    So all the food looks amazing and really makes me want to run out to a Thai restaurant, all except for the seafood dishes. American food just isn’t this pretty!

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