Thai Cuisine - Gourmet's Paradise

Discover the culinary delights

From adrenaline-rush Bangkok to serene seaside towns in the South and tranquil villages located along the Mekong River, Thai cuisine is as rich and diverse as its culture. Uniquely crafted to appeal to all tastes, Thai food combines best of flavors, textures, colors and presentations. Where to eat is just as exciting as what to eat. Bangkok and other major tourist destinations offer an incredible selection of dining places in all price ranges. From curbside food stalls selling simple but good food, to smart, expensive restaurants, there is something to please everyone.

Having a Thai meal in a Thai way

Offering a variety of flavors and tastes, with enthusiastic use of herbs, spices and market-fresh ingredients, Thai food is famed for its balance and harmony. An exciting combination of five fundamental tastes - hot, sweet, sour, salty and bitter - brings contrasting yet complementing flavors and textures to each dish.

For Thais, meals are informal affairs involving circles of families or friends sitting around the table sharing variety of dishes. Instead of having a single main course, try a typical Thai meal which consists of rice with many complimentary dishes served concurrently. Rice is served in individual plates while the rest of the dishes are put in the middle of the table for everyone to share and may be eaten in almost any order. A fork and a spoon are usually used to help mix rice with, for example, the curry, and scoop it up.

Varieties of Thai food

Dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, soup, curry, salad and one or more basic sauces and dips usually appear in Thai full meal. During your trip to Thailand, you may try varieties of Thai food which include:

Snacks: Eaten alone, with a drink, or as side dishes. Traditional favorites are stuffed dumplings, Satay, crisp-fried noodles topped with sweet and spicy source, and spring rolls.

Chilli Dips: The versatile dip can be a main dish or side dish, or drizzled on chips.

Salads: Thai salads, or yam, are sour, sweet and salty and usually garnished with fresh herbs such as mint, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and cilantro. Local favorites are meat, seafood, vegetable and fruit salads.

Curries: The heart of all Thai curries is curry paste made from fresh herbs and spices. The paste is cooked in coconut cream before the meat or vegetables are added. Popular curries are green, red and Phanang curries.

Soups: Thai soups may be hot and spicy or mild and clear. Soups are not served as a first course but together with other dishes. Tom Yum Kung and Tom Kha Kai are the most popular.

Desserts: Thai desserts are sweet but not intensely so. Sticky rice with ripe mango, banana or flour dumplings in sweetened coconut cream and seasonal tropical fruits are favorites.

Regional dishes

With cultural and ethnic infusions over centuries, regional cuisines have absorbed some Eastern and Western influences while maintaining their own unique flavors and characters.

Central Thailand

  • •Home to diversified dishes of foreign influences
  • •Favorite dishes: green curry, Phanang curry, Tom Yam hot and sour soup and Phat Thai noodles

    Northern Thailand

  • •Cool and highland climate with greater variety of vegetables and herbs
  • •Considerable influence of Myanmar, Laos and Yunnan
  • •Favorite dishes: Khao Soi egg noodles curry, Hang Le pork curry and Sai-Ua spicy pork sausage
  • •Traditional meal: Khantok dinner which diners sit around a small low table

    Northeastern Thailand

  • •Highly seasoned and often cooked with herbs and spices
  • •Considerable influence of Laos
  • •Favorite dishes: Som Tam green papaya salad, Lap spicy minced meat salad and barbecued chicken

    Southern Thailand

  • •Distinct fragrant aromas and flavors
  • •Considerable influence of Malaysia, India and Java
  • •Favorite dishes: Satay skewered barbecued meat with spicy peanut sauce, Mussaman curry and yellow curry

    Unforgettable culinary experiences

    International and fine dining

    In the aroma and taste league, Bangkok is the dining capital of Asia and its culinary reputation is by no means limited to Thai food. There is an incredible variety of fine dining and restaurants serving all manner of international cuisines. Prominent among them are Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Indian and French.

    Dinner cruise and riverside dining

    A dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River at night with Bangkok’s brightly lit attractions on either side is a delightful experience. It might be on handsomely converted rice barge or a bright, modern cruise boats. On shore, meanwhile, there are many riverside eateries. For more luxurious dining in an elegant setting, Bangkok’s famous riverside hotels are some of the finest in the world and they provide a magical dining out experience.

    Street foods

    For most Thais, roadside dining is a way of life. For years, street foods have become a haven for those looking for good taste and quality food ranging from rice with curries to noodles and from green papaya salad and grilled chicken to fresh seafood. Food stalls are open all day, and in some places, even all night. Bangkok’s sumptuous street stalls are in Chinatown, Khao San Road and Silom Road from Soi Convent to Bangkok Bank.

    Cooking schools

    Thailand has a variety of cooking classes and schools. The hotels and resorts in major tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin and Pattaya offer hands-on cooking classes. In addition there are cooking schools that provide the basic skills sufficient to prepare a Thai meal in your own home, or even training to professional standards.