I just got back from a fantastic two weeks in Thailand! I spent one week in the north in Chiang Mai and a week down south in Phuket and Koh Phi Phi with one of my sisters and two of my cousins. I highly recommend Thailand!! It’s a pretty long flight, but SO worth it! Thailand is so fun, family friendly, affordable, and very veg friendly! Make sure you follow me on instagram to get all my pics Here are my travel tips:
– Always bring snacks! You probably already know this, but the kind of snacks is important. It’s super hot in Thailand so avoid granola bars or trail mix with chocolate in them. Nuts are always a great snack, but you won’t need to bring them with you. Every market will have a great selection and prices way lower than the US. My go-to bar for this trip were the Qiá bars by Nature’s Path. They have lots of nuts and seeds to fill me up and taste great! (most people know I typically dislike any sort of bar, these are an exception)
-Learn a few words. There are some great apps out there for people with dietary restrictions. My new favorite is Veggoagogo. It can translate simple diet related sentences into a couple dozen popular languages.
*Helpful hint: I was taught the word for vegan is jai before I left. Well, it’s probably true, but not a single restaurant knew what the heck I was talking about when I said that word or even showed it to them written. They all know what the word vegetarian means due to the large Buddhist population in Thailand, but of course this still includes eggs, fish/oyster sauce, and dairy. I found that if you say “pure vegetarian” and “no oyster sauce” they will then understand your wishes.
-What’s naturally vegan. Well, lots actually! Most curries are not made with any animal ingredients especially green curry. Sometimes red and panang curries can have shrimp paste in them, but often don’t. You can order friend rice from any restaurant vegetarian and they will make it without egg and oyster sauce. Papaya salad is another one of my favorite dishes that can be modified to not have oyster sauce. You can also always order vegetables stir fried in soy sauce with rice at any restaurant. Of course mango sticky rice is also vegan and cooked in coconut milk
-The markets are so fantastic in Thailand! I recommend stocking up on fruits for your trip. Try mangosteens, they are my favorite!
-If you are in Chiang Mai, I highly suggest a cooking class! There are loads of them if you just use google. I met Nan from Taste From Heaven vegetarian restaurant and she was nice enough to invite me into her kitchen with her head chef Golf. He taught me all about the ingredients and techniques of vegan food in Thailand and was just about the sweetest man I’d ever met!
HappyCow.net is a fantastic resource for finding vegan and vegetarian all over the world, definitely give the app a download before you head anywhere! -Some restaurant highlights from my trip:
Koh Phi Phi
A few more of my favorite dishes:
One more note: If you happen to be on Phuket, one of the highlights of the whole trip was taking a Hong (cave) Tour with John Gray Sea Canoe. It was a magical day! We did a day tour, but next time I’d definitely doing the 3 day! Everyone that worked for the company was so kind and we had an incredible experience!
I’ll leave you with a pic of the moon setting over the water in Koh Phi Phi. Our hotel there was Phi Phi The Beach Resort. Fantastic place!