Foodie tours in Thailand

River Kwai

Thailand is a country famed for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and vibrant nightlife, but it also packs a punch in the gastronomy stakes!

A Thai tour doesn’t have to be about sunbathing all day and partying all night – food plays an integral part in Thailand’s culture, and there is a stunning array of delicacies and delights to be found around the country.

A foodie tour of Thailand

Thailand boasts an incredibly diverse culinary scene, and it’s a veritable treasure trove for anyone keen to treat their palate to weird and wonderful flavours.

Touring this country for food could well take you to any city in the country, but if time is of the essence, here are some great foodie destinations to visit and some must-try dishes to look out for that are guaranteed to hit the spot:

The highlights of Thailand

Bangkok

Most people who travel to Thailand start their journey in the enigmatic city of Bangkok.

It is renowned for its markets, backpacker hangouts, and its elegant palace and temple architecture, but it’s also a wonderful place to be if you’re hitting up the food scene.

But despite its wealth of luxury hotels and fine dining establishments, the best Thai food can often be enjoyed at the side of the road. It won’t take you long to notice that street food stalls are everywhere in Thailand, and you can eat like a king for a few pounds a day.

The variety of dishes on offer is vast, and for the adventurous there’s certainly room for something new on a daily basis. While you’re in Bangkok, look out for cult favourites like Pla Pao (fish crusted with salt before grilling to keep the flesh as moist as possible), Pad Thai Kung (the world-famous noodle dish made with prawns) and Som Tam (a deliciously refreshing papaya salad).

An hour and a half from Bangkok, on the way to Kanchanaburi, are more bustling markets ripe for exploration. Start the day with a hearty breakfast of a classic rice pudding dish known as Knhom Krok at Mae Glong Railway Market before making your way to the Tha Kha floating markets to source some more fresh local produce.

As you meander through the streets and navigate the banks of the waterways, you’ll come across stalls and boats stuffed with tropical fruits and vegetables grown in the area. Snack on the local dessert of choice, Khao lam, which is made using sweet rice encased in a bamboo leaf.

Where to go in Bangkok?

Kanchanaburi

A trip to Kanchanaburi itself provides travelers with an excellent opportunity to hone their culinary skills and learn how to create some authentic Thai dishes.

Start the experience with a trip to the local market, gathering fresh ingredients to use in the kitchen. Here, popular dishes include treats as diverse as the fiery jungle curry and the delicate banana flower cake. Under the guidance of an experienced chef, learn how to add that touch of Thai magic to your cooking, and then savour the fruits of your labour.

Cooking classes are widely available in Thailand, and they provide a great chance to meet other travellers – so take the chance to pick up tips and recommendations for the rest of your trip!

River Kwai

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the jewel in the crown of northern Thailand. It is an energetic and intriguing city which blends old and new effortlessly and it makes for an idyllic spot to learn more about Thai cuisine and tantalise your taste buds with more traditional dishes.

While you’re in this part of the country, don’t miss the chance to try khao soi, a curried noodle soup made with coconut milk, sai ua, known as Chiang Mai sausage, and if you’re feeling really intrepid, bamboo worms! This delicacy is a protein-rich meal for locals, where the crispy deep-fried insects are considered a delicious treat!

Thailand's Scenic Route - Chiang Mai

Hua Hin

The coastal resort of Hua Hin in the Gulf of Thailand is famed for its seafood. At the base of Khoa Takieb, affectionately known as Chopstick Mountain, you’ll find a small but lively fishing village packed with rustic restaurants and cheap stalls selling some of the finest seafood dishes in the country.

Scallops, curried prawns and spicy seafood salads are very popular, but perhaps the highlight is the local horseshoe crab.

Grilled squid at Hua Hin night market Thailand street food

There are no better places in the world for diversity of culinary delights than Thailand. Its cuisine is unique, featuring inimitable herbs and flavours and featuring meat, seafood and salads.

But don’t just limit yourself to restaurants and hotels – sample the street food, trawl the markets for local produce and go on a cooking class to ensure you can treat yourself again when you get home!