People travel for all kinds of reasons – for adventure, to meet new people, to work or to just have a great time.
One of the most common motivations of travelling to new places is to try new flavours. Around the world, different cuisines offer various culinary experiences. To experience some new flavour combinations in South East Asia, we recommend visiting these five places:
- Bangkok, Thailand
On a tour of South East Asia, it’s likely you’ll be in Bangkok for at least some time. If you’re there over a weekend, try the Jatuchak market. The Telegraph recommends a stall called Prik Yuak, and a dish of vermicelli with fish ball green curry. But throughout the market, and others like it, you’ll find great flavours on offer. The air will be perfumed with aromatic spices, fish sauce and palm sugar – so follow your nose and see what you fancy.
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The whole region is renowned for street food, making it hard for destinations to stand out. But that’s exactly what Kuala Lumpur does. Whatever your taste buds fancy, there’ll be something to satisfy. The food here takes its influence from nearby cultures, including Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern. You can get your hands on steamed crab, meat kebabs, hot curries and much more. What’s more, it’s a bit more civilised then elsewhere – most stalls have stools nearby for you to sit and eat without too much rush.
- Hanoi, Vietnam
This city is full of cheap eats, ideal for those on a budget, who don’t want to compromise on taste. Seek out dishes like Bún bò nam bộ, rice noodles topped with grilled beef, or Bánh cuốn, rice-flour rolls wrapped around minced mushrooms and pork – one of the city’s predominant meats.
It’s also a great place to get coffee, says the Secret Traveller. Order one of the cups that each have a small metal percolator perched on top, with rich, black coffee dripping down into a glass of condensed milk below.
It’s time for something sweet. And few dishes are better than Khao tom, widely available for relatively little across Laos. It’s a steamed dessert made of a mixture of sticky rice, black bean and fresh coconut cream and then steamed in long banana leaf parcels. Other ingredients, such as peanuts, are sometimes included in the mix. Khao tom is just one example of the culinary delights on offer in Laos.
Seafood lovers should head to Cambodia, where freshwater fish is a common staple meat in the diets of locals. The two main sources of natural fresh water the Mekong river and the Tonle Sap, a huge lake connected to the Mekong, provide plenty of inspiration for dishes in the country.
The national dish, Amok, is made from fish, coconut milk and curry paste, put in banana leaf cups with coconut cream on top, then steamed. Make sure you get a traditional Amok with this guide from Gran Turismo Travels. It’ll help you find the right ones, steamed and having risen like a soufflé.
Have you visited South East Asia? Share your food recommendations with us.