Eating Like a King in Thailand on a Budget
Even if you haven’t been to Thailand yet, you know about Thai cuisine because of its popularity throughout the world. You’ve probably ordered Pad Thai, or Drunken Noodles, or Tom Yum soup at your local Thai restaurant or had it delivered to your house. You probably paid similar prices to Chinese takeout or pizza delivery, thinking that was a pretty darn good deal. And if you’re like most people, you enjoyed every bit of it until that last noodle or the last sip of broth.
Local Restaurants, Marketplaces, and Street Food
Well, I’m here to tell you that in Thailand the food is even better, and a whole lot cheaper. While you will be paying similar prices to back home if you opt to eat at fancy restaurants, resorts, or touristy places, those aren’t your only options. If you want to get a real taste for Thai cuisine then you need to go to the places that the locals eat, where the magic happens.
Not only is the food expensive at nicer restaurants in Thailand, but often times its worse. The food at restaurants is usually catered to western pallets, which can be a good thing for some people, but you won’t be getting the authentic dining experience that you went there for.
In many small towns and cities around Thailand you can find restaurants that serve delicious plates of rice, noodles, veggies, and a drink for as little as 2 USD. The trick is simple, go where the locals go. They’ve probably grown up their whole lives in that town, so they’re going to know where to find the best food for the biggest bargain.
For example, I often found myself wondering down food alleys smelling all the different foods permeating from stall to stall until I found the spot with the longest line. Usually I would wait in line, witness what everyone around me was eating, and point to the dish most people ordered. And guess what? Nine out of ten times it was some of the greatest food I had in Southeast Asia.
Once you get out your element and comfort zone, you’re going to discover the best foods that Thailand has to offer, and your wallet will be thanking you too!
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