All About Thai Curry

There are many kinds of Thai curry dishes, from non-spicy to very spicy. This article groups many of the more well-known curry dishes, while giving examples of dishes as well as introductory lists of ingredients and cooking methods.
When people hear the words “Thai Curry”, the first thing that comes to their mind is some spicy coconut milk with curry paste. This is not totally true. Thais say “Kaeng” which means “Curry”. However, Kaeng in Thailand does not only mean curry, but it means the cooking process of mixing various kinds of vegetables with liquid like water or coconut milk. It can be spicy or non-spicy or a vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish like soup, stew, curry or even dessert. I will use the word “Kaeng” throughout this article. In Thailand, there are 2 types of Kaeng: Kaeng Jued and Kaeng Ped. Ped literally means spicy and Jued means tasteless. Kaeng Jued usually refers to non-spicy soup dishes.Kaeng JuedKaeng Jued dishes are usually comprise of broth, vegetables and meat. Homemade broth is preferred over bouillon cubes. Broth is made from boiling pork ribs or chicken bones in water for a long period of time. You will often hear Thais say “nam soup” which means broth. To make broth, the bones should have a little bit of meat and fat left on them. On low heat, boil meat in water. Once the boil begins, reduce heat to its lowest point so that the broth just barely simmers. The longer the simmering, the more flavor you will get. One and a half to two hours usually is enough to extract flavors from meats. Before using broth, straining is a must. In Thai cooking, some recipes would add Chinese cellery or white radish during the simmering to add more sweetness to the broth.The clear broth then will be used in a different kind of Kaeng Jued. A common way to make Kaeng Jued is to 1) bring broth to boil 2) add meat, 3) add vegetables and 4) add flavor. Example Kaeng Jued dishes are:

  • Kaeng Jued Fak: chicken/pork broth with winter melon
  • Kaeng Jued Mara: chicken/pork broth with bitter melon
  • Kaeng Jued Mara Yat Sai: chicken/pork broth with stuffed bitter melon
  • Kaeng Jued Pla Muek Yat Sai: chicken/pork broth with stuffed squid
  • Kaeng Jued Taeng Gwa: chicken/pork broth with cucumber
  • Kaeng Jued Taeng Gwa Yat Sai: chicken/pork broth with stuffed cucumber
  • Kaeng Jued Tao Hu: chicken/pork broth with bean curd
  • Kaeng Jued Wun Sen: chicken/pork broth with clear noodles

Kaeng PedMost Kaeng Ped dishes differ in degree of spiciness. Some are very spicy and some are mild. Some have coconut milk and some do not. Kaeng Ped can be categorized into 6 different types: Kaeng Ped, Kaeng Khua, Kaeng Liang, Kaeng Som, Tom Yum and Pad Ped.1) Kaeng PedIt can be confusing that Kaeng Ped is a subcategory of Kaeng Ped. There are 2 distinct types of Kaeng Ped: Kaeng Ped with coconut milk and Keang Ped without coconut milk. The key to a delicious Kaeng Ped is curry paste. Either homemade or commercial curry paste must be finely ground. Fish sauce and sugar are the two main ingredients to flavor Kaeng Ped dishes.Examples of water-based curry dishes are:

  • Kaeng Hang Le: Northern style curry with meat, curry powder, lemongrass, ginger, shallots, shrimp paste, chilies and peanuts
  • Kaeng Pa: jungle curry, Northen curry. This curry is hot and full of flavor from fingerroot, kaffir lime zest, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and chilies
  • Kaeng Leung: hot yellow curry, most common meat used is fish. Other ingredients are winter melon, chilies, garlic, turmeric, lemon grass, shallots and shrimp paste.

Examples of coconut-based curry dishes are:

  • Kaeng Daeng: red curry with meat, bamboo shoots, Thai sweet basil, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk
  • Kaeng Kari: Indian style curry with meat, potatoes and coconut milk
  • Kaeng Kiaw Waan: a slightly sweet green curry with meat, Thai eggplants, pea eggplants, winter melon, Thai sweet basil (Bai Horapa), kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk
  • Kaeng Matsaman: curry with meat, potatoes, peanuts and coconut milk (a mild curry from the Muslim Southern part of Thailand)
  • Kaeng Phed: spicy curry with meat and chilies

2) Kaeng KhuaKaeng Khua curry paste makes this curry dish distinct and different from Kaeng Ped dishes. Kaeng Khua curry paste has either deep-fried fish, grilled fish or dried small shrimp as part of its ingredients. Most Kaeng Khua will not have added spices because of its strong aroma. The typical flavors of this curry are sweet, sour and salty. The most common meat is fish, shrimp or clam. Main added ingredients typically used in this curry can be pineapple, mushrooms or winter melon. Other ingredients are galangal, kaffir lime zest, dried chilies, lemon grass and shrimp paste.Some people might confuse Kaeng Khua and Kaeng Pa because they look similar and both are coconut-based curry. However, both use different curry paste and Kaeng Pa mostly has only a salty taste.3) Kaeng LiangMany say Kaeng Liang is Thai vegetarian curry. The main ingredients of this curry are vegetables, usually there is no meat. Some recipes may add chicken or shrimp. However, if we look at Kaeng Liang curry paste, this dish is not vegetarian. Part of Kaeng Liang curry paste is dried shrimp paste (ka pi), dried shrimp and deep-fried fish or grilled fish. This curry is a water-based curry that is quite thick. The most common vegetables are sponge gourd (buab liam), gourd leaves (bai tam leung), “hairy” basil (bai Maeng Luk) and baby corn.4) Kaeng Som Kaeng Som is a water-based curry that in flavor combines sour, saltiness and a little sweetness. The common meat used in this curry is fish or shrimp. Some recipes use clams. Common vegetables are morning glory (phak bueng), bottle gourd (phak nam tao), water mimosa (phak kra ched), Vegetable Humming Bird (dok kae), cabbage (kra lum plee) and juice-based tamarind. Other ingredients are shrimp paste, dried shrimp and shallots. The famous Kaeng Som is Kaeng Som Pla Chon Phak Kra Ched which has striped snakehead (pla chon) and water mimosa (phak kra ched) as main ingredients.5) Tom YumTom Yum is a hot and sour soup. Tom Yum soup dishes have lots of herbs and meat as the main ingredients. Few vegetables are used in Tom Yum soup, although usually included are oyster mushrooms or straw mushrooms. Common herbs used in Tom Yum soup are kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, chilies and coriander roots. The common meats used in Tom Yum soup are chicken, shrimp and fish. The ingredients used in flavoring Tom Yum are lemon juice, tamarind juice, sugar and fish sauce.Tom Yum soup can also be categorized into 2 different types: coconut-based Tom Yum soup and water/broth-based Tom Yum soup. Examples of Tom Yum soup dishes are:

  • Tom Kha Gai: coconut-based hot and sour soup with chicken
  • Tom Kha Pla Duk: coconut-based hot and sour soup with catfish
  • Tom Kha Ta Le: coconut-based hot and sour soup with seafood
  • Tom Yum Gai: water/broth-based hot and sour soup with chicken
  • Tom Yum Goong: water/broth-based hot and sour soup with prawn
  • Tom Yum Hua Pla: water/broth-based hot and sour soup with fish head
  • Tom Yam Moo Pa: water/broth-based hot and sour soup with boar

6) Pad PedPad Ped is similar to Kaeng Ped; however, Pad Ped dishes use less coconut milk or water than Kaeng Ped. Thus Pad Ped is more like a stir-fried dried curry paste dish with meat and vegetables. Example vegetables are Thai eggplants, yard long beans, bamboo shoots and pea eggplants. Two main ingredients used in flavoring Pad Ped dishes are fish sauce and sugar. Example dishes are:

  • Pad Ped Moo Tao Fak Yao: stir-fried red curry paste with pork and yard long beans
  • Pad Ped Pla Duk: stir-fried catfish with chili paste
  • Phanaeng Gai: stir-fried phanaeng curry paste with chicken and kaffir lime leaves
  • Phanaeng Moo: stir-fried phanaeng curry paste with pork and kaffir lime leaves
  • Phanaeng Nuea: stir-fried phanaeng curry paste with beef and kaffir lime leaves

The example dishes listed above are famous dishes in Thailand. Of course, there are more dishes than I can name here. “Kaeng” has more than just the one meaning of spicy curry like many believe about Thai curry. Thais even use the word “Kaeng” in desserts like Kaeng Buat. Kaeng Buat is a dessert that has pumpkin, taro and/or potatoes in coconut milk. Most Thai restaurants in the U.S offer coconut-based Kaeng Ped, Pad Ped and Tom Yum soup. If you have a chance to visit Thailand, I hope you will have a chance to enjoy all different kinds of Kaeng.

The Thai Mango – A Luscious and Precious Staple

The abundant and delicious variations of fresh Thai mangoes are enjoyed by millions in Southeast Asia. This article offers detail on types of Thai mangoes and dishes, while exploring the broader cultural value of Thai mangoes.
The Thai mango is known as “Ma Muang” in Thai, although this varies by region. For example, in the Northern region a mango is also known as “Pae,” and in the South as “Pao.” The mango is rich in symbolic meaning. As part of the feng shui tradition, for generations many Thais have believed that growing a mango tree on the south side of the house will bring prosperity to the family. More broadly, mangoes are so widely enjoyed in Thailand and surrounding countries that they truly do represent a precious part of the culture. There are perhaps more than one hundred types of Thai mangoes, many of them hybrids developed in Thailand. The mango tree only bears fruit once per year, and its season is between late March and early June. This is the time one will find delicately delicious mangoes – a fairly small window of time for top quality. Nevertheless, this small window of time represents much of the enjoyment of mangoes by so many in Thailand, making it in effect a staple for meals and especially desserts.
Thai mangoes vary in size, shape and color depending on the type, soil and harvest areas. The shapes of mangoes can be round, kidney-like in shape, oval, or a long slender shape. The color of a raw mango is typically green, but the color of ripe mangoes (the skin) can be yellow, yellow-green, green, yellowish orange or yellowish red. All mangoes have only one flat seed surrounded by flesh. Ripe mangoes have flesh that is yellow, golden-yellow, orange or orange-yellow.
The following are the most well-known mango types:

  • Nam Dok Mai (น้ำดอกไม้): oval with a sharp pointed tip. The ripe fruit has golden-yellow flesh with a sweet-scented taste;
  • Kiaw Sa Woei (เขียวเสวย): oblong dark green fruit. The ripe fruit has pale white flesh with a sweet taste;
  • Thong Dam (ทองดำ): oval with rounded tip. The ripe fruit has yellowish orange flesh with a sweet taste;
  • Ok Rhong (อกร่อง): oval with rounded tip. The ripe fruit has light yellowish orange flesh with a sweet taste;
  • Raed (แรด): oblong with a small pointed knob. The ripe fruit has light yellow flesh with a sweet-scented taste;
  • Pim Sian (พิมเสน): oval with tapered tip. The ripe fruit has light yellow flesh with a sweet taste;
  • Nang Klang Wan (หนังกลางวัน): oblong with curved and tapering tip. The ripe fruit has light yellow flesh and a sweet-scented taste.

As I experienced in Thailand, mangoes are eaten in a number of ways depending on the type of mango. Both ripe and raw mangoes are enjoyed as snacks. Nam Dok Mai, Nang Klang Wan, Thong Dam and Ok Rhong are usually served at the peak of ripeness. The most famous dessert is perhaps mangoes with sticky rice (Khao Niaw Ma Muang). Increasingly, this dish is being offered at restaurants in America as well. Kiaw Sa Woei, Pim Sian, Fah Lan and Raed are preferably eaten raw, even though they are also delicious as ripe mangoes. Well-liked dishes include Mango Salad (Yum Ma Muang – spicy shredded raw mangoes) and Crispy Shredded Catfish with Raw Mango Salad (Yum Pla Duk Foo).When eating raw mangoes, dipping sauce is essential. The two common dipping sauces are:

  • mixed of salt, sugar and crushed dry chili, called Prik Gleua in Thai,
  • mixed of chilli, fish sauce and palm sugar, heated to a caramel-like consistency, called Nam Pla Wan in Thai

Besides eating fresh and raw mangoes, Thais also use mangoes to make ice cream, juice and milkshakes, as well as pickled mango (Ma Muang Dong), dry pickled mango (Ma Muang Chae Im), or air dried pureed mango (Ma Muang Kuan). Since mangoes ripen so quickly and are abundant during the season, many mangoes are canned and sold, both domestically and internationally. Mango products are usually made from other types of mango such as Kaew (แก้ว), Chok Anan (โชคอนันต์) and Maha Chanok (มหาชนก).
Thais not only use mangoes as fruit or in cooking, but in medicine as well. The following process is one example. The seed of the ripe mango is dried, and subsequently ground up or boiled in water. This process results in a drink which helps one with health problems such as a bloated feeling or to get rid of a parasite or worm. Another approach involves boiling 15-20 mango leaves with water to create a drink to treat bloated feelings, ulcerative colitis, or for other applications such as external use to clean wounds. Some drink water boiled with the bark of a mango tree to reduce fever. As always, consult a physician as appropriate before deciding on treatments.Asian grocery stores in America often do not have Thai mangoes, but may have products made from Thai mangoes. In this case, if mango juice or mangoes with sticky rice sound appealing this summer, mangoes from the Philippines or Mexico are your best substitute. Costco often offers Mexican mangoes – wait until they are ripe – the skin will be very yellow. Mangoes from the Phillipines may be better, but they are equally if not more difficult to find.As the vast majority of people in Southeast Asia eat mangoes, the cultural significance of the mango is broadly based. The mango has been a luscious and precious staple for generations. This is an ongoing result of both the high quality Thai mango itself, and the inspiration of its many delicious variations, uses, and cultural heritage.

Best Leisure Destinations in Thailand

Thailand, most commonly known as the Land of Smiles, is a jewel of Southeast Asia developed to endow with most comforts. It is wild enough to offer off-the-beaten path adventure. The beautiful country has given new dimensions to tourism by offering the best of nightlife, in which go-go bars, ladyboy shows, bars, spas, clubs, restaurants and young girls keep one busy in a more during attractive Thailand holidays. It is a country where you will get once-in-a-lifetime travel experience and will love to explore the country again and again. Not to mention world-class beaches in the south, mountain villages in the north and vibrant cities of Pattaya, Bangkok and different other destinations. Planning for booking one of the best Thailand tour packages is an ideal decision to hunt the nature and take break from your routine life that sometimes seems boring.

Why Visit Thailand – Some Good Reasons Are Here?
Fabulous luxury hotels, delicious street food, world’s prettiest lake, Gibbons on the Khao Sok National Park, Beach Football, Many Buddhas, The Wampo Viaduct, wonderful beach bars, island hopping, afternoon tea at the treetops, etc are some good reasons to persuade you for memorable holidays and book affordable Thailand packages according to your choice.

Spend Time in Leisure at Some of the Finest Destinations
Definition of tourism is different for tourists in Thailand. For young generation and those who are along on their tour in a group of same age group, Pattaya is the dream destination to fulfill their desire. Here, they will get everything they have wished from nightlife to massage and company of beautiful girls to delicious food, adventure tours, and beach holiday pleasure to a lot more.

Phuket is another wonderful destination where day begins as soon as sun set. Streets go full of tourists and locals; while gorgeous girls attract you towards go-go bars. Bangkok is for all who are dreaming of having fun in entirely different way. The capital city is famous for some amazing hotels and to offer you the best of luxury during your holidays in Thailand.

Explore Secret Holiday Destinations – They will be the Best Leisure Destinations in Thailand
If you ask local after reaching Thailand, you will get the answer that will be surprisingly different. According to the residents of this Asian Kingdom, Hua Hin is the ideal place to escape the capital for a fe quiet days at the beach. This three hour drive from Bangkok is famous for its 5 km of sand defining this destination favorite with vacationing Thais. Here, you will see a palace and holiday estate built by the royal family in the year of 1920.

Don’t miss the chance of exploring Pa-La-U Waterfall – in jungle 60 km from town of Kaeng Krachan National Park that is Thailand’s largest reserve – stretching of the Burmese border. Sam Roi Yot National Park has a landscape of limestone peaks and Khao Takiab at the end of Hua Hin Beach is sprinkled with Buddhist Shrines and worth climbing for the panoramic view.

Find a trusted online travel agency to book the right Thailand tour packages according to your choice to have fun and celebration unlimited as the hidden jewel of Southeast Asia.

Thai Coconuts – What More Could You Want?

Abstract: There are so many uses for coconuts. Building on some interesting basics about coconuts, this article touches on many delicious uses of coconuts in Thai food, as well as some cultural context. Some key health benefits as well as many non-food uses are also outlined.

Coconuts are the seeds that grow coconut trees. Given time, a coconut will sprout and take root. The juice and flesh of the coconut provide water and fertilizer to grow the young new tree. Coconut trees are grown throughout Thailand on raised beds with irrigation canals on each side. In some places, trained monkeys even harvest the coconuts. Coconuts provide juice to drink, flesh for eating or for making coconut milk, and play a role in many non-food items as well.

Coconut trees are treated as propitious in Thailand. They are often included in gardens along with other trees that include the word “ma” – for example, ma muang (mango), ma la gor (papaya) and ma prao (coconut) – to bring good luck and basic prosperity. Oil from coconuts is produced by first drying the flesh for several weeks and then pressing it. Sugar is made from sap of the seed pods of the coconut. Sap is boiled and set, and a light brown sugar (palm sugar) results.

Fresh coconut milk is widespread in Thailand. Thais often buy it freshly pressed (the first pressing yields creamy coconut milk, the second is more like water with nutrients). Coconuts are sometimes roasted which concentrates the sugar to make the flavor sweeter. Coconut milk is used in some Thai soups and curry dishes (such as green curry, massaman and panaeng curry) and can be a key ingredient in harmonizing a tasty flavor and consistency.

Coconut milk is used to make the sauce poured on mango with sticky rice. It is also used with black sticky rice desserts. In Thailand, one also often finds for dessert what appears like a buffet choice: many containers gathered together of freshly prepared fruits as well as items like lotus seeds or corn. The customer selects from some of the containers and these are put together over crushed ice and a fairly sweet liquid containing coconut milk. Speaking of desserts, another favorite is coconut ice cream – contrasted with making it from dairy products, a delicious version can also be found which is made from coconut milk and cream. It is slightly icy and some versions include small pieces of sweet coconut meat. Some Thai restaurants in the US have this. And of course on cooking, second best to fresh coconut milk is canned coconut milk.

In Thailand, one can also buy young coconut from stands on the street where the vendor will chop open the coconut for you and you can enjoy the fresh coconut and juice. There are a variety of other tasty snacks and appetizers as well. There are many examples of Thai food with coconut, which combine potential health benefits with enjoyable snacks and dishes. Coconut contains substances such as lauric acid known for benefits such as anti-microbial effects. Two other positives are that coconut oil does not contain trans fatty acids, and most of its saturated fat consists of medium-chain fatty acids rather than long-chain, which means it gets digested and used more easily and is less likely to be stored long-term as fat.

Interestingly, the fat and oil of coconuts contain many beneficial aspects. In addition to antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal functions associated with lauric acid, natural coconut fat helps normalize body lipids, protects against liver damage, and perhaps most importantly, improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. Good saturated fats also contain micronutrients and vitamins that are vital to metabolism. Coconut milk helps balance cholesterol and metabolism, and provides valuable fatty acids. The positive aspects of coconut and palm oil generally are likely part of the reason Thais have such a low rate of heart disease.

There are non-food uses from the coconut tree as well. Dried shells are used in making kitchen utensils such as spoons, as well as other household items such as lamps. Some musical instruments are also made with the shells. The fibrous outer layer of the coconut is also used for fuel as well as roofs. It is also a component for cosmetics and soaps.

Thai medicine also makes use of the coconut (tree, leaf, shell, juice). To conclude, suffice it to say there are a rich variety of food and non-food uses for coconuts!

Top 10 Thai Food by Foreigners

Get To Know Thai Food

When you think of Thai food, you would think of the ‘Hot and Spicy’ taste and probably believe that all Thai food are very hot and spicy. That is a misunderstanding. And you may also think that we eat everything by chopsticks. That is also not true.

More than 50% of Thai food are not hot and spicy at all. And chopsticks will be use when we eat noodle only. We are not Chinese or Japanese who like to eat almost everything by chopsticks.

If you have been to Thailand, you may have a question that why the taste and the texture of Thai food in Thailand are different from Thai food you have eaten in Thai restaurants in your country. One reason I would say is that maybe some ingredients are not available in your country so they need to skip some of them or use something else as a substitute. Another reason is that maybe the owner of that Thai restaurant and their chef or cook are not Thai. It would sound a bit arrogant to say that only Thais know the best how to cook Thai food with authentic Thai taste. But it is very true, isn’t it ? So do other countries food, no one could cook Swiss food better than Swiss people and no one could cook Italian food better than Italien people. Because we grew up with our food, we know what the right taste of each dish should be and what ingredients should or should not be used in that or those dishes. Each Thai dish has their own character.

As a Thai, I am so proud of Thai food that it is now well-known by people around the world as well as Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese food. We are now in Top 5 most popular cuisines of the world.

Thai food is world renowned for being very healthy for its use of many fresh vegetable and herbs. The popularity of Thai food is due to its wonderful medley of different tastes : sweet, sour, salty, hot, spicy, creamy, bitter and mind. The variety of different flavours, textures and colors, and the way that the food is presented make Thai food very exciting and appealing.

In Thailand the main evening meal generally consists of several small dishes with different tastes and textures that are served at the same time and shared by everyone at the table. Each person has a plate of steamed rice to eat with the shared food. Thais do not put everything on their plates at once because we do not want to mix the different tastes of the meal. We like to appreciate all the different tastes and textures separately.

Thais like to eat with a spoon and fork. Knives are not used at the table due to everything are already cut into a bite size. Chopsticks are only used to eat noodles.

Food for breakfast and lunch are not much different from food for dinner but they are easier to cook and need not much time to prepare such as rice soup, rice noodles, stir-fried rice, etc. Noodle is a good option for our lunch due to there are many noodle shops on almost every single road.

There are also many light dishes that Thais like to eat between main meals, for example : satay, spring rolls, papaya spicy salad, deep-fried or grilled meat balls, minced pork sausage with glass noodle, etc.

Thai desserts are well known for being beautiful and delicious. Coconut milk, rice flour, palm sugar and eggs are the main ingredients for almost all Thai desserts. Shallots, ginger, sticky rice, peanuts and pumpkin are sometimes also used in some Thai desserts. Banana leaves are often used for wrapping food in many styles. We have plenty of desserts, both hot and cold, with many different textures and colors.

Vegetable and fruit carving is a fine art that you will find at many Thai restaurants. The decorative carving helps to make Thai dishes much more interesting and amazing.

The popularity of Thai food and the many Thai restaurants that have sprung up all over the world have led to an increased availability of Thai ingredients in supermarkets everywhere. Let’s visit an Asian grocery in your town and see what Thai dish you would like to cook at home today.

 

The Office of the National Culture Commission announced the top ten Thai dishes best liked by foreigners. In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs, the Office had conducted a survey of Thai restaurants all over the world to find out ten favourite Thai dishes of foreigners. In the survey 1,000 Thai restaurant around the world were asked to fill in a questionnaire. However, only 500 restaurants which have Thai chefs and offer the authentic Thai food were qualified for being taken into consideration.

The results were the top ten Thai dishes which are listed below in order of their percentages of popularity:

1. Spicy Soup with Prawn and Lemon Grass [tom yum koong]

2. Green Curry with Chicken [kang kaew wan kai]

3. Stir-Fried Rice Noodle with Shrimp  [pad thai koong]

4. Fried Meat with basil leaves [pad ka-prao]

5. Red Curry with Roasted Duck [kang phed ped yang]

6. Coconut Milk Soup with Chicken [tom kha kai]

7. Thai Grilled Beef Salad [yum neur yang]

8. Pork or Chicken Satay [moo or kai satay]

9. Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts [kai pad med ma-manug]

10. Panaeng Curry [kang panaeng]

 

 

Money-Saving Tips When Staying At An Island Resort

Nothing can be more perfect than living a beach lifestyle in an island paradise. You get to enjoy the warm sun, cool and refreshing natural breeze, and take a dip at the beautiful, invigorating beach any time you want to. And aside from just one beach or more, a paradise also offers a lot of other natural, stunning sceneries and attractions that are worth seeing and visiting.

To have the best vacation on an island though, consider staying at a resort. They offer great services, amenities, and they allow you easy access to the beautiful beach or seaside – areas that you will always want to visit or spend time in while you’re on the island.

Staying at a resort, and an island vacation, as a whole, can cost you a fortune though. These expenses can even go higher when you have your holiday in an exotic, foreign island.

But if you can’t ignore the call of a beach paradise and want to have a much-needed vacation here, below are some money-saving tips you can follow when staying at a resort for your island getaway:

Take advantage of current accommodation promos or specials offered by resorts.

Although you want to save money on your accommodation, booking a room at a resort that offers the cheapest rates is not the best decision to make. You may end up regretting choosing this resort because the facilities and rooms are poorly maintained and dirty. You can still stay at a nice resort without spending a ton of cash by looking for one that offers some special promos, deals on rooms, or packages. By following this tip, you can have a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation and at the same time, still save some money.

Set a budget for your trip.

Although a vacation is the ideal time to spend a lot of your hard-earned cash, without a budget, you might just end up blowing a lot of your money on unnecessary thing such as shopping for souvenirs, daily trip to the spa, etc. Before going on your holiday, set a budget that you will work with daily while you’re on vacation and make sure you stick to it.

Be flexible with your meals.

The restaurants and cafes at the resort are there to make dining more convenient and comfortable for you. However, the meals, snacks, and beverages here tend to be more expensive compared to the dining and drinking establishments found in other areas of the islands. Consider eating or having your coffee or drinks at restaurants and other establishments outside the resort. Don’t count out buying your own bread, cold cuts, cereals, milk, snack bars, fruits, and other food and beverages from a local grocery that you can eat and drink when you’re hungry or thirsty to save money as well.

Thai Street Food

One of the joys of Thailand is all the wonderful food sold by street vendors. A top 10 list of dishes that are even better to buy from street vendors than from restaurants is offered. There is a great variety of food, it is easy to find, and many vendors ensure the food is clean and of high quality at a low price.

Thailand is well-known as “the land of smiles.” Thais are friendly and well-known as “food lovers.” Many say “Thais love to eat. Thais eat several meals per day.” In response to these comments, I have to say, yes, Thais love to eat but we eat 3 meals per day just like the rest of the world. The difference is that Thais love to snack. Our snacks range from fresh fruits to deep-fried food. In Thailand, it is so easy to find food. Street vendors are everywhere. If there are people, there are food. One of the greatest joys of living or traveling in Thailand is the abundance and variety of food.Street vendors, street food, roadside stands, food stands, food stalls or whatever you would like to call it, simply involves something mobile that allows an owner (or a cook in most cases) to push them around, from home and back. Many people may think that street food is not clean, but in fact with many vendors it is clean. And many of the owners are unpretentious. The owners push a cart from home to their selling location and then back home and clean the cart every night. Street food offers an incredibly cheap price and some offer incredibly good taste. Sometimes it is even better than a famous restaurant.Some street vendors offer such good food that you will have to wait for a table along the street. Particularly in these cases, street food is not only for poor or middle class people – you will often find a businessman or wealthy people ordering the street food. Do not expect a menu from a street vendor because there are not any. Most street vendors only offer one dish, just their specialty. Street food offers a wide variety of choices – curry, fried rice, noodle dishes, stir-fried, salad, fresh fruits, desserts, etc. Basically you name it. You might be able to even find grilled lobsters in China town at a reasonable price. Of course, I cannot forget to mention all the bizzare food like deep-fried frogs, deep-fried birds, deep-fried grasshoppers, etc.The following are the top 10 street food dishes that I think are better than what restaurants have to offer. In other words, you should buy the following food from a street vendor rather than from a restaurant.

  • Som Tum – Spicy shredded green papaya salad with peanuts and tomatoes
  • Larb – Spicy minced meat with chopped shallots, onions, chilies and coriander
  • Khao Mun Gai – Steamed chicken with rice cooked in chicken stock and garlic
  • Jok – Rice porridge with ground pork, fresh ginger and green onion (some may add egg)
  • Lad Nah – Stir-fried thin or wide rice noodles with light gravy bean sauce and Chinese kale
  • Hoi Tod – Fried oysters in batter with egg on a bed of beansprouts
  • Pad Thai – Stir-fried medium rice noodles with egg, dried shrimp and fried bean curd sprinkled with peanuts (served with beansprouts)
  • Satay – Slivers of chicken or pork grilled on a stick, served with sauce and cucumber
  • Khao Moo Daeng – Chinese-style red pork with rice, boiled eggs and cucumber
  • Khao Tom – Rice soup with a selection of meat and vegetable side dishes

There is so much more street food than I can list here. The above 10 dishes are those I particularly think are better to buy from a street vendor. One of the greatest joys of living in Thailand is the opportunity to try out food from different places at a reasonable price. I grew up in Bangkok and I have to say that Bangkok has bad traffic. I mean very bad traffic. You can literally sit in a car or a bus for hours and hours. Even though people in Bangkok live with bad traffic, most people will travel a long way through heavy traffic just to eat street food. I have to say I was among them.Another type of food vendors that I want to mention are not on land, but instead on canals (called Klong in Thailand). Along Klongs, you may find sellers paddling their boats selling fresh fruit and vegetables, noodle dishes, curries, etc. just like street vendors. The quality can be just as good as the street vendors.Street food can be as good as restaurant food. It is fresh, cheap and good. Part of the fun of living in Thailand is the chance to find street food that is even better than food in restaurants. Some street food may not be as clean, but in many cases, vendors do a good job of making sure the food is clean. There is certainly food for working class people, and food can be found in a wide variety of locations. Next time when you smell some mouth-watering food, stop by and give it a chance. You will not only experience good food, but friendly people as well.

How and what do Thais eat?

Thai cuisine’s inviting array of meals, desserts, drinks and snacks combine with an enjoyment of eating as socializing. Thinking about Thai ways of eating together helps fill in a reflection on Thai food.
The majority of Thais do not use many of the formal eating manners of Westerners; Thais have their own set of manners based largely on practices of communal eating. Thais put a lot of emphasis on eating as a social activity. For Thais, eating should be a simple pleasure and does not involve complex rituals of etiquette. Today, a fork and spoon are widely used, and the general practice is to use the fork to push food onto the spoon. The spoon is generally held in the right hand and serves as the only utensil from which to take bites. Eating straight from the fork is considered crude. The use of the fork and spoon is attributed to King Rama V in the latter part of the 19th century. He found no use for knives since Thai food is already chopped up. Chopsticks are sometimes used, particularly for eating some noodle dishes influened by the Chinese. While a fork and spoon are commonly used, for some parts of Thailand, such as in the east or north east, eating by hand is still common. There is also an exception for sticky rice as most Thais would eat sticky rice with their hands.When dining out, senior women in a group usually order for all (although others do the ordering sometimes). All dishes can be shared, over several courses. Steamed rice is a mainstay of communal meals and is always served first for each individual. Then, only in small amounts (1-2 tablespoons), food is dished up and put on top of the rice. Thais do not like to pile different food on top of their rice because the tastes might get mixed together. Thais generally eat dishes one at a time and then come back to eat the next dish. Piling up food or overloading your plate with food is considered rude and uncouth as there is no hurry and more food can be ordered as needed.Thais love to eat, six to seven times per day is not very uncommon. Thais also love to dine out in a group of friends and family. Eating alone is not very common. There are restaurants and food stands (food vendors) almost everywhere in Thailand. Thais’ generally don’t think in terms of dieting. Most Thais eat often but small amounts each time. Thais eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; however, many Thai people snack a lot, almost any time of the day or night. Snacks can include a wide range of choices, such as a bowl of noodle soup, fruits, fried food or desserts.Thai food is famous for its spicy quality, but there are many mild or non-spicy dishes. Rice is a staple food. Typical breakfast dishes for Thais are:

  • Jok: ground rice soup with minced pork and ginger, with green onions sprinkled on top, and egg can be added;
  • Khao Tom: rice soup with a selection of meat and vegetable side dishes;
  • Kao Loa Lead Moo: soup which consists of various pig organs such as kidney, liver, heart and stomach as well as ground pork and prepared blood;
  • Khao Man Kai: rice cooked in chicken broth with slices of boiled chicken on top.

Lunch usually includes quick dishes like noodle soups, fried noodles, rice dishes and curries. Dinner is generally served communally in a series of large plates or bowls. There is always steamed rice and 4-5 side dishes, and at least one soup. The 4-5 side dishes consist of a wide variety of food, at least one vegetable dish, one seafood dish, one meat dish, and one spicy dish. Examples of dinner dishes are: curry dishes, dry curry dishes such as Phanaeng, steamed crab (Pu Neung), deep fried fish (Pla Thod), roasted sliced squid (Pla Meuk Yang), fried rice (Khao Pad), Tom Yum soups, etc. After the meal, Thais like desserts. There are so many kinds of dessert in Thailand. Depending on the type of dessert and preference of the eater, sometimes the dishes are shared. The famous desserts are Mangoes with Sticky Rice (Khao Niaw Ma Muang), Bananas in Coconut Milk (Kluay Buat Chi), and combinations of fruit with ground up ice (Nam Kang Sai).Almost every street corner has a selection of food vendors selling a wide variety of snacks, from fried insects (such as grasshoppers) to Spring rolls. Examples of snacks are: Coconut pudding (Khanom Krok), Sticky rice in banana leaves (Khao Tom Mud), Spring rolls (Po Pia Tod), Charcoal-roasted eggs (Kai Ping), Steamed tapioca with minced pork filling (Sa Koo Sai Moo), Fried fish balls (Luk Chin Tod), Fried fish cakes (Tod Mun) and Charcoal-grilled chicken (Kai Yang). As for drinks, there are many kinds, such as fresh juice, tea, Thai iced tea, soda, water and beer. Fresh juice can be pineapple, coconut, cantalope, mango, and orange.The many enticing combinations of foods, as well as the cultural styles of eating, help enhance life and represent many opportunities for creativity and enjoyment.

Famous Thai beaches and why one should visit them

Thailand is a country which is internationally famous for its beautiful beaches. Thousands of tourist’s flock every year to the Thai beaches to party enjoy the sun and basically have a good time. Here is a list of popular Thai beaches and what each beach is famous for:

 

Koh Phangan- Beach bar

The Flip Flop Pharmacy on this beach is one of the most popular beach bars. The bar brings out the hidden beauty of the island and has a relaxing vibe; the bar holds a number of full moon parties which is mainly why so many tourists visit the destination. With a drinks menu to rival most bars, the Flip Flop Pharmacy offers mellow music, comfortable pillows, low tables with everything lit by lanterns under the stars. One can spend the perfect evening relaxing under the stars sipping a cool beverage.

Koh Tao – the Beautiful beach

Koh Tao is a picture perfect beach where one needs to arrive either early in the morning or just at sunset to get the perfect picture. Nangyuan beach near Koh Tao connects the three small islands by a sliver of sand bar and linked back clear water which is only thigh deep. The beach is beautiful and allows you perfect access to the three islands.

 

Similan Island – Ideal snorkeling destination

If you are one who loves to explore the underwater marine life, then you should grab your snorkeling mask and immediately head to the Similan Islands. There is a national park located west of Khao Lak on the islands which offers some of the best diving sites in the world which cannot be missed out on. There are also several shoals of colourfully bright coral reef you can swim to as well as soft beaches which are perfect for a picnic with your friends.

 

Phuket – the Rooftop bar views

When planning your Phuket package, one must visit Baba Nest which offers an incredible experience if being suspended over Phuket’s Cape Panwa Peninsul. The rooftop bar of Baba Poolclub at Sri Panwa guarantees you a view that will take your breath away of the Andaman Sea. After swimming in the infinity pool, you can relax enjoying the view on the sunken seats provided.

 

Koh Samui and Phuket – Wild beach clubs

Though many like opting for a relaxing evening sampling delicious Thai dishes, there are several tourists who prefer a more luxurious touch to their evenings. When planning your Phuket package you should seriously consider how you wish to spend your evenings. On Koh Samui’s Nikki beach one can get the opportunity to eat sushi, champagne along with music from international DJs while on Phuket’s Catch beach club on Surin beach is known to throw rave parties all night.

 

Be it a holiday travelling the length of Thailand or a simple Phuket package, the country has a lot to offer in terms of interesting beach experiences. So when you decide to visit Thailand, make sure you research the different types of beaches and what they are famous for to ensure that they get the beach experience of their choice.

Bangkok nightlife areas you cannot miss out on

Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis which is also the capital of Thailand and an iconic tourist destination. From its beautiful beaches and ornate shrines to the vibrant nightlife, Bangkok has something to offer for every type of traveler. Known primarily for its exciting nightlife, here are the nightlife areas you need to add to your Bangkok package:

Sukhumvit

Located to Siam, Sukhumvit is one of the most prominent nightlife areas in Bangkok. It is a popular area where most tourists go to party. Some of the hotspots in this area one can visit are: Nana, Asoke, Phrom Phang and Thong Lor. There are a number of international restaurants one can eat at in Nana. There are also several go go bars which are an iconic Bangkok attraction which many tourists wish to visit. Most of these areas offer some of the best wine and cocktails bars and you can almost always spot a famous Thai star. If you can afford the expensive prices a trip to Sukhumvit is definitely worth adding to your Bangkok package.

Khaosan

Khaosan is the perfect destination for youngster and backpackers who wish to get a taste of the famous Bangkok nightlife. Many a time the party is simply on the street with tourists drinking beer and dancing. There are however many bars and clubs which offer an affordable glimpse into the famous nightlife allowing tourists and travelers with lower budgets to enjoy themselves. There is no specific time one needs to visit the area to party. It is believed that the party rages on 365 days a year.

RCA

RCA stands for Royal City Avenue and is one of the largest nightlife areas in Bangkok. It is a place where locals and tourists can visit and enjoy a couple of drinks. The three most popular bars in the area are Route 66, Slim and Flix. Though the Thai are allowed to enter clubs for free the tourists are required to provide a cover charge. Another thing that a tourist needs to be aware of when visiting any bar or club in RCA, is that they have a strict dress code which must be followed.

Bangkok’s clubs and bars are an attraction one must not miss out one. When you plan to visit the city, it is crucial to add visits to the local clubs and bars in itinerary of your Bangkok packages. They play a crucial role in the culture of Bangkok and must not be missed out on.