Anyone who thinks that running a food tour only requires you to have good taste in food is someone who should never think about starting a food tour company. What many don’t realize is how much consideration has to be given to logistics, coordination and timing and that there is an unimaginable amount of research and testing that goes into planning a food tour, and of course, the food has to be amazing.
If you’ve ever been on a really good food tour, you probably didn’t think about any of these things. You were too wrapped up in the new flavors you were tasting, the things you were learning, and the experience flowed seamlessly. This is the case when you take a Taste of Thailand Food Tour.
We joined Taste of Thailand our first morning in Bangkok. Having arrived late the night before, we hadn’t had much time to explore the city. After briefly wandering around the infamous Khao San Road and hunting down an out-of-the way spot for a fantastic rendition of pad thai, we had seen enough to suspect that the task of getting to know Bangkok in only 4 short days was going to be completely overwhelming. Enter Taste of Thailand, our crash course into Thai culture, history and neighborhood foodie treats, run by locals who love to eat!
By the time we arrived at the meeting point at 10am, hidden the the shade of an elevated transit station, the air was already hot and heavy. We met our guide and after brief introductions, learning a little history and practicing some useful Thai phrases we’d be putting into practice shortly, we got right down to eating. I won’t get into the details of everything we ate as it’s more exciting to take a food tour when you don’t already know what you’ll be eating, but I will touch on some of our favorite things and give an overview of the types of places we were visiting.
To start, it’s important to realize that “Thai food” is not something that simply falls into one category. Thai food in Thailand is certainly more varied than what you are likely to have tried outside of Thailand, even at the most authentic of Thai restaurants, and it’s more diverse than you probably could have imagined it to be. On this tour, there were a couple of dishes that would be familiar to people well versed in Thai cuisine, but there were lots of completely unexpected dishes and flavors that, due to availability of quality ingredients, would be almost impossible to replicate in the majority of other countries.
As we ate our way through Bangkok’s Bang Rak neighborhood, locally referred to as “The Village of Love”, we would visit all sorts of places: from street food stands and shophouses to Bangkok’s second oldest Wet Market to a sit-down meal in a restaurant fit for royalty. If you come to Bangkok and are, god forbid, uninterested in the street food scene, a food tour with Taste of Thailand will certainly change your tune.
Each stop we made was full of stories and delicious eats. If we had to pick one stand-out dish, it would undoubtedly be the lemongrass salad; it was spicy and packed with flavor, all of the ingredients combining and marinating together into a refreshing, impeccably balanced harmony. While the food was certainly a highlight and there wasn’t a single thing we didn’t enjoy, we were equally impressed with how much Taste of Thailand immerses you in the local culture’s history. We will never forget the glimpses of traditions and daily life that we encountered while winding through unexplored, private, residential back alleys.
Taste of Thailand engages all of your senses. Of course, you see and taste a lot of things, but beyond that, we learned about typical Thai ingredients that go into different dishes, smelling the nuances in an array of hand-made curry pastes and feeling the weight of a colossal flower from a banana tree, and we became wrapped up in the stories of generations-long histories of many of the places we were eating. This tour really allows you to savor local culture and makes the idea of eating out of your comfort-zone much less intimidating. In fact, we’d argue that after sampling so many wonderful, authentic foods you’ll be inspired to keep exploring the local cuisine to an extent you might not have dreamed.
As if all of this wouldn’t be enough to convince you to want to experience Thai food with Taste of Thailand, the tour provides incredible value for the money. Priced at around $35 / person (depending on current exchange rate), joining Taste of Thailand and easing your way into sampling exotic foods and Thai specialties, all the while helping to preserve age-old traditions, supporting local economy and getting a true look at what it’s like to live in eat in Bangkok, is a deal that can’t be beat.
To contact Taste of Thailand, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We were guests of Taste of Thailand on this tour, but we reserve the right to not review tours unless we truly enjoy them. All opinions in this article are our own and we would never recommend anything to our readers that we wouldn’t recommend to our closest friends and family.Visit Taste of Thailand’s website