Thailand, I am convinced, is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is a frequent stop for backpackers traveling throughout southeast Asia because it is an inexpensive paradise that is absolute bliss. The weather is perfect (most of the time), the food is fantastic and the people are genuinely kind.
I have been a vegetarian for as long as September and I have been together – so, about 7 1/2 years. Visiting Thailand as a vegetarian can be difficult if you are strict about avoiding things like shrimp paste, oyster sauce, fish sauce or chicken broth. For me, I was willing to overlook these things in the name of green curry. Curry is my favorite food and there is no better place to eat authentic, spicy, coconutty curry than in Thailand. (India also has amazing curry I’ve been told but it’s not as coconutty as Thai curries). I just didn’t want to eat chunks of meat. If you’re a vegan (or even if you’re a stricter vegetarian than I am), Mark Wiens wrote a great article on The Vegetarian’s Guide to Thailand Travel that I recommend reading. He gives some key Thai phrases to help foreigners explain their vegetarian/vegan dietary needs. To see what my vegetarian adventures were like in Thailand, keep scrolling!
Even the monkeys enjoy a healthy vegetarian snack (i.e.: bananas)!
Luckily, the monkeys don’t have a knack for pina coladas in coconuts!
Thailand has loads of fresh seafood available – just about anything you could ask for!
And even whole pigs roasting over open fires!
But since I was eating only vegetarian food, this is what my dinners usually look liked:
At our favorite beach-side restaurant. (Literally, on the beach. There was no floor – just sand!)
There are many choices for vegetarians in Thailand, it just depends on how picky you want to be. For me, it was more important to eat my favorite food and experience as much of the local tastes as possible (without actually eating meat chunks) but there’s no reason why you couldn’t do that on a vegan diet. Just make sure to learn some key phrases (if you don’t already speak Thai) – it’s hard to go wrong with Thai food!