Thursday, December 09, 2010

Adventures in Southeast Asia Part I

If you've been paying any attention in the last few weeks, you might have noticed a lack of posting. In that time I was traveling to in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on a family trip. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip with just a couple of days in each place and what felt like constant traveling. I was extremely excited for the food in the region and hoped to have some good reports upon my return. Although I had some tasty meals, much of this trip unfortunately fell prey to tourist traps and a lack of an adventurous spirit on the part of my traveling companions. Also, I have to say that it reinforced for me just how good the ethnic food that is available in New York is. But, I'd still like to highlight the best of my eats abroad.


The streets of Thailand are amazingly rich with food vendors and where I most enjoyed the food. Despite nearly every block being occupied by some form of edible fortification there isn't as much repetition as there is with the dirty water dog and kebab carts on every other New York street corner. Exotic fruits, Thai candies, fried foods on sticks fill the tame end of the spectrum; wok-fried noodles, pots of stews and many other colorful unidentifiable foods call out to the more daring eaters. Dabbling in street food in foreign lands is always a risky prospect, especially when facing plane rides in the near future. I had heard and read mixed opinions on the safety of Bangkok's street food — it's such an integral part of the culture, how could I not try it? Yet, I did not want to be left bowled over in pain. Been there, done that.

The one hot food I tried directly from the street was a spring roll. Conservative, yes, but delicious nonetheless. Although this spring roll sat among a pile of spring rolls as the woman chatted with another lady sitting beside her cart, it was piping hot, a sure indication of its freshness. It was the single best bite of food I had in my short time in Bangkok. It assured me that when I return, I will have no fear at caving in to other delectable temptations.

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