Thailand’s culture is intricately interwoven with its cuisine, and its diverse kaleidoscope of flavours is one of the best-known, and best-loved, in the world. Recreating Thailand’s iconic dishes at home offers a tantalising glimpse, but nothing can compare to enjoying them in situ. From Michelin-starred street food on a chaotic Bangkok corner, to locally-picked tea in the northern hills, every taste evokes a different moment.
Thailand’s flavours have infused throughout the world, but nothing compares to the real deal. One of our favourite ways to discover more about Thailand is by tasting as many of its dishes as we can; meandering through markets scoping out fresh produce, queuing with locals at popular lunchtime street-food stands, and enjoying fine-dining moments.
In dynamic Bangkok, our expert local guides will carve a path through the noise to show you the city’s best flavours. With an average 2-hour queuing time, Raan Jay Fai’s famous Michelin-starred crab omelette is a taste sensation worth waiting for, but you can walk or tuk-tuk through old town, Yaowarat Road, Bang Khun Non and beyond for plenty of phenomenal eats without the delay. Try everything from comforting Isan sticky rice and fiery som tam salad, to creamy kanom krok, sizzling pad thai and stir-fried morning glory. Wander onto Song Wat Road to get a sugar rush in one of the cool art cafés, pick a hidden speakeasy bar to sit and sip a classy cocktail, and fine-dine in playful style at the wonderful Err. Follow your guide’s lead, and get out of the 5* hotel restaurant comfort zone.
The flavours take on a fiery freshness in Thailand’s misty north, and the pace slows - Chiang Mai’s street-food scene is a little less hectic than the capital’s. In the early evening, Chiang Mai Gate, at the south of the old city, fills with food stalls. Navigate tempting smells as your guide introduces you to some of the region’s signature dishes, such as rich khao soi curry, sweet mango rice, and hot, herby larb from over the border in Laos. Further out in the remote, rare stillness of Fang’s green hillsides, get hands-on from harvest to roast with the region’s tea growing process as you learn to create the perfect cuppa. In Chiang Rai, discover a proper small-town welcome at the night market as you sample spicy curries, fresh tempuras and barbecued meats - join the locals, grab a table, and tuck in.
Having munched, slurped and savoured your way through Thailand’s edible delights, there’s no better memento than learning how to recreate them for yourself. There’s something really special about learning to make Thai food in a family home where, as well as cooking, you get the opportunity to chat with your hosts. Gain a better understanding of everyday life in northern Thailand with the charismatic Mr Prapat. Stroll around his small family garden gathering fresh ingredients before, under his guidance, creating traditional northern Thai recipes and sitting down with the family to enjoy the fruits of your labours.
It can be easy to play it safe with Thai food, heading for well-known dishes time and again. From seafood barbeques on private beaches to fried bugs in Bangkok, our guides will stretch your foodie boundaries whilst leading you to the best versions of your favourites, helping you to discover the deeper layers of Thailand’s cuisine.