Getting to Know Traditional Thai Cuisine

May 28, 2012 by

Eating & Restaurants, Festivals & Events, Things To Do

Taling Chan Floating Market

Food at Taling Chan Floating Market. Photo courtesy of Alpha via Flickr.

Most of us are already fans of Thai food, but traveling to Thailand and sampling the real deal is likely to make you a lifelong devotee. One excellent way to expose yourself to the basics of Thai cuisine is to avail yourself of one of the many Thai cooking school classes designed for travelers looking to learn the ins and outs of Thai cooking in a condensed amount of time.

In Bangkok, an excellent place to pursue your culinary education is the Taling Chan Floating Market. This bustling nexus of platforms on metal pontoons is located on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River. Here you’ll find a profusion of Thai barbecue, deep fried tofu and taro root, crispy sweet dishes made with shredded egg and pork, pork or seafood dumplings, and dozens of other mouth-watering options, all of which are offered up at cut-rate prices.

Among the most exciting and sumptuous celebrations of the intersection of religion and regional cuisine, the annual Vegetarian Festival (or Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods) is celebrated for nine days beginning on the eve of the ninth lunar month (on the Chinese calendar). Throughout the country, the population turns out to dine on delicious food and take in the spectacle of religious revelers performing a wide array of colorful, bizarre, and often violent observances and rituals (pierced cheeks and tongues, fishhooks and needles in the arms, fire walking, etc.). Establishments serving vegetarian-only menus advertise their fare by placing yellow flags in their windows.

- John Reality

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