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NORTHERN THAILAND'S HIGHLIGHTS

thai romanization
Puzzled about
Thai romanization system ?



Thai food takes pride in its rich heritage, practiced as an art and handed down from generation to generation. It is known for the harmonious blend of flavors created by different ingredients, various cooking styles, and the enthusiastic use of fresh herbs and spices which is the distinctive aspect of Thai food. Thai cuisine has become increasingly popular across the world over the last few decades. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 Thai restaurants around the world.

While Thai food has a reputation for being spicy, Thai food is actually based on a balance between different flavors including spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.  This goes beyond simply combining the flavors within an individual dish to incorporate the contrast in flavors between two or three different dishes, which is one reason Thai people share meals and eat family style. 

Ideally, eating Thai food is a communal affair involving two or more people, principally because the greater the number of diners the greater the number of dishes ordered. Generally speaking, two diners order three dishes in addition to their own individual plates of steamed rice, three diners four dishes, and so on.

The main ingredients in Thai cuisine are garlic, chillis, lemon grass, shallots, coriander, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste and fish sauce. Whether in a curry, spicy soup, or savory salad, the competing and complementing flavors create a harmonious blend that once tasted will never be forgotten. Here are the main components of a Thai meal.

Rice is the staple food for Thais, eaten at every meal.  Thai people basically eat rice with other side dishes. It should be unsurprising to learn then that Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice and that Thai rice includes more than one strain, each of which has its own characteristic and flavor. The most esteemed Thai rice is jasmine rice, sweet-smelling long-grain rice that is indigenous to Thailand. Steamed jasmine rice is the finest rice to accompany most side dishes. 

Another kind of rice eaten in Thailand is sticky rice. It is eaten by hand when served with dishes of northeastern influence, such as grilled chicken and spicy papaya salad (som tam). Moreover, sticky rice is also a crucial ingredient in a favorite Thai dessert, sticky rice and mango.



In Thailand, curry is usually a soupy dish consisting of coconut milk, curry paste and meat. Thai curries tend to be more soup-like compared to Indian curries. It features hot and spicy tastes with colourful ingredients which not only coordinate to boost appetite but also contain medicinal properties.

There are dozens of different types of curries in Thailand varying by the use of various types of curry pastes, the addition of coconut milk or water and different combinations of meats, herbs, and vegetables. The most popular Thai curries among foreigners are green chicken curry and massaman curry.




Curry is a staple dish of Thailand, and in many Thai homes it is eaten on a daily basis. Using ingredients commonly found growing around the home and very little meat, curry is an economical and healthy part of the Thai diet. High in vitamins and rich in protein, it is easily digested when eaten with rice as part of a Thai meal.

A Thai salad is often one of the spiciest Thai dishes and is frequently served as one of the many communal dishes in a meal.  A Thai salad is generally made of raw vegetables mixed with chili, lime, and fish sauce, though some, such as Yam Neua (Thai beef salad) contain meat.

The most internationally recognized Thai salad, Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad), originates in the Northeast of Thailand. Som Tam consists primarily of shredded papaya and is often served with sticky rice and grilled chicken.

Grilling, deep-frying, and stir-frying are dominant cooking techniques for Thai side dishes. Stir-fried dishes are served at almost every meal as they are quick and easy to prepare.  Fish, pork, beef, and chicken are typically cut into bite sized pieces and stir fried with chopped garlic, various vegetables and spices. Some popular side dishes among Thai people are Thai-style Omelette, Fried Fish Cake, and Meat Fried with Sweet Basil.

Unlike typical Thai dishes, which are served for communal consumption, most Thai noodle dishes are served as individual dishes. The most famous noodle dishes are Pad Thai noodles and Khanom Chin or rice noodles in fish curry sauce.

While some restaurants serve Thai noodle dishes, particularly Pad Thai noodles, noodles are more frequently served and eaten at street stalls. There are many kinds of noodle stalls available, for example, fishball noodles, chicken noodles, duck noodles, egg noodles with roasted red pork, beef and meat ball noodles. These noodles can be served with or without soup. Most of these noodle dishes originate from Chinese. The noodles themselves come in different sizes and shapes too.

Generally Thai people will add some condiments in their noodles, which consist of ground dried chilies, chili in vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar.

For those who have never eaten Thai food, the following are some of the most popular dishes among foreigners that you should try. 

  • Tom Yam Kung (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
  • Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad)
  • Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai (Green Chicken Curry)
  • Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
  • Pad Thai (Thai Style Fried Noodle)
  • Yam Nuea (Spicy Beef Salad)
  • Kaeng Phet Pet Yang (Red Curry with Roasted Duck)
  • Thot Man Pla (Fried Fish Cake)
  • Pad Kaphrao  (Meat Fried with Sweet Basil)
  • Kai Ho Bai Toei (Chicken wrapped in Pandan leaves)



Thai food is well known not only for its tastiness, but for its nutritional value as well, as many dishes contain a variety of vegetables and herbs. That’s why many foreign visitors want to learn Thai cooking after trying Thai food, so that they can cook them when they return home. Don’t miss a chance to eat some authentic Thai dishes while you are here.

If you don’t actually like spicy food, you may tell the waiter to make your dishes less spicy. Your Thai food experience will probably become one of the main reasons you love Thailand.


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