“Food is everything we are, it’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethinic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get go.” -Anthony Bourdain
One of the best ways to experience a country’s culture is by eating the food. The amazing thing to be discovered in Asia is that you can do this without having to sacrifice your health or wallet. There are so many delicious, flavorful and exciting options that actually nourish your body at the same time as satisfying your stomach. The food tends to be fresher an filled with herbs and spices. You may try these foods in your country but there is nothing like trying the authentic food in the home land. Some of my most memorable experiences abroad are having meals with locals in their home.
1. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the epitome of health and wellness that I found in Asia. I am not a vegan but I could happily and easily be one living in this paradise. There are too many incredibly mouthwatering places to eat, that don’t just taste good but are good for you. Vegetarian or not, there is something to meet your tastebuds. There are endlessly beautiful smoothy bowls, turmeric and charcoal drinks to detox and buddha bowls to fill your belly. Here are a couple of my favorite places:
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
I was impressed with the city of Chiang Mai in so many ways, including the cuisine. Thai food is incredible, and Chiang Mai does not disappoint. I stayed in the trendy Nimmanhaemin area of the city with so many wonderful places to wander for a fabulously cheap massage or food of any kind. I didn’t capture enough of it, but the street food was also amazing. A couple of my favorite finds were:
3. Chengdu, Sichuan
Chengdu is my home away from home and the spicy cuisine capitol of China. It took some getting used to, but once I did it created a new love for spicy food. Real Chinese food is nothing like that you find in those little take out boxes in America. Every region has their own flavor and special dishes. I got to travel to many areas across the country and the Sichuan cuisine remained my favorite.
4. Northern India
I could go on and on about my experience in India and a big part of what made it so amazing was the food. I would say the Indian food I have tried before going to India was that of the northern cuisine. I did not understanding the differences between the food in different regions. I don’t have good examples from the food I tasted in the south but the state of Kerala has amazing food as well. The food in Kerala had more seafood, a different spice mixture and the bread was more of the crispy or spongy type that I would describe as a sourdough flavor. I am not good to explain but you can definitely taste the difference, both equally tasty.
Spending a few months in Singapore I did not get the chance to try all the places I would have wanted, but there is no shortage of options in this beautifully clean, safe and high tech city that at times feels like you have stepped into the future. With the population so diverse and consisting of Chinese, Malay, Tamil and more, the opportunity for varying authentic food is on every corner. The best place to find these are at the many hawker centers scattered all around the city. I did not take enough food pictures while I was there but below was a small hawker center in my neighborhood.
6. Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam has a special place in my heart. It was my first real overseas experience as well as solo travel, plus the food is some of my favorite. Vietnamese cuisine is filled with fresh herbs and flavor. Pho may be the most well known dish, but there is so much more deliciousness beyond that.
These are just a few of the many incredible things and places to eat around these countries. I feel like I have only touched the surface. I can’t wait to continue to discover more amazing flavors around the world.
love, health and happiness,