Guest post by Bhavna Kapoor (Plant-based health coach)
I have heard of vegetarians living off a French fries diet when travelling across a country like Thailand. Going vegan, one would imagine is even worse. But not if you happen to be a fruit lover!
Guavas, mangoes, pineapple, papayas, passion fruit, jackfruit, oranges, persimmons, you will find plenty, everywhere you go, including night markets, flea markets and tourist hotspots. Some shops even keep fresh fruit juices. I loved passion fruit! And I must admit I was also brave enough to try durian juice.
I say brave because this ‘king of fruit’ smells of dead rats or rotting onions (its true!)
Delicious Street food!
Fruits and juices apart, there’s some other pretty interesting Thai food right on the streets, by default vegan. Look out for sticky rice and mango pudding (quite a yummy meal by itself) on almost any menu. This is basically 3 things – sticky rice, mango and coconut milk.
Do ensure they don’t add a dollop of butter on your rice though, as some places have started doing of late.
You may also find Thai rice pancakes, which are basically steamed dumplings made with rice flour, coconut milk and sugar. Quite delicious again! We were lucky to find street salad bars at a couple of night markets, and if you skip the dressings and just go for lemon instead, these can be quite a refreshing healthy vegan meal too!
Places you cannot miss!
The Evason Resorts, Hua Hin (3 hours drive from Bangkok) is number one on my list. It would be crime to come here and not order their delicious raw-vegan tiramisu and pizza! And that is because the resort is home to Mathew Kenny Culinary Academy.
Mathew Kenny culinary (for those who don’t know) happens to be one of the foremost academies for Gourmet raw vegan cuisine. So the best was only to be expected!
One can find some superb vegan options in their breakfast menu, such as green smoothies, spirulina flavoured cashew milk, stir fries and noodles. They also have refreshing selection of vegan salads, my favorite one being avocado and mango salad. And when you can actually get to order a cold press organic green juice from the bar menu, you know this is your favorite bar!
Another favorite in Thailand turned out to be a quaint little café in the heart of the bustling Chaweng Road in Koh Samui by the name of Yogi Café. We tried their Lebanese platter and pizza and both turned out quite yummy. Everything else looked quite inviting too and I do wish we had the chance to try out more food here (perhaps next time).
If you really want to taste some of the most delicious Vegan smoothies in Thailand, you’ve got to be up for some adventure.
Tucked away in one remote corner of Koh Phangon (basically a ferry ride and a boat ride away from Koh Samui that lands you on a beach of white seashells) lies the Sanctuary Thailand.
This place has some amazing smoothies and a generous amount of vegan food on their menu. My favorite one was the choco-mint smoothie and the mango passion fruit green smoothie. They also have some good must try salads, burgers, raw pastas and desserts.
What makes it all perfect is the setting of the clear blue seas and merging skies right in front of the restaurant.
Apart from these, one can expect to find some vegan food at Indian restaurants (in all major cities). I tried some in Koh Samui and quite liked the taste of home.
Overall though the vegan food scene is still too tiny compared to the main stream sea food scene, but I was delighted by all that I did find.