Two things that Thailand is probably best known for are its firmly cemented reputation as “The Land of Smiles” and its most famous (and some say its most delectable) food to date, Tom Yum. While most would agree that Thailand is certainly “The Land of Smiles”, thanks to its affable locals who are almost always sporting a ready smile for tourists, many may be more inclined towards other Thai food other than Tom Yum. Here’s a list of four yummy Thai eats you should savour the next time you visit Bangkok, capital city of Thailand, and most certainly a haven for shopping and dining!

Green Curry (Gaeng Kiaw Wan) 

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If Tom Yum is the king of foods in Thailand, then the green curry is arguably the queen. The Thais have a penchant for everything rich and spicy so you can be sure that besides Tom Yum, green curry or Gaeng Kiaw Wan is another signature dish in the menus of Thai eateries. What sets the green curry apart from the other red, yellow or orange-coloured curry variants, is of course, its gloriously green hue which is derived from the combination of green chilies, coriander leaves and coconut milk. But more than just its appearance, the green curry also differs from its counterparts in its taste.

If you are a lover of really spicy dishes, traditional Thai green curry will most definitely appeal to your taste buds. The gravy is made with freshly grounded young chilies and is often regarded as the spiciest curry in Thailand. Green curry also often tastes sweeter thanks to the generous use of coconut milk and more refreshing and aromatic due to the high amounts of lemon grass in it. Thai green curry normally features chicken as its meat ingredient but you can opt for beef, pork or fish when you order yours. Thai chefs really do know their spices, so be sure to order Gaeng Kiaw Wan when you pop by an eatery in Bangkok!

Thai-styled Fried noodles (Pad Thai)

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Hawker food is a perennial favourite among most Malaysians and they hanker for it even when they are holidaying. If you have cravings for Hor Fun, Mee Goreng or Hokkien Mee when vacationing in Bangkok, you can satisfy your palate with something similar in the form of Thai-styled fried noodles or Pad Thai, an iconic Thai hawker dish! Freshly cooked in a searing hot hawker’s wok, fistfuls of translucent, thin, chewy Kway Teow like noodles are stir-fried with fish sauce, onions and eggs, succulent shrimps, pork, chicken or fish and chewy beansprouts to produce a dish the locals are proud to call their own.

To top it off, Pad Thai is usually served with a sprinkling of white sugar, crunchy peanut shavings, dried chilli flakes and a squeeze of lime for that extra oomph. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy all at once in a single bite. Pad Thai is certainly a yummy and economical hawker-esque dish you would not want to miss when you are in Bangkok!

Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad)

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Thailand holds the reputation as the second largest rice exporter in the world after India. As a leading rice producer and exporter, it is natural that the country’s eateries also offers a multitude of mouth-watering rice dishes. And if you are in Bangkok, you should most definitely try its classic Thai fried rice or Khao Pad.

The sceptics among us probably cannot help but feel that fried rice is cannot be that different wherever you have it. The proof of the fried rice is, however, in the eating. You will have to taste Khao Pad for yourself to believe that it is indeed a cut above its regional counterparts. The secret lies in the rice. While the rice served in most Malaysian eateries are usually plain, unscented or at best a less fragrant but cheaper variety of Jasmine rice, Thai restaurants and even many of their hawker places serve only the best Thai long grain variety of rice.

What’s more, Khao Pad also triumphs in the taste department with its winning combination of ingredients rarely used in local fried rice including exotic herbs, Thai spices, fish sauce, lime juice and even crab. Of course, there is the usual egg, onion, prawns and meat and the hands of a skillful Thai chef to make this seemingly ordinary dish into an absolute gastronomic delight!

Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

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It is all too easy to overindulge when we are enjoying our holidays overseas and more so when we are in a culinary capital like Bangkok where we have good and cheap food at every turn. Yes, and indeed, it is hard to miss a Som Tam cart when you are sauntering down the streets of Bangkok. Som Tam is a Thai green papaya salad and perhaps the country’s most famous salad.

This refreshing and healthy salad typically made from a myriad of sweet, savoury, sour, zesty and crunchy ingredients including green papaya, dried shrimps, tomatoes, beansprouts, peanuts, basil leaves tossed and slathered with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and tamarind juice is a must-try if you love salads and the taste of different textures and flavours bursting in your mouth.

You should also have Som Tam as a light and wholesome snack for dinner if you are simply overstuffed from breakfast and lunch in Food Paradise Bangkok during your gastronomic exploits. You will not regret one second devouring this luscious yet calories-friendly salad that is delicious and filling, reminiscent of a main course yet pleasing and light on the palate like an appetiser or a dessert.

Hungry much? Book your flights early and gather your awesome foursome for your next holiday trip to Bangkok and through merchants like Expedia or AirAsiaGo to enjoy these four iconic and Thai-licious dishes. If you’re not sure what else to do in Bangkok, check out our Bangkok Travel Guide for more tips, tricks and deals.

*Featured Image Credit: | Pexels