Love for food and love for travel often walk hand in hand. You simply cannot just visit a new place and not try all the delectable delicacies that they offer. Some times its all about exploring the authentic specialties and novelties that you won’t find anywhere else in the world and other times its all about making a connection with the people and the culture of a destination. In other words – Food is an essential part of the whole travelling experience.
When we talk about food, we don’t only mean Michelin Starred or fine dining restaurants for that matter, we also mean the humble and closer to earth street side eateries and food stalls. True flavors of a culture are widely showcased at these stalls where you can eat to your heart’s content without burning a hole in your pocket.
Truly there is no better way to learn about a country’s history, culture and people other than having a seat among them on plastic stools set by the busy streets and enjoying bowls of scrumptious food while sharing stories and experiences.
When we talk about food and culture, Asia shines through the crowds of continents like Africa and Europe. To define what it is like to travel through Asia, just these words are enough – Rich culture and good food. Due to its vastness and its distinctive cultures, you can bet your buck that you will find loads of unique and unparalleled dishes throughout the continent.
Let’s take a walk through some of the Asian cities that are synonymous with great food:
1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
So, you heard about Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia being a foodie’s paradise! This was enough for you to book your flights and arrange for your Malaysia visa to explore the diverse Asian food options. But how do you go about it? The capital city, KL has many jalans (a street or road in Malaysia) where foodies unite to experience the fusion of flavors by various culinary cultures along with Malaysia’s very own, making it one of the most diverse food scenes in the South East Asia. Although Penang’s George Town has an equally happening street food scene, Kuala Lumpur takes the spot. There’s so much more to Malaysian street food than just Satay, an assortment of vegetarian, non vegetarian, sea food and sweet dishes like, Nasi Lemak, Ikan Bakar, Ramly Burger, Rojak, Cendol, Nasi Kandar, Roti Canai, Assam Laksa, Lok Lok, Char Kway Teow, etc. served by various hawkers will surely get your taste buds dancing with joy. Make sure you include Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang and Taman Connaught Market in your Malaysia itinerary as these places are a must visit for street food lovers. Andif you want to experience it like the local way , you can opt to join a Night Vespa Food Tour and get zooming through these streets on a vespa.
2. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is the soul of Asian food! It not only serves food along the streets and roads but also in various floating markets of Thailand such as Khlong Lat Mayom, Bang Nam Pheung, Bang Nok Kwaek, etc. The quality of food can be judged solely on the fact that it is the home of “Jay Fai” a Michelin Star awarded street side restaurant, that is run by 74 years old Raan Jay Fai. Street food in Thailand is not all about “Pad Thai” and “Mango Sticky Rice” or “fried insects”, it is so much more than that! It has fried Banana fritters, Kway Teow Rua (Boat Noodles), Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Tom yum Goong, Khao Pad Poo (Pineapple fried rice served in a hollowed out pineapple), Kai Jeow, Roti Gluay, Kanom Jeeb, Khanom Bueang (Thai Crepes), Guay Teow, Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, Khao Neow Mamuang, and the list goes on and on. Confused with choices? Looking for company to explore the famous Yaowarat in Chinatown with? You can join specialized food tours in which an experienced food guide will take you on a gastronomic tour of Yeowarat. Moreover, Thailand is one such destination that is insanely easy to travel to; easy on the wallet with cheap Thai tour packages, easy to obtain Thailand visa and overall easy to plan a holiday and have the time of your life.
3. Singapore, Singapore
Singapore should top your bucket list! Not because of the easy, online Singapore visa application process, but also because of the amazing food scene. The first ever Michelin star to be awarded to a hawker was awarded to Liao Fan Hawker Chan, this shows the class of Singapore’s street food. A heaven for foodies with a mixture of multi ethnic cuisines like Chinese, Malay and Indian, Singapore will surely satisfy your every craving. Scattered with UNESCO recognized hawker center, food markets and food stalls through out the city you are never too far from experiencing new dishes, new tastes and new flavors. If this is not enough, the hygiene practices and safety regulations at hawker centers have made Singapore’s street food “safest” even for people with delicate stomach. Laksa, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chilli Crab, Mee Hoon Goreng, Nasi Goreng, Bak Kut Teh, Kaya Toast, Roti Prata, Satay with Ketupat, Hokkien Prawn Mee, Soup Kambing (Mutton soup),etc. are just a few of the multi cuisine Asian food delights you can experience. For the best foodie experience, join a food tour that will take you through various food hubs like Lau Pa Sat, Newton Food Circus, Chomp Chomp, etc.
4. Jakarta, Indonesia
No fuss, lively and spicy, are short and simple words that aptly capture the essence of Indonesia’s street food. A versatile blend of Chinese, Indian, Javanese, and Balinese cultures, Indonesian street food represents the city’s diversity. Not limited to Sambal or the 5 national dishes of Soto, Gado-Gado, Satay or Sate, Rendang and Nasi Goreng, the road side stalls also sell freshly made Ayam Bakar Taliwang, Ikan Bakar, Pepes, Bebek Goreng, Soto Betawi, Nasi Padang, Bakso, Kue Pancong, etc. With Pisang Goreng Sambal Roa being a famous “on-the-go” snack, you will always be munching some thing or the other even when you are on the move. While travelling to Indonesia is trouble-free due to the Indonesia visa on arrival facility, it can be difficult to pick right spots to truly experience the authentic flavors of Asian food, hence booking our all inclusive Indonesia tour packages will take you along a night filled with fun, food and flavors is never a bad idea.
5. Seoul, South Korea
After the rise of K-Pop, K-Dramas and K-Beauty products, its now time for K-Food to make its mark. Making its presence known all over the world through main stream media and quickly becoming a hot favourite among tourists, South Korea is already an icon in itself and be assured that the food is equally iconic. From filling meals to easy to munch on snacks, South Korean pojangmacha located at Gwangjang Market and Myeongdong Street Food Alley in Seoul, cater to your every need. We have all seen the mouth watering dishes like Gimbap and Bibimap served along side Kimchi in various K-Dramas, but apart from these, Bossam, Tteokbokki, Soondae, Mandu, Dakgangjeong, Eomuk, Bap Burger, Twigim, Bindaetteok, Patbingsoo, Gilgeori Toast, etc. also dominate the street food market. If you feel like going on a culinary adventure to experience this unique cuisine you can go for a 14 days tour of Asian Food offered across the country to get a true taste of South Korea. South Korea may be heavy on the wallet but our South Korea holiday packages that include South Korea visa, flights, accommodation are not.
6. Mumbai, India
The coastal city of Mumbai offers everything from fine dining luxurious restaurants to street side stalls selling food for every palate. It houses not 1 or 2 but 12 streets famously known as Khau Galli – literally meaning food street, selling everything from sweet to savoury! Offering an amalgamation of food from every region of the country and the country’s neighbors alike, Mumbai’s street food is bound to offer comfort to anyone who is feeling home-sick. We have already made a “Mumbai Street Food Guide” listing all the amazing Asian food delicacies and the famous joints to check out, but if you want a guided tour, check this out or keep an eye out on No Footprints (NFP Explore’s) Facebook or Instagram pages, as they frequently organise them.
7. Tokyo, Japan
Japan is synonymous with perfection, so there is no doubt that the Asian food available will be perfect as well. From no contact cafes where food is served on conveyor belts to robots serving in hotels and from crazy expensive Wagyu and Kobe beef being sold in high class restaurants, to Sushi bars suited for every budget and hole in the wall outlets selling dirt cheap bowls of Miso Ramen, Japan has it all. Firm believers of kuidaore (eat until you drop), the love of food is deeply rooted in the Japanese culture. Varieties of Udon, Soba and Tempura along with Okonomiyaki, Kushikatsu, Katsu, Yakitori grilled chicken skewers, Takoyaki, Hakata Ramen, Motsunabe, Mizutaki, Iwashi Mentaiko, Chicken Tsukune, Tonkutsu Ramen, Hakata Gyoza, etc. could be spotted all over the yatai – open air food stands, scattered along the streets.Join along a food tour and learn all about exquisite Japanese food from an experienced guide. Dreaming of a Japanese holiday already?? Make it a reality with our all-inclusive tour Packages and hassle-free Japan visa process.
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
A medley of authentic Vietnamese cuisine and French cuisine, Vietnamese food scene is so much more than just Pho and spring rolls. Made up of the local staple produce such as rice, pork, meat, lemongrass and fish sauce etc and with heavy French influence Banh mi, Banh Da Tron, Vietnamese hot pot, Com Tam, Cha Ca La Vong, Bun Cha, Banh Cuon, Gia Truyen, Nem Cua Be, Muc Nuong, Bahn Xeo, are just some of the known jewels in the crown of Vietnamese food. A thousand year old history plus scenic beauty and lip smacking Asian food, just makes the visit much more memorable. Looking for budget holiday packages for Vietnam? Save on your holiday when you bundle flight + Vietnam visa + hotel on Akbartravels.com.
8. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
It is not surprising to see why Cambodia is a preferred destination for most travellers! Affordable, simple Cambodia eVisa process, friendly locals and impeccable food. The hustling food scene in Cambodia proves how much the locals love to eat. Low cost, best flavour and a sure shot bargain in terms of portion, Cambodian food fills the hole in your stomach without making a hole in your pocket. The city’s night market serves mouth watering Lort Cha,Num Pang, Nom Banh Chok, Num Plae Ai, Bai Sach Chrouk, Amok Fish, Lok Lak, Mi Char, Kuy Teav, Num Sang Khya L’peou, Ngeav Chamhoy, variety of Khmer Snacks including Khmer Cakes, etc. alongside fresh fruits available as per the season. Although Cambodian cuisine is not widely known in the Asian food category, you need not be afraid to give it a try, join other foodies and take a walk through various sites and beautiful scenery with a belly full of good food.
For us Asians, food is an integral part of our culture. We use food to express our emotions be it of love, happiness or gratitude. It is a part of our heritage that we pass along to our younger generations and love to share with our visitors. It won’t be wrong to say that Asian food is truly food for the soul, the ultimate comfort food. There are many variations of classic dishes available all over the world, but to get the real authentic taste you must visit these cities at least once in your life time.
- The Ultimate Thai Street Food Guide
- Roti, Rice and Everything Nice: The Singapore Food Guide
- Food that you shouldn’t miss when in Singapore
- 11 Thai Food Specialties That Will Leave You Craving For More
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