|Eating the Thai Way|
There are so m a n y c u l i n a r y options on Phuket that it is often quite bewildering. Italian, French, Japanese, Mexican – they can all be found, from town to around the island. Plenty of restaurants serve delicious Thai fare, from Royal cuisine to regional offerings. But if you are here on holiday then you owe it to yourself to try something different. You need to try some of the dishes that sustain Thai people day to day and go home having eaten the country's real favourites. Food stalls are where the majority of Thai people eat on a daily basis. You will see them at the side of the road scattered all over the island.
Perhaps you are a little scared to try the local delicacies, having heard stories of stomach complaints and hygiene issues, but the majority of food stalls, although cooking in a simple way, actually have extremely good health standards, and the big "Clean Food, Good Taste" signs with the smiling chef that are placed in a lot of these stalls indicate they have been checked and passed for quality control. Another indicator is how many Thai people are already eating at the stalls.The more popular a food station, the fresher the food, as it is constantly being cooked and sold. You will also find that certain dishes are sold at different times of the day, so here's a guide to the street feast.Breakfast
While not being food you might recognize as normal morning fare, Thai breakfasts are generally available from early morning until about 11am. Fried chicken is a popular choice and much tastier than KFC, while "Kanom Chin" - thin noodles in green curry sauce is not for the faint-hearted as it tends to be very spicy, but fabulously tasty. For less strong constitutions Khao Tom - rice soup with chicken and garlic - is a great option, and also popular as a remedy for hangovers and bad stomachs.
Lunch & Dinner
Throughout the rest of the day there are a lot of options available and you will find that most food stalls specialize in one particular type of dish. "Khao Man Gai", which is chicken rice with a rich, spicy brown sauce is one of the most commonly found dishes. "Gway Teo Nam" or noodle soup with lots of vegetables and fish balls or shredded pork is also a popular choice. "Som Tam" of course is eaten daily by many Thai people. It is a spicy papaya salad with peanuts , lemon and chili and an invigorating snack or starter. For a more substantial feed, North Eastern food like "Larb" with minced pork, herbs and spices is also plentiful and often comes with sticky rice. Good desserts are a little thinner on the ground, but the most delicious sweet snack is definitely mango and sticky rice with coconut milk, of course only available when mangoes are in season.Sometimes food stalls have a few small tables outside with childsized chairs next to them so you can eat right on the spot, watching the local life pass by. Another option is to order take-away. But don't be surprised if rather than the usual foam container, you receive a clear plastic bag with your lunch carefully tied at the top with an elastic band. You then take this back to your place of residence, decant onto a plate and dig in – or eat straight from the bag if you can't wait that long.This type of food is not only plentiful, delicious and usually extremely fresh, but also unbelievably cheap. So if you are on a budget there is no better way to fill up and experience local cuisine at the same time. Even if you aren't short of cash, you can certainly spice up your holiday by trying some authentic local delicacies, so leap in and enjoy some of the best food on the island.