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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 03, 2019
Headline for The Do's and Don'ts of Eating in Bangkok - Food Etiquette to Follow When Dining in the Thai Capital
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Do's and Don'ts of Eating in Bangkok - Food Etiquette to Follow When Dining in the Thai Capital

As one of the world's top foodie hubs, Bangkok offers visitors a plethora of diverse culinary treats. Here are some do's and don'ts when wining and dining in the Thai capital.


Hit the Mall Food Courts for Delicious Grub

Unlike most other holiday hotspots and even Western nations, mall food is not undesirable in Bangkok. In fact, the food courts in Bangkok's plush malls offer some of the best restaurants and meal options available in the city. What's more, dining in a mall is a great way to enjoy a meal without braving the Bangkok heat and humidity while the sheer variety of food outlets occupying the food courts allows visitors a wider range of choice. Terminal 21 is one mall where some of the city's top street food vendors have set up shop. Hygienically prepared, the ease of access to several cuisines in one location is one of the main draws of mall dining in Bangkok.


Don't Forget Chinatown

As in most global cities, Bangkok's Chinatown area which is concentrated around Yaowarat Road is among the best food streets in the city if not the country at large. A large number of Chinese restaurants and street food vendors means the area is a bustling food hub throughout the day although cheap eats may be harder to find here. Chinatown is also ideal for bar hoppers and those in search of local beverages. Enjoy a pint at Teens of Thailand or Wa's Gin Bar and relish the flavour of local alcoholic drinks.


Speak Up on Spice Tolerance

Spicy food is part and parcel of all dining experiences in Thailand and Bangkok is no exception. Western diners and those who come from nations where spices are used sparingly may encounter heartburn and serious discomfort when eating out in Bangkok if they don't verbalise their spice needs. Whether one is ordering food from a food cart on the street or a fine dining establishment, always inquire as to the spiciness of the dish and whether the chef can reduce the spiciness to meet your own requirements. Don't be foolhardy and assume that one can handle the spiciness of most Thai dishes just because one likes Chinese food or Mexican food as these culinary schools differ from Thailand's own cooking style and in terms of the ingredients.


Cheap Doesn't Mean Poor Quality

Unlike most tourist hotspots where cheap food usually means one's asking for indigestion or food poisoning, Bangkok's cheap eats are of higher quality. The affordability of meals in Bangkok is caused due to the exchange rate of the Thai baht versus the US dollar, for example, as well as the fact that most vendors keep prices low to attract more customers. Most locals eat from street food vendors throughout the day but are in no way subject to stomach related ailments or issues so don't be afraid to try something new when travelling around Bangkok. Visitors based at Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel or any similar riverside hotel in Bangkok will encounter many food stalls along the riverside and in the floating markets of the Chao Praya River.