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May. 20th, 2010

Thailand Travel Guide: Land of Enchantment and Delight


4) Visit Bangkok

Wrap up your trip by going to Bangkok. Not to be missed is a tour of the resplendent Royal Palace Compound where an Emerald Buddha is displayed.

Ply down the Chao Praya River and view the Floating Markets and river side houses. As you make your way to the Amita Thai Cooking School, owner and chef Tam will instill you with culinary confidence, as you watch and then prepare your own four course meal in her riverside open air kitchen.

End your stay in the Bangkok area with the Aksra Theater with the magic of rod puppets-deftly handled by skilled artists. These artists bring the puppets to life in a superbly staged performance that will leave a lasting memory of your enchanting trip to Thailand.

5) What to Eat: Taste Every Variety of Thai Food

The variety and complexity of flavors, ingredients and spicing of Thai food offers something for every palate--- from simple peasant fare to sophisticated gourmet cuisine. It is virtually impossible to go wrong in choosing either a restaurant or the seductive street fare.

Although you may probably already have your favorite Thai dishes, you'll find subtle differences in each rendition, based on where you are, and the influences of the region. You will of course, find specialties of the area you visit as well.

The cuisine of the north of Thailand is influenced by Laos, Myanmar and China. You will find the mildest spiced dishes here, including an exquisitely aromatic sweet chicken and egg noodle curry dishes garnished with crispy noodles called khao soi that originated in Myanmar.

The cuisine of the south of Thailand is influenced by Malaysia and Indonesia and is notable for some of the most fiery dishes found in Thailand.

Centrally located, Bangkok is influenced by the cuisine of the Royal Thai Kitchens from which come some of the most famous international favorites like tom yum goog (hot and sour shrimp soup) as well as green curry, stir fried and noodle dishes.

Most Thai meals consist of many dishes placed in the middle of the table at the same time. These dishes are meant to be shared by all. A large mound of jasmine rice is served on each plate with a small portion of the dishes placed around the rice.

Thais eat with a fork and spoon, using the fork to push food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are only used for Chinese and noodle dishes. Fresh fruit is usually served at the end of the meal, but be sure to try the wildly popular sweet mango with sticky rice and coconut cream.

Depending on how adventuresome your palate, you can taste some unusual items, usually found in the night markets. This adventure eating will broaden your repertoire and expose you to such deliacies as grilled silk worms, whole roasted frogs the like.

The best way to immerse yourself in the food is to attend one of the many cooking schools for an afternoon or evening hands-on experience with Thai cuisine.

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