What can you not eat in Thailand? (5 basic rules)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What can you not eat in Thailand? We will discuss the basics of eating and drinking safely in Thailand, and how to enjoy the flavors and ingredients of Thai cuisine without worrying about your health. 

What can you not eat in Thailand?

In Thailand, you have to pay attention to the consumption of water, which must be drunk, bottled or previously boiled, as well as vegetables, especially in rural areas. You should avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and eating beef or pork that does not offer a minimum of hygienic guarantees.

Also, pay attention to alcohol. Several sources and events with tourists warn about possibly adulterated alcohol consumption in tourist areas.

In Thailand, one of the most popular traditions is street food – the famous street food. Even Thais have started to stop cooking at home and eat exclusively on the street. 

Look at two things when you decide to eat on the street – if the place is frequented, preferably, by Thais, and if you want meat, look where it is stored (it can be in full sun, for hours). Because of the spices, you won’t normally feel it spoiled. Vegetarians will have no problem finding food.

Tap water is not really drinkable (rumor has it that in Bangkok it would be…), so be sure to buy bottled water (Thailand is full of non-stop shops type 7-11 and even the cheapest hotels will leave a bottle of water in the room). Be careful not to open the seal and fill it with tap water.

Avoid problems with food when visiting Thailand 

Here are the basic tips to follow to eat and drink safely in Thailand:

Drink bottled water, it’s cheap and you can find it in any 7-Eleven or supermarket, all of them open 24 hours in tourist areas.

Be careful where you drink coffee and smoothies, any drink that has water will be from the tap. There are usually no problems with coffee, but street fruit smoothies do make some people feel bad.

Do not buy already cooked food from street stalls without people nearby. The products are always fresh, they do not have a refrigerator, so they are cooked daily. Unless it just opened, they may have been there for hours, basking in the sun and surrounded by flies. Take advantage!

The Spice. I do not know how to explain this well. Spices not only are used a lot in cooking, Thais have a lot of tolerance and it’s very strong for the average Western palate. In tourist areas, they usually take it into account and offer it separately. The more local the site, the more often it will be incorporated into the recipe. But don’t worry, they will always offer you three or four other types of spicy condiments with your plate of food in case it tastes too little.

If you are one of those who only get killed by silver bullets, don’t worry. Except for the spicy, you don’t have to be more careful with food than visiting other Asian or Latin American countries.

And if you accept my advice, don’t miss the delicious Thai cuisine. Whether on the street, in restaurants, or in suspicious garage-kitchens run by old women, you will find interesting flavors and mixes. A practical kitchen that is inspired by much of the Asian culinary tradition but with its own style.

Other FAQs about Thai Food which you may be interested in.

Should you eat Thai food with chopsticks?

The flavors and ingredients of Thai cuisine

Thai cuisine is based on an ancient yin and yang of the world: the combination and perfect balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty flavors – all in the same dish. We might find strange slices of juicy mango spiced with spicy spices, but expect to be pleasantly impressed once you taste them.

As a tourist in Bangkok, you will soon find out that Thais are in love with curry – yellow, green, red. Curry is, by definition, a sauce in which a wide variety of spices and herbs are mixed. However, Thai curry is distinguished by the presence of coconut milk, which turns the sauce into something creamy and slightly sweet, just right to balance hot peppers or strong ginger.

Other flavors you will encounter are lemongrass, galangal (ginger-like), soy sauce, coriander, garlic, hot peppers, kaffir lime leaves, basil, mint, onions, limes, palm sugar.

Fish sauce is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine, used to flavor dishes and to season rice, noodles, soups, salads, and appetizers.

Rice is considered the most precious grain, so you will find it everywhere, while noodles will accompany soups and other dishes.

Thailand places great value on fruits and vegetables, so here you can enjoy fruits and vegetables that you know and love, but also some exotic vegetables: bamboo, water chestnuts, banana flowers.

If in terms of meat, chicken ranks first in the menu, fish and seafood have the status of a cult, especially in Bangkok. Thais have a real veneration for everything that comes from the sea, so you must try seafood cooked in coconut milk or steamed fish in banana leaves.


We remind you that when visiting Thailand, you should pay attention to the consumption of water, as well as vegetables, especially in rural areas. You should avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and eating beef or pork that does not offer a minimum of hygienic guarantees.

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