One of the most enjoyable things about living in Thailand has been my experience with its cuisine. What makes the food even better is how inexpensive it is. Depending on where you are, meals typically range from 50 baht (~$1.40 USD) to 200 baht (~$5.70 USD). One can easily find other types of food (such as Western, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, etc.), but I believe Thai food is an experience of its own.

Ordering food is quite easy, as menus will typically have English next to Thai script. Pictures also make it easy to order. A typical sit-down Thai restaurant will often have simple rice/noodles/soup dishes accompanied by a type of meat cooked a certain way. Thais love to stir-fry their food, which is delicious but also makes finding fresh vegetables difficult.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of foods here aren’t terribly spicy; however, some dishes may be unexpectedly and extremely spicy. It’s useful to learn how to say “not spicy” in Thai (mai ped), depending on your preferences. I’ve had some friends here who were vegans and vegetarians; being a vegan here is difficult but my vegetarian friends have gotten by just fine because there are tofu dishes, curries, etc.

“Pad Thai Tip Samai” is a very famous place in Bangkok for pad Thai. What I ordered was pad Thai wrapped around in an omlette, and it has been my favorite pad Thai here so far.

The food court at Thammasat University also offers a large variety of dishes. My favorite is a simple dish of stir-fried water spinach mixed with pork, served with rice. The meals at university are even cheaper than normal prices because the school receives subsidies. Most meals are around 35 baht (~$1.00 USD). I also love to order desserts and snacks during my breaks in between classes. My favorite is this warm, sweet banana topped with coconut milk.

Below are some more of the desserts I’ve had.

Rachel Tang studied abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, in spring 2017: