Just like its other southeastern neighbors, street food is everywhere is Thailand. Just walking down the food district streets can bring smells of grilled meats, sweet spices and exotic fruits. Every small shop is a little different, some with dishes sure to knock your socks off, and others that might possibly make you run in the other direction!

Imagine going to a fair or carnival with food stands and stalls lines up everywhere. This is exactly what it’s like in a Thai street food market. Instead of corndogs and lemon shake-ups, Typical Thai staples that you’ll find on the street include marinated and grilled meat skewers, bowls of hearty soups and stews and even fried local bananas. All of which, by the way, are absolutely delicious.

Thai food is something special. By blending fresh herbs, indigenous spices and flavors they have achieved a harmonious blend of spicy and sweet that you just can’t find anywhere else. Unlike most street food that you eat and then forget about a few hours later (unless your stomach disagrees with you), Thai street food has a memorable flavor that hungry travelers come back for again and again.

When perusing the various shops and stalls on the streets of Thailand, make sure to use common sense. If something doesn’t look quite right its best to pass on it. Although you can find some of the best food you’ve ever had on the streets of Thailand, you can also find some of the worst food sanitation practices in all of Asia. Use your natural freshness detector (your nose) and only visit the shops that are busy. The cheap meat skewers the lonely food merchant in the corner (that isn’t getting any business) is selling might seem like a great deal, but there’s a reason his stand isn’t very popular.

For Americans that aren’t used to indigenous Thai foods take the advice of the locals. Our western digestion habits are vastly different than a Thai local. Foods they readily enjoy like nuclear-hot chilies, insects and other exotic specialties can cause a civil war in your stomach after a few hours. Most locals will let you know what foods Americans should probably stay away from.

Rustic Thai Street food can surprisingly be one of the best meals you’ve ever had or quite possibly one of the worst. Use your eyes and ears and don’t be afraid to talk to the locals. They are usually more

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