Vegan Food Quest: Veggin’ Out and About In Bangkok, Thailand!

by VeganMush Caryl

 

Caryl Eyers Embarking On Her Vegan Adventure!

Caryl Eyers Embarking On Her Vegan Adventure!

 

So here begins the Vegan Food Quest, my search for vegan food around the globe. I’m traveling with my husband, who after many years of living with me has become somewhat of an expert in seeking out of food I can eat. So, he’s been recruited to be in charge of logistics, which plays to his strengths of being super organized, observant and adventurous all at the same time. After months of planning and packing and a few weeks of emotional goodbyes, we left our home in England and flew to Bangkok where as soon as we stepped off the train from the airport, we were bombarded by all sorts of smells and sounds from the busy streets which were packed with people cooking food, selling their wares and going about their daily business. Its an experience that I will never tire of.

Bankok Sunset

Bangkok Sunset

 

Bangkok is not everyone’s cup of tea, but we love the life and energy that it exudes: its busy, noisy, hot and dirty and its packed with people. It’s a thriving city that presents opportunities to eat the most amazing food in all sorts of different places.

Bangkok Protest Stage

Bangkok Protest Stage

 

Being a planner, I’d done a lot of research before we left home and had a list of vegan and vegetarian restaurants to try out in Bangkok, but our plans were changed by a huge political protest that was underway. The ‘Shutdown Bangkok, Restart Thailand’ demonstrations were going on all through the city. Althought they were peaceful when we passed through,  at some of the demonstration sites the demonstrators were a target for violence.  Each day attacks on the protestors were becoming more frequent. This meant that travel around the city was restricted; some of the places that I wanted to go to were off limits as they were in the middle of, or very near, some of the main protest sites.

 

 Bangkok Protests Crowd

Bangkok Protests Crowd

 

Not be put off, we set our sights on exploring the local area around the hotel and in the 6 days that we were in Bangkok we ate some pretty memorable meals. A trip to the night market on  Sukhumvit Soi 59 resulted in a veganized version of  “Pad Thai’ from a vendor whose sign boasted “Award winning Pad Thai” on the side of his cart. Behind his cart he had a few giant woks that seemed to be in constant use as he stir-fried dish after dish for his customers.

I grabbed a spot at a table and my husband went to negotiate a vegan version of this famous Thai dish which included a lot of waving, pointing and some very basic Thai (“kin jey” being the closest description to veganism in that most Thai people understand). And then we waited, and waited…  We watched dishes arrive at neighboring tables.  We watched tons of freshly cooked food being taken away in polystyrene trays, disappearing with people on motorbikes, and stared hungrily at the stall in the hope we were next. We started to doubt that they had understood what we wanted, our hunger growing by the minute as the smells of food wafted over us, clouds of garlic and chili hanging in the air.

 

Vegan Pad Thai

Vegan Pad Thai

 

Then, out of nowhere, we saw a Thai woman carrying two plastic plates of food and heading in our direction!  My vegan Pad Thai was heaped high in the middle of the plate, steaming hot and packed with vegetables. A squeeze of lime, a cautionary sprinkle of the dried chili that comes with it and I was I was in noodle heaven, without an egg, shrimp or fish sauce in sight.   We celebrated our first Vegan Food Quest success by finishing every last mouthful!

 

There aren’t many things as pleasurable as sitting in the middle of a lively night market with the atmosphere assaulting every one of your senses, eating a plate of the freshest, tastiest pad thai. I was ready to head there again for the next meal until we visited a raw food vegan restaurant called Rasayana Retreat (some dishes contain honey and so its probably fairer to call it a 99% vegan restaurant).

 

Rasayana Pizza

Rasayana Pizza

 

I’ve been to raw food restaurants before and enjoyed them but was never really blown away. I’ve even dragged my husband to them on a few occasions, where he remained unimpressed and thought it was all a bit over rated. Rasayana Retreat though was on a whole other level and went straight in to our top 5 favorite eating experiences of all time (which is high acclaim as my husband isn’t a vegan). To put it simply Rasayana Retreat serves up the tastiest raw food I have ever eaten. So good that for days after I was seriously considering a life of raw veganism, after all, if food could taste this good and make you feel amazing after eating it, what other decision is there to make? So healthy, so fresh and animal- free; this was plant-based living at its best.

 

Rasayana Taquitos

Rasayana Taquitos

 

We ate ‘pizza’ with a crunchy flax seed base, laden with a rich tomato sauce, raw veggies and fresh pineapple and smothered in a creamy macadamia nut cheese sauce. We had the most amazing ‘taquito cups’ made from dehydrated vegetables and nuts, filled with a crunchy slaw and topped off with a fresh and spicy salsa. And then came dessert – a creamy lime torte that was light, creamy and rich all at the same time.

 

Rasayana Lemon Lime Torte

Rasayana Lemon Lime Torte

 

It was so good we went back for seconds the next day sampling their raw ‘spaghetti’ dishes and marveling over how they could get so much flavor into one plate of food. We had double desserts (as I couldn’t decide between the banoffee pie and the banana ice cream) and our Vegan Food Quest was in serious danger of ending only a few days after it began as I began to suggest perhaps we could move to Bangkok and eat at Rasayana Retreat every day.

 

Rasayana Banofee Pie

Rasayana Banofee Pie

 

Luckily, my well organized planner come husband had already booked us train tickets out of Bangkok and so armed with newly purchased raw food snacks (they also do takeaway much to my delight) and some lovely fresh spring rolls and brown rice that we found in The Emporium Market in the mall around the corner from our hotel, we boarded our train and left Bangkok in search of new delights.

 

Onto train and another leg of Caryl's vegan adventure!

Onto a train and another leg of Caryl’s vegan adventure!

 

VeganMush Caryl has recently left her beloved home in England to brave new worlds in search of adventure and exotic vegan foods throughout Southeast Asia. Join Caryl as she goes Veggin’ Out and About through Southeast Asia! Check out Caryl’s blog! 

1 Comment

  1. It’s fantastic to see that you’ve not had too hard a time discovering veg food in Bangkok as the last time we were there we didn’t have the easiest time finding vegetarian food; though it wasn’t impossible by any means.

    Really glad to have found another travelling veggie blog 🙂

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