Thai food encompasses a variety of cuisines with exceptional tastes and unique flavours. While being known for its spiciness, Thai food balances well the flavours of saltiness, sweetness, sourness and spice. The special use of regional ingredients and cooking techniques shapes the distinctive tastes of each dish.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Southern Thai Cuisine

Seafood makes up most of the signature dishes that you can find in the southern region. This region is famous for sugar palms and coconuts and so these are the main ingredients in many dishes. The local food palette in this region is known for favouring hot and quite spicy foods utilising chillies and curry pastes. To experience some of the best dishes available, visit one of the many restaurants in Koh Samui and look at their special’s menus. While staying at most luxury hotels such as Avani Chaweng Samui, you will be spoiled for choice of cuisine. However, don’t forget to step out and experience some of the best street food the islands have to offer for yourself.

Central Thai Cuisine

The well-known classic dishes, such as Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry Chicken or fish, and Pad Thai are all from the central region of Thailand. With a fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine influencing many dishes, the palate of food you will find here is more of a mellower taste that is more salty and sweet with a tang of sourness brought about by the flavours of the coconut milk, soy sauce, bean paste, and of course, oyster sauce.

Northeastern Thai Cuisine

This region, known locally as Isan, is famous for dishes that have been influenced by Lao cuisine. Pla Ra, a type of fermented fish, is the star of many dishes found here, which has a sour and salty taste to it. A famous dish that you simply must try here is Som Tam, which is also known as Green papaya salad. Nam Tok is another famous dish, which is a type of spicy grilled beef or pork salad. Lap is a hearty minced pork salad.

Northern Thai Cuisine

Northern Thai Cuisine is influenced by the neighbouring regions of Burma and Laos. The use of exotic local herbs imparts a salty and mildly spicy taste to the food, complemented by an abundance of fresh vegetables and smoky grilled meats. Notable dishes in this region include Khao Soi, an egg noodle dish with yellow curried meat; Kaeng Hangle, a pork curry infused with ginger, turmeric and tamarind; and Sai ua, the famous northern-styled grilled pork sausage. These delectable offerings showcase the rich and diverse flavours of Northern Thai cuisine.