Thailand is famous for delicious food, but the delicious drinks aren’t far behind!
After a long hot day sightseeing, a refreshing cool drink is just what you need. Thailand isn’t just about pad thai, green curry and papaya salad; it also boasts a delicious array of exotic beverages. You may not have tried them before but they’re well worth your baht! None of them will break the bank, so add them to your Thailand backpacking trip bucket list! Here are our recommendations for a trip around the tastes of Thailand.
A tropical delight. You’ve sat under the palm trees, now drink the juice! Vendors all over the country will serve you the sweet sticky nectar that results when you soak fresh coconut savings in water with an added shot of sugar syrup. This might not help the diet but it’s a tasty way to get the calories in!
From one end of the spectrum to the other, pomegranate juice is the original Thai health drink which provides a welcome bit of refreshment in the heat. The pomegranate ‘jewels’ are crushed and strained to create a beautifully-colored pink juice which is then decanted into plastic bottles and chilled in buckets of ice. A great way to get some vitamin C and fiber into your system.
Thailand has a spectacular array of fruit on offer, and therefore it’s no surprise that the smoothie trade is big business. You can order just about any combination you can dream up as the fruit is cut and blended to order. Watermelon and banana is a particular favorite but go crazy and invent your own! Don’t just stick to fruits you recognize either. A dragon fruit may look like a medieval torture weapon but it’s a taste sensation!
Iced Milk Tea
This national favorite is locally known as Chai Yen and is a mix of tea, condensed milk and sugar. It’s served in small plastic lidded cups stuck into a tall thin plastic bag which is tailor-made to hang from the handlebar of your scooter as you cruise around town. Don’t expect a fresh, English Breakfast tea experience but do expect to get some thumbs up from the locals for trying their best-loved morning tipple!
Grass Jelly Drinks
This might sound like more of a Saturday night novelty drink, but actually grass jelly is used as the base for daytime drinks as well. Take a cup half-filled with sliced black jelly and add your choice of liquid- often tea or orange juice are used. As the jelly melts into the liquid it imparts a richness and silky-smooth texture which is a pleasure to drink. Look for Chao Kuai on menus for this one.
Sugar Cane Juice
While this isn’t a drink that’s unique to Thailand, we’ve included it because we love it, and you can rarely get it back home! Pieces of raw sugarcane are fed into a press, often turned by hand, which adds a bit of theater to your drinks order. It’s incredibly sweet but packed full of nutrients, perfect for giving you a burst of sightseeing energy.
One Drink is Never Enough!
With the strength of the Thai sun beating down it’s important to stay hydrated. The drinks on our list will go a long way to keeping you refreshed and ready to enjoy everything that the country has to offer. Try a few and enjoy!