This is a question we get asked extremely often, so here's our take on things.
For us, there are basically two types of travellers; those who want to get under the skin of the country they are visiting, therefore after an experience which allows them to understand the culture and food which drives the region; then there are those traveller who are not overly food-centric; they eat to live, not live to eat. For them, when holidaying, it is no different.
So why take a food tour?
Wherever you are in the world, taking a food tour allows you to taste and discover the flavours of that country or region. You will potentially get to sample food you may not otherwise try, or would find difficult to discover. When we are travelling ourselves and we are hungry, we always want to taste something great, but often to order something completely unfamiliar may not be a possibility. That’s where a good food tour can allow you to sample alternatives; allowing you to discover new and exciting dishes to find out whether you like them or not.
What makes a Feast Thailand food tour unique?
Speaking from our experience in travelling and doing food tours all over the world, as well as having travelled to Thailand for over 25 years, what we pride ourselves on is our ability to connect with each and every traveller to understand their level of experience with Thai food, whether in Thailand itself or back home. From there our aim is to try to present food that they are going to love, as well as the option of trying new and exciting flavours. Had someone done this for us on our early trips to Thailand, we would have been constantly finding new favourite dishes. There are many times we try a great new Thai dish and ask "why didn't we find this 25 years ago?"
The other thing which is unique is our 'Foodie Guides' work full time for Feast Thailand and have completely bought into our philosophy on both food tours and travellers. They are constantly hearing of our food experiences as travellers to Thailand and have embraced our absolute passion for Thai culture and food. It has become more than a job for them, as they themselves are passionate foodies.
Can't I can go to all of those places on my own, or order the same dishes that you offer in another Thai restaurant near me; why the need to take one of your tours?
Yes, you can possibly do both of those things, though some of the venues are difficult to find. The biggest thing you will miss, though, is having one of our local Thai 'Foodie Guides' explaining, exploring and helping you understand the dishes, the culture and the possible different versions you may find. Our tours are not just about eating great Thai food, though that is a big part of it. The heart and soul of our tours are the guides and the venues we choose to take your dining experience to the next level. The 'Foodie Guides' role is to help you understand Thai food better; to help you balance the flavours; to teach you how to eat more spicy food and of course, to help you find your next favourite Thai dish.
I have been coming to Thailand for many years and I think I know Thai food very well; what's in a Feast Thailand food tour for me?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get; it's also one we have asked before when travelling in Thailand.
The majority of venues we visit on tour are not on the tourist maps; they are where the locals eat. Many will not even have a menu in English. Many travellers who eat Thai not far from their hotel are eating at venues that are geared for foreign travellers. The flavours will potentially be better than your local Thai restaurant back home, but often the flavours are toned down for the international palette. Many of these venues offer the predominantly popular Thai dishes on their menu, based on what travellers know; there really is so much more than Green Curry and Pad Thai, though.
Rather than having burgers, pasta or pizza on their menu, along with Thai dishes, our venues specialise only in first class Thai food. There are an abundance of venues around Hua Hin offering both western and Thai food, though we firmly believe one is offered at the expense of the other. The role of a chef or cook is a very specialised one. A great short order cook doing breakfasts or burgers would not be your first choice to cook, say, French food. That’s not to say that venues cannot do both well, however we look for venues which focus on their passion; great Thai food.
I have family members who are Thai so I know Thai food really well; why should I take a Feast Thailand food tour?
This is a very good point. Yes, you will potentially know more about Thai food than someone with no family connection at all, yet what we find is that often, if the family member is from a specific region of Thailand, they will know that region very well, however, they may not know about the flavour influences and the breadth of dishes from the other culinary regions of Thailand. We have had many Thai people do our tours; what they have discovered is that there are many unknown dishes from regions unfamiliar to them, but also dishes that they may not have tasted for a long while.
Having food from all four of the culinary regions of Thailand, Hua Hin is one of a very few places unique outside of Bangkok, making it a great area to explore Thai food culture. Many Thai dishes are regional in nature and it is often very hard to find great northern Thai food in the southern regions of Thailand and vice versa; it is similar for other regions. The fact that Hua Hin has sensational Thai food from all four culinary regions is a huge bonus.
Why do you keep the groups small?
There are a number reasons for this. Firstly, we want to look after our vendors. Many of the venues we visit are small, family run businesses; some will have just one person cooking and serving; others may have more people working and this dictates the number of tables they have. This may be only a small handful, being all they can handle at any one time. These venues are catering for the locals, hence the flavours will be aimed squarely at that market.
Secondly, vendors in food markets really don't want hordes of people standing in front of their stall talking about food as they try to attract locals to buy their produce.
Thirdly, is our ability to focus and connect with every guest. Our 'Foodie Guides' love talking about food, but more importantly, they love engaging with everyone. This can often be more difficult with a larger group.
I have seen other, less expensive tours available which include Thai food as well as seeing the sites. What is different with a Feast Thailand food tour?
You're absolutely right! There are definitely sightseeing tours which offer a Thai meal as part of their tour. The difference with those tours will usually be that the venues chosen are normally geared around tourists and will offer the most popular Thai dishes, as they really don't know what the group is going to like. Our Thai 'Foodie Guides' will quite often veer from the core itinerary as they are talking with the guests about what they would like to taste or discover. Our tours, whether you are the only couple on tour or you are in a small group, can therefore be individualised to an extent to suit.
Whether you travel to the countryside or beaches of Thailand, Spain for the tapas bars, Paris for the bistros or just another major city in your homeland, taking a food tour can connect you to the regionality of an area. It can allow you to get down and dirty with local aspects of food and food culture wherever you travel. You will meet locals, discover new and exciting dishes and appreciate what really makes the place tick. A Feast Thailand food tour is specifically designed with all of these elements in mind.
If you think this sounds like something you might like, here are our contact details:-
or call Leigh directly on +66 95 461 0557
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