Tastes of Indochina: What and Where to Eat in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand

In Taste by Vanie Alot2 Comments




Vier and I believe that every place has a unique taste that every traveler must experience. That’s why on each itinerary I create, “Where To Eat” list is always included. I really find time to research on must-try dishes. But sometimes or I should say most of the times, even we already have prepared list, the best dishes are those discovered accidentally along the way.

If there is one thing we miss the most in this Indochina trip, it is definitely the food. We’ve simply fallen in love with the authentic dishes of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The following are just some of those we’ve tried and discovered.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Bánh mì
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Bánh mì

Taste
100%
Presentation
90%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa
Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, Ben Thanh, District 1
Open hours: 3:30 pm – midnight daily

We loved everything about this Bánh Mì of Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa. From the generous amount of meat, savory home-made liver spread, fresh vegetables and to the crunchy wheat bread – they were simply mouthwatering. Our long walk just to get to Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa was all worth it. Indeed, a must try! Just a tip, this is famous in Ho Chi Minh. Hence, brace yourself for long line.

Pho Bo (Beef Pho Noodle Soup)
tastes-of-indochina-pho-bo

Pho Bo

Taste
75%
Presentation
80%
Value for Money
75%
Where to Buy: Restaurant along District 1

We did not pay anything for this Pho Bo as this dish was part of our lunch when we had our “City – Cu Chi Tunnels” join-in tour. Anyhow, what we liked about this noodle soup was the freshness of ingredients. The taste was just light but not to the point that it was too bland for a soup. Upon eating it, we just realized that Filipino dishes were beyond more tasteful than Vietnamese dishes. Maybe because Filipinos are fond of seasonings. 😉

Fried Noodles
tastes-of-indochina-fried-noodles

Fried noodles

Taste
50%
Presentation
50%
Value for Money
50%
Where to Buy: Ben Thanh Night Market

We tried this authentic Vietnamese Fried Noodles when we went to Ben Thanh Night Market. We did not find anything special about this dish. It was just like a typical noodle dish with chicken and some vegetables. We could say that it was their own version of Pancit Canton.

Fresh Spring Rolls
tastes-of-indochina-spring-rolls

Fresh Spring Rolls

Taste
30%
Presentation
60%
Value for Money
30%
Where to Buy: Ben Thanh Night Market

Among the authentic Vietnamese dishes we tried, this was our least favorite. 🙁 There was no doubt about the freshness of ingredients. However, it was as if we were like eating raw herbs and vegetables literally. To quote Vier’s initial reaction, “Lasang damo!”. Maybe we found the taste too strong for our palate. 🙁 We just gave it a try for the sake of experiencing eating authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

Siem Reap, Vietnam
Khmer Amok
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Khmer Amok

Taste
100%
Presentation
100%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Golden Butterly Villa

Amok is a thick soup cooked with fish or meat, vegetables, eggs and coconut milk. It’s like their own version of curry. Upon trying this Khmer Amok of Golden Buttefly Villa, we were surprised to have actually loved it. The taste of the spices were not too strong. The ingredients really did compliment each other. Being not a fan of onions, I strangely liked this dish. A must try!

Pineapple Fried Rice
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Pineapple Fried Rice

Taste
100%
Presentation
100%
Value for Money
80%
Where to Buy: Golden Butterly Villa

When this Pineapple Fried Rice was served to us, we didn’t expect that literally it would be served on a pineapple. Haha! We were simply awed by its presentation. At first we thought that it was a little bit pricey for a typical fried rice. But upon trying it, it was really good. In fact, we could just order it alone. The serving was already good for 2-3 persons.

Tamarind-Lemon Cooler and Sticky Rice
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Tamarind-Lemon Cooler and Sticky Rice

Taste
100%
Presentation
80%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Golden Butterly Villa

These Tamarind-Lemon Cooler and Sticky Rice were Golden Butterfly Villa’s welcome snacks. So we had tried them first for free. However, Vier and I got addicted with this cooler from the first time we had it. It was really refreshing. It was not too sweet nor too sour. It had the perfect mix of tamarind, lemon and a little bit of honey. And it was just the perfect drink for Siem Reap’s hot weather. So we just kept on ordering it at the restaurant. A must try!

Omelette Sandwich
tastes-of-indochina-omelette-sandwich

Omelette Sandwich

Taste
40%
Presentation
50%
Value for Money
30%
Where to Buy: Angkor Wat

We had this Omelette Sandwich for breakfast in Angkor Wat. It was a normal omelette with lettuce on a sandwich. No more, no less. We just had this meal since we needed to eat something for us to cope up with all our activities on that morning. But honestly, we found it too pricey for a sandwich. 🙁

Happy Pizza
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Happy Pizza

Taste
60%
Presentation
60%
Value for Money
30%
Where to Buy: Happy Siem Reap Pizza
Address: Angkor Night Market Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

As most travelers say, don’t leave Cambodia without trying their Happy Pizza. So out of curiosity and for the sake of experiencing, we gave it a try. Ordering it was just like asking for a Hawaiian pizza from a regular pizza parlor. We just had to request how many teaspoon of “wonder topping” to add. Being both first timers, we were anticipating of extreme or different feelings after eating the pizza, like what we’ve read on some of the reviews. However, nothing happened extraordinary. Haha! Maybe it’s really case to case basis.

Blue Pumpkin Ice Cream
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Blue Pumpkin ice cream

Taste
90%
Presentation
80%



Value for Money
80%
Where to Buy: Blue Pumpkin
Address: 563, Mondul 1 | Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap, Cambodia
They also have branch in Siem Reap International Airport.

Blue Pumpkin is very well known for its yummy pastries and unique flavors of ice cream. We tried their best sellers – Passion Fruit and Lime. Our first reaction was “Ang aaatchiiiiim!”. What else could we expect from these flavors? Definitely, their sweet-sour tastes. For its uniqueness, we would recommend this Blue Pumpkin.

Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi, Thailand
Thai Street Foods
tastes-of-indochina-thai-street-foods

Authentic Thai Street Foods

Taste
100%
Presentation
90%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Maeklong Railway Market

If we have street foods like fish balls, kikiam and isaw, well, Thailand also do have. Those sausages, tofus, fish cakes, chicken nuggets, etc. above were some of the yummy Thai street foods we tried when we went to visit Maeklong Railway Market. Of course, since we were in Thailand, high level of spiciness were expected so most of them were a little bit spicy but still good. Plus, they were really affordable. Although, we did not pay anything since snacks and lunch were already included in the tour package that we booked from RatService.com. Just a tip, if you are joining a tour, look for a package that offers free snacks or lunch or dinner. 😉 A must try!

Grilled Corn Muffins
tastes-of-indochina-corn-muffins

Corn Muffins

Taste
80%
Presentation
80%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Maeklong Railway Market

We found these corn muffins interesting because they were grilled instead of baked. The taste could be compared to a normal corn muffin that is best to eat when hot. They were also affordable. So if you happen to visit Maeklong Railway Market and see these snacks, don’t forget to give them a try. A must try!

Thai Iced Tea
tastes-of-indochina-tha-iced-tea

Tha Iced Tea

Taste
100%
Presentation
70%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Maeklong Railway Market

For us, a trip to Thailand would not be complete without trying Thai iced tea. We, Filipinos are fond of iced tea. But did you know that for Thai, their iced tea is normally sweetened with sugar and condensed milk. We had this drink at one of those small stores in Maeklong Railway Market. The packaging might not be as good as those in commercial tea shops we have here in Philippines, but the taste was definitely good. The combination of brewed tea and condensed milk was just perfect. A must try!

Thai Mixed Noodles
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Thai Mixed Noodles

Taste
100%
Presentation
90%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Floating Market

Unfortunately we forgot how this dish was actually called. We just named it as Thai Mixed Noodles for having ingredients such as noodles, nuts, nachos, crackers and lots of spices. We had this when we passed through a boat selling this noodle dish and Natt, our tour guide convinced us to give it a try. It was surprisingly good! The sauce and the distinct flavor of every ingredient compliment each other wonderfully. Its serving was already good for sharing. A must try!

Ayutthaya, Thailand
Thai Crunch Salad, Fried Fish with Thai Sauce, Fried Chicken, Mixed Vegetables, and Beef Steak

THAI CRUNCH SALAD, FRIED FISH WITH THAI SAUCE, FRIED CHICKEN, MIXED VEGETABLES, AND BEEF STEAK

Taste
80%
Presentation
70%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Ayutthaya

We had Thai crunch salad, fried fish with Thai sauce, fried chicken, mixed vegetables, beef steak and fresh mango for dinner when we were in Ayutthaya. Again, we did not pay anything for all of those since dinner was already part of the tour package. Among those dishes, our personal favorite was the Thai crunch salad specially its dressing with a kick of spice and sweetness. The rest of the dishes were like our own Filipino dishes but a little bit spicier.

Bangkok , Thailand
Som Tum (Papaya Pok-Pok), Tom Yum Gai, Beef Steak
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Som Tum (Papaya Pok-Pok), Tom Yum Gai, Beef Steak

Taste
70%
Presentation
60%
Value for Money
70%
Where to Buy: Along Ratchadapisek Road

These were our fist meal when we arrived in Bangkok – Som Tum (a Thai salad also known as Papaya Pok-Pok), Tom Yum Gai (chicken soup) and Beef Steak. We had these from one of those food stalls along Ratchadapisek road, which was just 5 minutes walk from our accommodation. The authentic Som Tum and Tom Yum were okay. They had its needed kick of spice but we thought the tastes could still be improved. The beef steak was like the normal beef steak we knew.

Authentic Thai Sausage
tastes-of-indochina-thai-sausages

Thai Sausage

Taste
100%
Presentation
100%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Klongsan Plaza

This Thai sausage was a big surprise to us. When our tour guide from “Bangkok Night Lights” tour bought us this snack, we originally thought it was just like a nomal pork longanisa on a stick. Haha! But the ultimate twist was, it had glass noodles inside. We never thought of that combination! Among all the street foods we tried in this trip, this was our favorite. A must-try!

Pad Thai
tastes-of-indochina-pad-thai

Pad Thai

Taste
100%
Presentation
100%
Value for Money
100%
Where to Buy: Thip Samai
Address: 511, Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, 10200 Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand

If there was one thing we were excited the most to try in Bangkok, it was undeniably their Pad Thai. We have already tried a lot of Pad Thais in the Phippines. But of course we still wanted to try the authentic one. For us, our Bangkok trip would not be complete without eating Pad Thai from the country where it originated. Gladly, on our last night in Bangkok, Natt brought us to this restaurant called Thip Samai. As cliche as it may sound, we had saved the best for last. Their Pad Thai was really appetizing in looks and taste. It was not too sweet nor too spicy. But you could request for your preferred level of spiciness. Absolutely, a must try!

The above-listed are just some of the authentic dishes of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Without a doubt, they definitely lots more to offer that are just waiting for us to try and discover. Have you also tried these dishes? Do you agree with our ratings? Or have you tried other dishes that are not yet included in our list? We’d love to hear from you. Share your comments below.

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  • Rox Dab

    Thanks for posting! This will be really helpful for my trip come October 🙂

    • Thank you! Make sure you download our PDF guide. 🙂 Enjoy your trip! – Vier