Thai cuisine features simple dishes with strong aromatic ingredients and several spicy dishes. It changes considerably from region to region and 4 different types of Thai cuisine can be found, each with a different influence based on the area they come from: the typical northern cuisine, for example, has Burmese influences, that of the east is influenced by Vietnam and Cambodia, while in the south you can find dishes that are very similar to those of Malaysian cuisine.
Rice appears almost in all Thai specialties and is used as a side dish to the main course. Soups, noodles and salads complete the picture and while simply walking down any street in Thailand you can find restaurants, bars and small stands where any kind of delicacy is prepared.
Chili pepper is another common ingredient in Thai cuisine; in fact, you can taste dishes that are much spicier than what you are used to. Every time you want to try something new, you'd better ask wether it's spicy or not.
Anyway, eating Thai food is an experience you cannot miss during your stay in this country: here is a list of the most popular and tasty dishes you can try in the different areas of Thailand.
Tom Yam: It's a soup and it's the most important and famous dish of Thailand. Depending on how it's served, it has a different name: for example, the soup with shrimps is called Tom Yam Kung, the one with chicken Tom Kha Gai and with fish Tom Yam Pla.
Tom Kha Kai: Soup based on coconut milk and chicken, a variation of Tom Yam soup.
Pad Thai: Not really a traditional Thai dish, this delicacy was specifically created for tourists and is well known throughout the country. Pad Thai is a noodle-based dish cooked with mixed vegetables and meat or fish according to one's preference.
Som Tum: Dish based on pan-fried rice with mixed vegetables and a choice of chicken, pork or seafood.
Yam Nua: Another salad with beef dressed with coriander, onions and lime. Pay attention, it's very spicy!
Kai Med Ma Muang: A very simple but tasty dish; pan-fried chicken with mixed vegetables and cashew. In the English menu in restaurants it's called Chicken with cashew nuts.
Khao Neo Ma Muang: Better known with the English name of Mango with sticky rice. It's a dessert containing mango, coconut milk and rice. A very sweet and delicious conclusion to your Thai meal.
Thai cuisine is very tasty and dishes, even if they seem very similar to one another, are made up of accurately mixed ingredients, giving a very particular flavour to each. Certainly during a stay in Thailand the food of this country must be tasted; don't be afraid to try some new dish, it's a good way to further discover this culture and its customs.