Southeast Asia forum

Eating street food in South Asia.

  • Agee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Hi,

    What about food? Is it safe to eat street food in SouthAsia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam)? I'm asking in particular about allthose insects, spiders, snakes etc...after all most of them are friedwith guts eggs and excrement... We've heard that eating fishes in Bangkokis not such a good idea as some of them are caught in river channels andcan have various bacteria and parasites? We have following vaccines:HepatitisA and B, Typhoid fever, Polio, Tetanus
    What about fresh fruits? Is there anythingthat should be avoided by person from Europe?

    Thanks for help!
    Agee.

    #1 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 10:30

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  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 523
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    You probably shouldn't eat anything if you want to live a boring life and not have to worry about possibly getting sick.

    Or you can live a little and know there is a very small chance that you may get sick and that even if you do it will likely be minor and pass within a day or two.

    Imo and as Andrew Zimmern says, if it looks good eat it.

    #2 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 11:14

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 642

    Eating street food in SE Asia doesn't have to equate to consuming spiders, snakes and the like. I have eaten a lot of street food in Asia and never once did I (knowingly) eat any of those items.

    From my experience, street food will typically consist of chicken skewers, fresh spring rolls, corn on the cob, noodles, meat and salad sandwiches and many more types of things. I guess street food is what you make it, a lot of people would never go near it - I personally thought it was the best way to eat over there - cheap, tasty and prepared by people who seemed in the know. Nor is there any reason to suspect that the food quality will be compromised, it is often quite the contrary as it is freshly prepared right in front of you so no funny business 'out back' and a high turnover of customers should further ensure freshness.

    I reckon you should only go to places that are busy and seem to be at least partially frequented by locals. Running water is probably also a good thing.

    #3 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 11:14

  • Agee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2013
    Posts: 8

    The thing is, that I really want to try a spider/insects.

    What's more, I'm wondering if any of you tried fruits and didn't end with diarrhea. If answer is yes, that's mean I'm safe.

    #4 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 12:46

  • antoniamitc-
    hell

    Click here to learn more about antoniamitchell
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    Well, I never tried spiders but I figure it can't be too different from soft-shell crabs.

    You're doctor will probably drill into you the "don't eat any fruit you haven't peeled yourself" mantra, but for me? That rule went out the window the second I got on the plane. I ate fruit all over the place and never got sick.

    Sure, you could be unlucky.... but you hopefully won't.

    #5 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 12:54

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 523
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    Seriously man... The chances of getting sick from eating a fruit anywhere in the world is like 1 in a million... Doesn't matter if you are in Thailand etc. If anything a lot of their fruit is healthier because they use less pesticides etc on them.

    Just relax, stop worrying and go have fun. If you really want to be on the safe side take some travellers diarrhoea pills with you just in case.

    #6 Posted: 24/10/2013 - 18:30

  • antoniamitc-
    hell

    Click here to learn more about antoniamitchell
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United Kingdom
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    Sorry, that should be "your doctor" in my post above - so embarrassed!

    #7 Posted: 25/10/2013 - 00:47

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 887
    Total reviews: 2

    Just use a little common sense - would you eat from a dirty establishment at home? One cannot generalize about this subject. I have seen cleaner street stalls than some fancy/expensive restaurants, and you're not really experiencing Asia unless you try different things. If your attitude about Asia is just about the creepy crawlies, maybe you should stick to plane-jane and sterile environments instead?

    #8 Posted: 25/10/2013 - 11:09

  • Agee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for your ideas! We've met some problems in Egypt, especially with water fruits (watermelon, melon) that's why I'm asking for details.

    Cheers,
    Agee.

    #9 Posted: 25/10/2013 - 14:33

  • amnicoll

    Joined Travelfish
    10th January, 2005
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 181
    Total reviews: 6

    I have eat street food all over SE Asia and still do. Generally it is safe (and indeed safer than eating western food) but there is always the chance you may be unlucky. Avoid things like oysters and mussels (especially inland) and raw meat but generally anything that is being cooked in front of you should be OK.

    have eaten dog, snakes and spiders many times knowingly with no ill effects but often I have no idea what I am eating at the time but so what

    #10 Posted: 26/10/2013 - 05:54

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