One of the things that makes Samui so
appealing is the fact that you can still stop at a street cart for a 30 baht
plate of Phat Thai or Fried Rice, while just around the corner a lavish buffet
is being served on the beach. All the options are here, including several Thai
vegetarian restaurants. Like to try cooking your own Thai food or learn more
about how it's done? With the establishment of a modern Culinary Institute
opened in 1998 especially for visiting foreigners, as well as cooking
demonstrations at some of the island's large hotels, you can.
In recent years an international community of
entrepreneur restaurateurs have brought to Samui the cuisines of Japan, Italy,
Germany, India, Switzerland, France, Sweden and Mexico, among others. Good
Western cuisine can now be found in almost every village on the island. Need a "back
home" style snack or a fast-food fix? There are excellent bakeries, ice
cream parlors, and the island's first Big Macs will arrive in Chaweng sometime
If you stay long enough for your digestive
system to begin to get acclimated, you might try eating at one of the outdoor
evening markets that locals frequent. Here you will find some of Samui's most
authentic (and spicy!) Thai food. The seating arrangements may be crude and the
air filled with the noise of nearby locals relaxing after work with Karaoke, but
the food will be hot, tasty and cheap.
restaurants and food vendors serve safe bottled drinking water, and most use
clean factory-made ice cubes. Vegetables are washed in tap water but safe when
cooked. You may want to avoid eating raw ones.
Many seafood restaurants display their wares
on ice for customers to see. When choosing fish, look for bright (not cloudy)
eyes, and a bright crimson color under the gills. The fish should be firm to the
touch. Don't hesitate to smell shellfish for freshness before choosing it.
A final tip: If going to a buffet, try to get
to there early. In a tropical climate, the longer the food has been exposed, the
greater the chance for contamination.