Eating out Etc. In print Travel

How to Eat Asian Food

A taxi driver eats noodles at his regular coffee stall hangout in Phnom Penh.

In The Faster Times today, I have a primer on Asian eating. I get a lot of questions about etiquette from people traveling to Asia for the first time, wondering when to use chopsticks, what to do with sticky rice, and (primarily) how to eat without offending. It’s a big continent, and customs vary dramatically from region to region. But this quick little guide should at least help you through the basics.

I also thought I’d take the opportunity here to share a few shots of eating in Asia. Read the article to understand the significance of what’s going on in the pictures.

Down the hatch and chuc suc khoe!

Cocktails with straws, Vientiane.

Tissues on the floor (1), Cambodia.

Tissues on the floor (2), Cambodia. Note the basket, normally kept beneath the table.

Lao noodle soup with chopsticks and spoon.

Thai coffee brewed with a cloth bag.

Thai noodle soup with chopsticks and spoon.

Bangkok street vendor.

3 replies on “How to Eat Asian Food”

Interesting article on TFT. For chai you wrote, “toss terracotta into the street, where it is crushed and ground into the road surface. Really.” I am not sure this advice is correct for paved (asphalt) roads… maybe for unpaved roads?

Hi DGrub,
Thanks for the comment. Actually, that was based on what we observed in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. The little tea cups were crushed on the roadsides, paved or unpaved.

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