Thailand
Thai is one of the world’s most famous cuisines. From street-side feasts that come in at just a few dollars to full-on five-star blowouts, the dining options for local specialties are breathtaking. The flavors vary widely from region to region. Northern Thai food carries Burmese and Chinese influences. The northeastern Isaan cuisine shares much with Laos and Cambodia, while the spicy coconut milk–infused dishes of southern Thailand carry strong notes of Malay and even Indonesian cuisine. The best introduction to traditional Thai food is in Bangkok, where you can explore every nook and cranny of the country’s abundant larder. The Thai capital is also the best place to experience contemporary cuisine. Venues like Nahm, Bo:Lan, and Gaggan (this latter is molecular Indian) have featured in recent lists of the continent’s best restaurants, and culinary standards are lofty across the board.