The last thing you want is to have a stomach upset while on your trip. However, Asian street food is known for making that happen. That being said, eating and enjoying Asian street food is a great way to stay within your budget and enjoy the culture at the same time.
Eating street food in most developing countries, including parts of Asia, is as cheap as one dollar or less as opposed to eating in restaurants where food is $10 plus. If you plan to travel to Asia on a budget, you might consider eating street food. Luckily, it is also considered to be very delicious.
However, you are probably wondering how you can enjoy the excitement and flavors of Asian street food without it making you feel ill. Well, you are in the right spot! If you are someone who wants to experience Asia’s culinary scene while saving a few bucks, then let us tell you how to do it without getting sick!
Eat Where Locals Eat
If you find a street vendor selling food, and they have no local clients, consider it with caution. There is always a reason why their food is not selling, whatever that reason may be. Avoid such vendors like the plague. Often locals give you a hint of what is delicious and in the right price range. Also, established businesses with a reputable clientele are always careful not to cook germ-infested foods because they have a reputation to protect.
Is The Food Being Cooked Fresh?
As a foreigner, it might be hard to tell if the food cooked is fresh or not. However, if you visit some of these local places in the morning, you should be able to see them preparing their food. Some prepare food in the morning and cook throughout the day, whereas other warm remnants for each order.
To be on a safe side, feel free to indulge in the morning. There are also places that cook food throughout the day; these will be the best options for you.
Be Mindful Of Water
Often people relate stomach issues to food poisoning from something they ate. However, it is often the water that they consumed that made them ill. Sometimes untreated water, especially in developing countries, has fecal matter present which can transmit diseases such as typhoid. As such, be mindful of the water you drink.
Even brushing your teeth with such water can make you sick. You might be avoiding fried chicken thinking it’s not healthy, but it could be a safer option than the salad with lettuce they just washed in contaminated water.
Consider Going Vegetarian
You will rarely hear about people getting sick from eating vegetables; most tummy issues come from bad meat. Hence the question, must you eat meat all the time? If you go to countries such as India, they have amazing vegetarian dishes. You might even be tempted to quit meat because their vegetarian food is so delicious. As a pro tip, always research your destination country.
Avoid Already Cut Fruits
Do you see those melons, pineapples or mangoes that always look appetizing on side of the road? Never eat those fruits. This is because they are out on the sun the whole day, exposed to dust, flies, and God knows what else. Sometimes, vendors spray the fruits with water to make it look fresh. Again, infected water on your food.
Even when you buy whole fruits, make sure you rinse them with clean, boiled water. If you must eat fruits, stick to bananas, and if this is not possible, insist that the vendor cuts it on the spot.
Always Listen To Your Gut
They always say your gut can never lie to you before you indulge. So ask yourself, does the food appear to be healthy? Is it covered or not? What about the people cooking it, are they well kept? How many flies can you count? What about the environment where the food is being prepared? Is it appealing? If you are still skeptical, then look for another option. Our bodies are very intuitive about what will keep us safe.
If food doesn’t look appetizing, then probably it’s not healthy. If the place has no local customers, then move on to the next one. There is a reason why people are dodging that vendor in the first place. Furthermore, traveling without travel insurance is a big mistake. No matter what you do, somethings can never be avoided. In a new country, sometimes regardless of how careful you are, you will get a stomach ache.
Always Clean Your Hands
We might go on blaming our stomach issues on the food we eat, but we are also likely to get sick by eating with dirty hands. How many dirty surfaces have you touched? And have you washed your hands before touching that snack? Remember when our folks used to insist on us washing hands before dinner, do the same.
Always wash your hands with water and soap or at least sanitize them. Baby wipes are a must-have on every trip. Imagine being in a county where water is not treated; hand sanitizers can always save the situation.
You can never fully enjoy your vacation without indulging and relating to the locals. Go to places they hang out and eat that food; you will have unforgettable experiences. Always remember that a dollar saved here and there can make a whole lot of difference when you are traveling. As such, if you feel one vendor is overpricing his food because maybe you look foreign, consider moving to the next vendor and compare prices.