I'm going to be going to Thailand, Vietnam and possibly Cambodia in the coming months. I was told the bacteria is different there and shouldn't eat any fruits or vegetables unless it has a thick peel. That means no fresh leafy greens! Has anyone been to any of these countries and have suggestions for eating??
I'm currently travelling through Asia too-Thailand and Indonesia. I'm staying with a friend in Bangkok and have eaten from street vendors that she eats from regularly, and she's helped me order things without meat. I would say in general stay away from street vendors. There are TONS of them, but since she eats from them I felt okay. Its not hard to avoid dairy here, but beware they put fish sauce and MSG in EVERYTHING!! There are lots of fruit with thick peels that you can eat, and I think food in actual restaurants is generally safe, and I've been able to get quite a few vegetable stir fries including leafy greens. If you buy veggies from a stand just make sure you rinse them in filtered or bottled water first. One night we went to an Irish pub and got pizza (mine without cheese) and they were happy to accommodate, but beware they put ketchup on pizza and Italian food. Here's a link I found that was helpful
Hi Ladies. The biggest thing is to make sure they are cooked I think. When we went to Africa (before veganism) we were told that we could eat veggies as long as they were cooked. Avoid raw ones like salads and stuff. I would follow the thick peel advice for fruit, but make sure you wash your hands after peeling because they will have the bacteria on them! I was also told from our infectious disease doc that you should peel it yourself and don't let them cut through it with a knife because that just takes the bacteria inside. Also, rinsing with bottled water is good too I think.
On another note, I still got E.coli from Africa even though I was very careful. I was feeling sick on a little hopper plane and drank bottled water from the plane that was sealed and everything! It tasted like river water and we found out that some places refill and melt the plastic of the lid to "reseal" it. Maybe this is just in Africa. Hence the E. coli. Should have stuck with the stuff from our guide but I ran out! My point here is that while I got E. coli, and subsequently C. differens (fun times by the way), it was totally worth it and I would do it all over again to go back!
My biggest advice is to get a pack of broad spectrum antibiotics from your doc before you go in case you have some sort of problem, this is what I did. I would also advise taking a good probiotic because the antibiotic will clean you out which then leads to C. differens. I recovered well, but some people have lifelong problems if they are older or immunocompromised. If you don't use them, great, but at least you were prepared so that you won't have any of your trip ruined. BTW, my E. coli fiasco started with aching hips and a feeling of being extremely cold . . . this was a few days before the digestive problems started. Not sure if this is normal, but thought I would mention it!
Just got home from my trip-10 weeks of travel through Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. My experience in Indonesia was ok, I just said I was a vegetarian and although people didn't understand it they accepted it. I also said it was for health (which was the original reason) and they accepted that. There was usually at least one vegetable meal I could eat. Be ware of spice though. I would ask them not to make things spicey AT ALL and they would serve a dish to me that would have me sweating and tearing up! And they wouldn't think it was spicey at all!
I tried to stear clear of fresh veggies, although towards this end I got more brave. Always wash them in filtered water. I would even stay away from brushing your teeth with water from the tap. Also be ware that fish or oyster sauce is prevalant, and that even tofu can contain seafood. Indonesia is famous for tempeh of course, and so there are a ton of tofu and tempeh dishes. Just know that almost EVERYTHING is fried in palm oil.
If you go to Bali you have many more options, especially in Ubud. I was in heaven! There are numerous veg restaurants and it seems like you can get good veg options at restaurants that aren't totally veg. Also know that everything is served with white rice, and breakfast is often the same meal as the rest of the day. Many people wake up before dawn and cook for the day, then leave the food sitting out on the counter until the last meal, so just choose wisely. You can get soy milk though.