1. Help Centre
  2. Southeast Asia Travel Information

Eating & Food (Southeast Asia)

The cost of all meals is included in our Classic group tours. You may like to drink beer, soft drinks, fruit juice or bottled water with your meals – please note drinks are not included in your tour price so payment for these is to be made directly to the restaurant staff.

On Go Beyond tours, private tours and group tour independent extensions, meal inclusions are listed in your itinerary.

Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional across Southeast Asia, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which are prepared and brought out to the table for everyone to share, so you can experience a variety of speciality dishes. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy
or unusual in taste.

The cuisines across the countries of Southeast Asia share many similarities – simplicity, the perfect balance of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet, plenty of fresh herbs and spices and, of course, lots of rice. Each place, though, has its own unique influences; be it from afar, like France and the UK, from their near neighbours, such as India and China, or from the ethnic minority
groups that live in each country. Street food is also huge in all Southeast Asian countries and there’s no better place to pick up a delicious, freshly cooked snack as you explore. Here is a little about the cuisine in each country:


One of the world’s most popular cuisines thanks to its simplicity, richness of flavour and healthiness, Vietnamese food uses minimal but plentiful fresh ingredients to achieve maximum taste! Don’t miss a steaming bowl of ‘pho’, a delicious noodle soup with a rich broth and thinly sliced meat, and the Franco-Viet ‘banh mi’, a crusty baguette filled with pate, coriander, cucumber and pickles.


Although it shares much in common with neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, the most common flavours in Cambodian cooking are prahok, a fermented fish paste, or kroeung, a paste of lemongrass and galangal. Of course, these are perfectly balanced with other flavours. Freshwater fish is a big part of Cambodian cooking and is the star of the country’s most famous
dish, ‘amok’, a steamed coconut milk and kroeung curry.


With lots of influence from India and China, in Myanmar you can expect to dine on delicious curries, noodles and dhals. Flavours here lean towards sour and savoury, and a typical meal consists of rice with sides such as soup, curry and salad. The Burmese also like a lot of condiments, like chutneys and pickles to spice up their meals! Have a try of ‘lephet’, pickled tea leaf salad, a uniquely Burmese dish.


Sticky rice is at the heart of Laos’ cuisine and is eaten at all meals as the centrepiece – all other dishes are just sides! Meals include plenty of local, fresh vegetables, meat and fish are grilled and steamed, and dishes tend to be dry and spicy – galangal, lemongrass and padaek (fermented fish sauce) are often used. There’s also still plenty of French influence here, with baguettes and croissants available everywhere.


Thai cuisine is a sensation all over the world, famous for its lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic flavours. Many herbs and spices are used, as well as fish sauce, across the country, but from region to region local foods vary depending on climate and geography. In the north there’s
lots of sticky rice and chilli paste, whilst in the south there’s plenty of coconut milk and turmeric.


In Bornean cuisine, flavours tend to be vibrant and intense thanks to locally grown spices such as turmeric and lemongrass, whilst fresh seafood, exotic fruits and vegetables often feature. The foods of both Sabah and Sarawak reflect each state’s culture uniqueness, the cuisine being particularly influenced by its diverse population, with each ethnic group bringing their own cooking styles and ingredients to the mix.


The Singaporean cuisine is diverse since it deprived from all different ethnic groups. Food is viewed as crucial to national identity and an unifying cultural thread. Food is often the topic of conversation and due to all different cultures, you find restaurants specialising in different cuisines as well. Mostly, Singaporeans eat out in hawkers centres or food courts, due to the wider range of options, convenience and affordability.


The cuisine is distinct, delicious, and unique compared to most other cuisines as it is heavily influenced by a mix of the neighboring Asian countries China, Japan and India as well as the Western World. As well as noodles and soups, traditional dishes include Tocino (spiced and fried pork belly), Adobo (national dish which is a spiced sauce cooked with any type of meat) and delicious fruits including mango and custard apple. You will find rice and dipping sauce with almost every meal. From restaurants to street food, you can find these traditional foods almost anywhere.

Dietary Requirements

Any dietary requests should have been specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/Local Guides when you meet them. They will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies. Please bear in mind that dietary intolerances and choices are quite unusual in Southeast Asia – patience and understanding will go a long way when dealing with people who might not understand your requirements. Whilst travelling away from major cities, it is highly recommended that passengers with food intolerances take additional food items, as not all dietary requests will be possible to meet due to the limited foods available.

Please be aware that on some days where a lot of sights are covered, dinner times may be early (around 5.30pm) and your tour group may head directly to the restaurant after sightseeing.