Let's get real for a second, Thailand is hot. Bangkok is hotter. I'm not a person who is particularly good at dealing with the heat. Having grown up in the UK you might expect this but before I embarked upon this adventure other Brit's kept telling me that I'd acclimatise. I am still waiting for the magical acclimatisation date (40 days and counting!) and I'll share just one story with you lest you think I'm exaggerating... When I arrived at the check in desk of a hotel a week or so ago the receptionist looked at me wide eyed and enquired as to whether it was currently raining? Nope, I'm just that sweaty! Good times! My bright red face and I are happily persevering with the heat sitch but in the meantime I have grown to love malls. I know right! Malls! I never thought I'd say it either, I hate shopping, but in Bangkok malls are different. In Bangkok malls are special. Air con aside some malls, like Siam Paragon, are so upscale they're verging on the ridiculous and some, like the fantastic Terminal 21, have amazing concepts. Terminal 21 is like an airport and boy have they committed to that theme, each floor has a city theme with accompanying models and signage, pertinent mall info is displayed on departure boards and even the information assistants are dressed like cabin crew. It's so fun!
Am I in Japan? No! I'm at Terminal 21!
The other great thing about the malls here is that there's vegan food everywhere! There are gourmet markets, supermarkets, food halls and restaurants and as someone who can happily wander around supermarkets for hours on end marvelling at new and exciting fruits and veggies and reading the ingredients on the most implausible things (I've hit the jackpot doing this on so many occasions that I will never stop!) they're a pretty fun place to be.
Anyway, without further ado, here's my guide to Bangkok's malls which are all conveniently located in the Sukhumvit area along the BTS Skytrain line.
As well as being the location of Veganerie vegan bakery (which I blogged about here) you can also grab a a soya based milkshake (you just need to ask about honey) from Soya Soyum or a pre-dessert salad at Dressed. I went off menu at Dressed and used the fun salad creating device to throw together a salad that included two types of greens, mandarins, almonds, tofu, grated carrot and avocado. I also went with a blueberry vinegarette dressing that complimented my salad choices nicely. The only downside being that it was freaking expensive, like, 300THB / £6 / $9 expensive which for Bangkok is a little ridic. Also the tofu was plain, cubed and silken which I'm okay with but I know a lot of people would be hating. I'd probably eat it again despite the price because it was super fresh and totally cured my weird salad craving.
Talalask in the food court (back left hand corner) of Central World Mall was listed on Happy Cow as vegan until I rocked up and saw them making spaghetti carbonara with cows milk. Everything else was vegan though and it's your classic cheap Thai fare - fried rice, pad thai and, oddly, some Japanese gyoza which I loved and ordered every time we swung by.
Both the Pad Thai and Pad See Ew were good, I've definitely had better but this place wins points for both convenience and people watching.
The Central Food Hall here is also pretty great especially if you're craving the taste of home. I found these Fox's Chunkie Cookies there and daaaaamn are they good cookies! I also picked up some Nature Valley Crunchy Peanut Butter granola bars which are the kind without the honey. Yay!
I wasn't a huge fan of the veggie place located in the food court at the MBK Centre but that had a lot to do with me hardly having any choices due to my allergies and the things I chose were definitely on the bland side. If you're looking for the cheapest plate of food this is the one for you.
Okay so Pala Pizza Romana isn't exactly in Teminal 21 but it is attached to the outside so I'm totally counting it. I discovered this place when I googled "vegan pizza Bangkok" after listening to Nick whinge about his pizza craving for about an hour. I totally get weird cravings too and I'll never say no to pizza so we headed one sky train stop away to Pala and fell in love. I adore faux cheeses and mock meats but sometimes a simple marinara pizza is so perfect that it's hard to fault it. This place is generous with the garlic and they serve by the slice, half meter or meter. Geniuses!
There are also vegan labelled salads on the menu as well as a bean soup although I was sad to hear that the marinara slice topped with truffle oil had been discontinued.
The Gourmet Market located on the ground floor of T21, otherwise known as Rome, is the only place I've found in Thailand selling soy yoghurts. Joya brand were already a favourite of mine after trips to Vienna and I'd have bought many more of these for in-room breakfasts if the place I was staying in had had a fridge.
This is the spot where I bought some egg and dairy free bread that I described as "a crime against bread" in my last post. Sadness. As an aside Veganerie is the spot for all of your bread based needs. Siam Paragon isn't all shiny cars and sad bread though and I managed to hunt down some vegan umeboshi onigiri from a little Japanese stand opposite the Gourmet Food Court's checkouts.
Siam Paragon also has a Dressed if you're in the market for some (expensive) veggies.
I even managed to find Mintons in the imported gluten free foods section here. Mintons! I've never seen these in a store before. Sadly this traveller is now on a budget and I couldn't justify what works out at £4.20 for a pack despite these essentially being a vegan yoyo!
I did of course scope out Bangkok's non mall based vegan food scene but that's a whole 'nother post.
I'm currently writing this from Chiang Mai where I've just returned from spending a week volunteering at Elephant Nature Park so expect some seriously squee-worthy animal pictures in my next post. If you want to keep 100% up to date with my travels I'm trying to post to my Instagram daily when wifi will allow.