Thailand / Cambodia

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Thailand / Cambodia

Postby Muay Jin » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:43 am

Hai, I'm looking for 2 things here, a good muay thai/pradav seray camp and experiences of veganism over in that area, although the majority religion is buddhist, the buddhists tend to meat over there I think.. so i'm unsure how well I will do, also especially in regards to milk and egg products. Also, if im out in a bush camp, I don't know how well it will all be communicated to the poor cook who will have to prepare my "special" meals, I get a feeling that ill be eating a lot of tofu (that is, im assuming thais/cambodians eat tofu).

I also have a few other goals to attain while im over there:
- Have a fight with a local (in the ring of course)
- Get a tattoo (minus hep hopefully)
- Do some volunteer work (probably teaching English which is the only real skill that I can think of that I would be better at than they would)
- Explore the various cultural sites over there
There is no try, only do.
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Postby abbie » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:57 pm

i spent a month in thailand whilst vegan as a mix of volunteer work in an orphanage on the burmese border and trekking around chiang mai and various other places. its a stunning place!
a few things- i would generally say there isn't much tofu around, really. i mean, i wasn't looking for it as such as i was with other people who didn't even think twice about where they were eating and didn't want to cause too much fuss. but nevertheless i found the big cities, e.g. Bangkok and Chaing Mai were both fine for food. If you stay in hotels at all I found the food just fine- always fruit on the menu for breakfast and always the same: one row of a banana chopped up, one row of watermelon, one row of pineapple. Pretty lush! The same goes for restaurants. Mind, I ate ALOT of vegetable fried rice and ALOT of noodles. Keep off these for a while before you will get sick of it! A couple of mealtimes in poorer quality cafes I got a plate of rice or something like that but that was really the worst of it, I never starved really and stocked up on little staples whenever I could.
Luckily I stayed in an entirely vegetarian orphanage just by chance! everyone else hated the food but i had a blast! they, depsite being really quite poor, they were utterly gracious, hugely generous and put on lavish vegetarian feasts at every mealtime. They even served up fresh soy milk one day! I ate so much that week, though the work was pretty tiring.
When trekking, our guide had 100% no idea about veganism and i could have explained about ingredients in products he bought like bread and stuff like that but came to the conclusion that i was better off not. i went hungry a few times or just ate fruit or bought extra, difficult on a really tight budget, but it was still ok. Though, I'm sure throughout my trip that i had plenty of fish sauce hidden in meals and beware their packaged bread contains milk, as does alot of their cartoned soy milk.

Otherwise i would say its pretty vegan friendly- the country being buddhist yet not particularly open to vegetarianism is a strange thing but i think largely to do with the huge influence of culture on the religion, or certainly a mix of the two. Most of the butchers in thailand are halal though, since there is a muslim population that seems to largely control the meat industry, far removing, i suppose, buddhists from a direct killing.
When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with. Anais Nin
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Postby SandGroper » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:21 pm

Hi Muay

It was 12 years ago when I was last in Thailand. I spent two months in a bush "lodge", just a big bamboo hut with no electricity or running water. For this reason they couldn't use meat, dairy or eggs unless someone did a run into town. I was a devoted meat eater at the time, forced into veganism in the nicest way possible.

I only stayed in one buddhist temple for a couple of days. There was definitely no meat there.

Enjoy your trip, as abbie says it is absolutely stunning.
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Postby Gamblor » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:19 pm

Tourism is well established in both Thailand and Cambodia - I was there 8 years ago and it was then, for sure. You'll be able to eat vegetarian anywhere, vegan might be a bit more difficult. But persevere and learn some phrases in the local language. If you compare your diet to the monks (without claiming to be a monk), locals outside the tourism industry will be more understanding. I'm pretty sure that SE Asians think we're all crazy anyway so don't worry about it too much.
Make sure you go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia - it's mind blowing; as is S21, but for different reasons.
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