Traveling Abroad As A Vegetarian In Asia | Simplicity & Pitfalls | expatne.ws
25 June 2023
Traveling Abroad as a Vegetarian in Asia: A Guide
Are you a vegetarian who is planning to travel to Asia? If so, you may have heard about the potential difficulties that could arise when managing your dietary restrictions abroad. Fortunately, there are ways to make the journey easier and enable you to enjoy local fare without having to compromise on your values. So, we’ve compiled this guide to help you navigate through traveling abroad as a vegetarian in Asia!
Beforehand Preparation: For starters, it’s important that you do adequate research before the trip. This includes understanding the basics of popular Asian cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, and Thai—as well as being aware of local cultural norms related to vegetarianism. For instance, some cultures may not recognize vegetarianism as a separate dietary practice and instead view it as an extension of Buddhism or Hinduism. Familiarizing yourself with these facts can make it easier for you to explain your dietary preferences in an appropriate manner when necessary. Additionally, learning some key phrases related to food or nutrition in the local language can also go a long way in helping you get access to vegetarian dishes or inquire about ingredients when necessary.
Finding Accommodations: Finding vegetarian-friendly accommodations may be tough if booking last minute—so planning ahead is essential. Sites like Booking.com often have information on whether or not restaurants offer vegan or vegetarian options, so searching ahead of time is recommended if possible. Also consider opting for communities where there are more people from similar backgrounds with whom you can share meals and discuss food options with ease while traveling. Not only will this save time and effort, but also give you a chance to make new friends along the way!
Food Shopping: When it comes time for shopping for grocery items while traveling abroad as a vegetarian in Asia, aim to buy from smaller stores like markets or kiosks rather than supermarkets if available. This is because smaller stores tend to be more adept at accommodating requests from customers—and may be able to provide fresher foods than their larger counterparts due too high turnover rates and lack of preservatives/additives used in commercially produced items found in bigger chains/supermarkets. Also remember that if no vegan/vegetarian label exists on products, double-check with store personnel prior to purchase just incase any animal-based ingredients have been added!
Eating Out: Eating out can be one of the biggest hurdles faced by vegetarians while traveling abroad—especially if animal-based dishes are staples on local menus! Thankfully though, many Asian countries are becoming increasingly conscious of dietary restrictions and offering vegan/vegetarian options when possible (for example dim sum restaurants offering vegetable buns). Some regions might even offer completely vegetarian restaurants where all dishes are prepared without meat or fish products—which would make things super easy for travelers! Make sure that either way, always ask staff about what goes into each dish prior to ordering and explain your preferences so they can provide suitable alternatives if available (e.g substituting chicken stock with veggie stock).
Final Tips: It goes without saying that having patience throughout your trip is key when dealing with such matters! In addition; wherever possible try buying snacks with clear labels from retailers rather than street vendors (to ensure freshness) so that you’re able nibble on something during journeys between destinations while travelling abroad as a vegetarian in Asia! Last but not least; be sure allow yourself time between meals for digestion and hydrate enough throughout your travels by drinking plenty of water too–all important aspects for feeling great along your trip!