Staying healthy while travelling can be quite challenging, especially if you are a curious foodie on a mission to explore the local food scene in Asia’s top street food destinations such as Bangkok, Hangzhou and Hong Kong. With bold and piquant flavours as well as aggressive seasonings, it’s no wonder why local dishes and street food in Asia have the potential to be a delight for the taste buds and a threat for the gut. However, with some preliminary research, a dash of creativity and a little bit of courage, it is definitely possible to feast on local cuisine and stay healthy while travelling to these Asian foodie destinations. In fact, learning to take advantage of the local food scene might just be the easiest way to do so!
As a lifestyle provider, Shama offers not only serviced apartments that epitomise comfort, style and luxury, but also paves the way for residents to enhance their experience by creating a sense of belonging in their new environment, helping them enjoy the city and live like a local. Today, we have compiled the top tips to help you dine like a local without having to compromise your health when travelling to Asia’s street food destinations. After all, isn’t living life to the fullest the point of travel in the first place?
Tip No. 1: Do preliminary research
Before you arrive at the destination, it is a good idea to do some research on the types of cuisine the destination is known for, its local ingredients and its most beloved dishes. For the health-conscious, go for wholesome traditional dishes that rely on natural and unprocessed ingredients, as well as lean proteins, fresh herbs and local vegetables. Also, it is helpful to do a quick search for healthy places to eat, but to take reviews with a grain of salt.
Tip No. 2 Take advantage of a neighbourhood walk or a food tour
While preliminary research offers a general idea of what is available locally, it cannot substitute an actual visit to a local market, where you can take in the sights and smells, and be inspired by the atmosphere of the place. Consider signing up for a neighbourhood walk or a food tour, especially if you are a foodie, a healthy-eater, or have any allergies. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the ingredients and cooking methods of various local favourites as well as ways to communicate your specific needs in local terms, so that you can watch out for the ingredients and cooking methods that you want to avoid in the future. Also, you can browse through an array of seasonal, locally available fruits and vegetables, which retain much more nutrients than imported produce. Moreover, you get to support local farmers, thus preserving the local businesses and the environment. Ask our team at Shama, search the web for vacation packages that include food tours, or check with a travel agent or a local tourist office to learn more about a neighbourhood walk or a food tour at your destination.
Through its exclusive “no boundaries” lifestyle programme, Shama offers a wide range of activities to enhance the residential experience of its guests by providing hood tours and a range of recommendations for dining, socialising and pampering experiences to fast-track their knowledge of the destination so guests can live like a local. The programme comprises four key elements: social highlights, “hoodtour”, recommendations and residents’ activities. These include sand art jamming workshops, potluck parties, and cultural immersion and cooking classes; and are organised on a regular basis at various Shama properties across Bangkok, Hangzhouand Hong Kong.
Tip No. 3 When in doubt, cook it yourself
For health-conscious travellers, cooking your own meals while travelling is ideal because it allows you to control the portion sizes and the ingredients used. For example, vegan travellers can create their own vegan adaptation of Pad Thai by using tofu or tempeh in place of chicken, shrimp and egg, and soy sauce in place of fish sauce. Similarly, those who have food allergies or sensitive stomachs can use the opportunity to prepare a milder or even an allergen-free version of a local favourite. This way, you can explore new recipes and flavours without compromising your dietary requirements. Plus, cooking allows you to create unique memories and a sense of belonging in a new place, so you can make the experience of living in a new city your own.
All Shama Serviced Apartments are well-appointed and tastefully furnished with contemporary interiors to offer home-like comfort in the heart of a bustling city. Among a comprehensive range of amenities and features offered is a fully equipped kitchenette complete with necessary equipment or utensils, so guests can concentrate on creating their own culinary experience. In addition, guests staying at Shama Serviced Apartments can expect to have spacious living and work areas, premium bedding, separate shower and tubs, LED TVs with international channels, dual laundry washers and dryers, Wi-Fi internet access and electronic safes available at their disposal.
Tip No. 4 Explore beyond the boundaries
Just because you are trying to maintain a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you have to stop yourself from discovering the city’s best-kept secrets. With healthy eating and well-being becoming a major trend, it has become relatively easy to find local restaurants that offer organic, vegan and vegetarian options in Asia. Foodies and health-conscious travellers could use the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries and explore the city like a local. You can visit local health food providers and cultivate personal relationships with them to create deeper, more personal bonds with the local health food community, and the city. In this case, choosing a location that is central and well-connected can be very helpful because it will allow for easy commute within and outside of the city centre.
Each Shama property is located in the heart of that city’s prime commercial or residential district. This benefits our residents in every way, including convenient transport links, proximity to cultural and entertainment venues, and easy access to essential amenities, such as local markets and grocery stores.
Enjoy eating like a local and stay healthy while travelling in Asia with these special packages from Shama. For those who want to explore the bustling streets and colourful market stalls of Bangkok, the Long Stay Offer allows you to enjoy free airport drop off and food and beverage credit at Brainwake Cafe with a minimum stay of seven nights at Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok. Book via Shama.com and enjoy special rates starting at 4,120 THB++ per night. The offer is available until December 2020. Learn more at www.shama.com/sukhumvit.
Looking to combine business and leisure during your next trip to Hangzhou, China? Take advantage of the Introductory offer at Shama Zijingang Hangzhou, located within the prestigious Xihu (West Lake) District of Hangzhou, which is in close proximity to the Zijingang Campus of Zhejiang University, one of the most prestigious tertiary education institutions in China. Experience the new serviced apartments with a special rate starting at 588 CNY++ per night for room only and 688 CNY++ per night for room and breakfast. The offer is available until February 2020. Learn more at www.shama.com/zijingang-hangzhou.
Discover the unique blend of Western life and Chinese customs, global cuisine and authentic Chinese dishes, shiny skyscrapers and tranquil public parks in Hong Kong at Shama Island North Hong Kong, located close to lively Causeway Bay and the bustling business hub in Hong Kong’s Eastern District. Room rate starts at 950 HKD++ per night. Learn more at www.shama.com/island-north-hong-kong.