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One of the main differences between vegetarians and vegans is vegetarians, although not consuming meat or flesh of animals or fish, may still consume animal by-products such as eggs or milk. It is much easier to cater to vegetarians than vegans here in Thailand and so the great thing is that most restaurants on the island offer vegetarian options or any dish can be requested to come without meat. Yet, the ingredients may still include things such as eggs and so would not be vegan. This is why we will focus on vegan eateries for this article.
Veganism is a conscious way of life that tries as far as possible to exclude all kinds of animal abuse and brutality. This covers food exploitation and all other uses.
A vegan diet thus eliminates not only animal flesh but also foods such as eggs and milk.
Vegans claim that livestock, whether for food, clothes, research or entertainment, should be exempt from human use. Therefore, they aim to exclude all by-products of livestock, irrespective of the circumstances in which they are raised or kept. In short, vegans will not eat or use anything that has come from an animal, in any way.
Being vegan is usually a way of life rather than just a diet. Vegans claim we should live with animals side by side rather than as "apex predators". We can help them enjoy their life as naturally as possible instead of exerting control over animals.
The vegan lifestyle requires a diet. Vegans do not consume poultry, eggs, milk products, or all other by-products of livestock, even honey created by bees.
They recognize that animals are used, from soaps and cosmetics to clothes, to make many consumer goods. For starters, instead of wool made from sheep, llamas, alpacas, and other species, vegans wear synthetic fabrics.
It's all about awareness, just like the vegan lifestyle is about intent. A vegan has to consider whether or not it has had a deleterious influence on animals in some manner when consuming something.
The village of Sri Thanu in the north-western part of the island (though there are many vegan restaurants scattered throughout the island) has by far the highest and most concentrated number of vegan eateries. You'll find that the north-west, provides everything from a calming environment, high-quality meditation and detox retreats, picturesque beaches, spectacular sunset jams, diving classes, and a lovely group of adventurous tourists, residents, digital nomads, ex-pats, and citizens finding general wellness and spirituality which includes being vegan.
In Thai restaurants, it is typically possible to get vegan choices since their typical cuisine is made entirely of vegetables. There is one little problem, though, and that is what they prepare certain vegetables with. For example, in most recipes, they prefer to use chicken broth and fish sauce, so if you want to stop them, you only have to make sure to speak up. You may clearly state that if you're a woman, you don't eat the fish sauce by saying “chan mai ghin nam pla” or “pom mai ghin nam pla” if you're a male; and/or that if you're a woman, you don't eat chicken broth by saying “chan mai ghin nam soop gai” or “pom mai ghin nam soop gai” if you're a man.
Eggs are also used too but by saying "chan/pom mai ghin kai" you will be asking for no eggs.
Koh Phangan is, for the most part, a vegan paradise. To appease the health-conscious crowd that flocks here it is popular for local Thais to deliver vegan choices with no MSG.
Another factor to recognise is that tofu is sometimes not vegan. Egg tofu is used occasionally. Remember the form and feel to appreciate the difference. It's soy if it's solid and square. If it's thick circular slices and the consistency is smooth, silky, it's an egg. Egg tofu is used much of the time when the restaurant doesn't go through a ton of tofu so it holds soy tofu longer than new. Another point to bear in mind about soy is that not all soy milk is solely soy. A limited proportion of cow's milk is found in Lactasoy (Thailand's largest soy milk brand).
Know that the pan has been used to cook meat or eggs if you request street food, and they do not clean it between each cooked bowl. That means it is cooked in a pan that was just used to cook meat, even though you order a vegan dish! Often, street food vendors also use a huge slab of pork fat before tossing the vegetables into ‘season’ the plate.
Tom Hed Yum
It's a spicy, fragrant broth full of lemongrass, basil from Thailand and other delights. Hed means mushrooms, so there shouldn't be chicken inside this edition.
Plain Rice or Fried Rice (khaw) (khaw pad)
Be sure to tell the “mangsawirat pak pak” that means vegetables.
Sticky mango and rice
Fried in soft coconut milk, the sticky rice is eaten with slices of fresh mango.
This dish consists of cubes of tofu served with quick-fried garlic, onion and chilli garnish in a crispy, salty layer with a fluffy within.
As you are in a vegan paradise you may want to brush up on your skills of vegan cookery. There are lots to learn here in this melting pot of different nationalities, each chef bringing their own style and take on vegan cooking. You can choose to learn privately or in a group, either at home or in a professional setting. Here you can learn about vegan cooking with one of Koh Phangan’s well-loved vegan chefs Einav of the famous Green Gallery restaurant.
This cafe, set in a peaceful bay, is situated within the Orion Healing Center. It provides superfood smoothies, new juices, elixirs and dishes such as raw cacao, raw coconut sugar, Himalayan salt, organic oils and other ingredients focused on locally sourced plants. Uses ingredients local-sourced and unprocessed. Known for their detoxes, expect clean food at Orion.
The yoga studio and cafe serve vegan cuisine. Most of the menu contains Thai dishes such as curries, soups and pad Thai, as well as a few western dishes such as tofu scramble.
Since October 2019, the vegan restaurant on Chaloklum beach has been situated next to the Chaloklum Padi Diving Centre. Offers ingredients such as oats and granola for toast, and starts such as bruschetta, chilli, and hummus dishes. Salads, sandwiches, wraps, risotto, dal, and more are the main entrees. It offers cakes, chocolate, tea, juices, healthy wine and smoothies. An organic food collection, such as hemp protein, buckwheat, apple cider vinegar, and herbal cleaning items, is available in the retail area.
At the Wonderland Wellness Center, the bamboo lounge and juice bar combine culinary techniques from around the world. Offering a vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, with new drinks, shakes and treats during the day. However, you must be part of a retreat there to enjoy this or otherwise know someone, contact them for more information.
Located in a heart of Sri Thanu, Eat.Co is well known Vegan Comfort food spot, that offers variety of plant based dishes that would satisfy any taste buds. Yummy burgers and sandwiches, decadent milkshakes and other delicacies can be found there. Don't forget to check the dessert fridge
This vegan restaurant launched in Sri Thanu in 2017, one of a few outlets in Thailand, relocated to Hin Kong in March'20. It offers a broad array of foods, including snacks, coffee, and beverages. Food examples include lettuce rolls of rice paper, banana pancakes, nachos, quesadilla, burrito, mushroom larb, taco, and wedges of potato. You may even build-your-own salad.
Green Gallery is a very well-known restaurant which has now relocated to Sri Thanu Food Market. They value and appreciate all ways of life at the Green Gallery, offering organic cuisine and prohibiting the use of animal products. The menu at the Green Gallery is an expression of their enthusiasm for vegan food, enjoyment of cooking, appetite for imagination and memories of childhood.
Formerly called Aree's Ayurvedic Cafe, Dosha has Indian and Ayurvedic food. It serves an all-you-can-eat buffet and a fusion meal for the evening. Find samosa, vegetables, chili, organic vegetables, vegan cakes.
There are many restaurants which also serve great vegan dishes but the former list here are solely vegan as far as we are aware if you have one we may have missed please let us know!
Koh Phangan is widely recognized for being one of Thailand's vegan hot spots. Certainly, the island is a special spot, and not only for food. The beaches are idyllic, and the jungle and scenery make it a really refreshing place to be. There are various restaurants that are entirely vegan, some of which could be argued are the best in the world. Vegans can also have a wide selection of local fruits and vegetables from the market and many shops sell more sustainable household products that are natural without animal derivatives.