Written by By Tara Romers, CNN Seoul, South Korea
The people of South Korea aren’t shy about their culinary pride.
Since banishing its beef “old man ban” about a decade ago, they have worked hard to create a range of custom and regional dishes that are packed with variety and a level of authenticity their neighbors in the United States or France just can’t match.
While Asia offers little in the way of truly international cuisines, the continent’s train journey network manages to carve out some of the most interesting culinary journeys anywhere.
1 / 7 “In April, I ventured out of the city, onboard GYE 24 for a train to Jeju Island,” wrote the team behind food site Food Moon Jung — which raises money for the Little Village Intercultural School in Seoul. “It was a great new learning experience to learn about the Korean eating culture and see the archipelago.” Credit: Courtesy Food Moon Jung
As we wait for the South Korean government to agree to allow full mass international shipping of beef, it’s worth considering its giant, autocratic neighbor’s innovative culinary contributions.
Here are six jaw-dropping train journeys to inspire your next culinary trip to Asia.
1. Myanmar, Bangkok and Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand’s knack for variations on grilled meat cuisine has made country the go-to destination for foodies in recent years.
From fish puris to eel curry and an array of crispy noodles, Bangkok’s culinary travel itinerary provides an incredible sampling of the eateries that have become prominent food destinations across Southeast Asia.
Take, for example, the traditional street food there. Burmese-Thai cuisine can be served “very lightly grilled and hit with ginger juice,” said Asia travel writer Ted Han in an interview for CNN Travel.
“One of the most inspiring and exotic places to eat seafood is in Pattaya near the beach,” he added. “There are restaurants serving Sichuan-style stuffed sea eels or grilled rock cod accompanied with a scattering of garlic and chili, along with chilli pibil for a spicy finish.”