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Sandy1003

Southeast Asia

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Hi all,

I am going to be visiting my brother in Singapore for 3 weeks in July. I don't expect that I will have too much difficulty explaining my situation there as English is the official language, however, we will be taking a few trips to other SE Asian countries where I do not know the language (Vietnam, Thailand, etc.) and also Japan. I know there is an iphone app that will translate "I can't have wheat" into many other languages, however, I'm concerned that my phone won't be working or people in the villages may not be able to read. I don't think that wheat plays a big role in most of these cuisines, but I wanted to know what sorts of things I should stay away from and what is safe. Has anyone been to Asia? What was your experience? What advice can you offer me?

Thanks!

Sandy

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Hi all,

I am going to be visiting my brother in Singapore for 3 weeks in July. I don't expect that I will have too much difficulty explaining my situation there as English is the official language, however, we will be taking a few trips to other SE Asian countries where I do not know the language (Vietnam, Thailand, etc.) and also Japan. I know there is an iphone app that will translate "I can't have wheat" into many other languages, however, I'm concerned that my phone won't be working or people in the villages may not be able to read. I don't think that wheat plays a big role in most of these cuisines, but I wanted to know what sorts of things I should stay away from and what is safe. Has anyone been to Asia? What was your experience? What advice can you offer me?

Thanks!

Sandy

I've never been over there, but I do own some dining cards that are translated into several languages and foods to avoid are specific to the kind of ethnic food you're eating. They're from Triumph Dining: http://www.triumphdining.com/products/gluten-free-dining-cards

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I went to Thailand earlier this year and had a great time. I had expected English to be spoken more widely there based on a guide book I read, but actually most Thai people do not speak English or speak it at a non-fluent level. As such, it was not really wasn't possible to find out for sure what I was getting in my food a lot of the time. I did have a card written in Thai that supposedly explained being gluten free, but I didn't even end up using it a lot of places because it just seemed like too much of a hassle. To the best of my knowledge all of the curries are gluten free and I ate a LOT of curry!! Unfortunately most non-curry dishes do have soy sauce and while I have heard that soy sauce in Thailand may not to be fermented with wheat as it is most elsewhere, I had no way to prove that since the labels are of course in Thai!

Not sure where you'll be in Thailand, but the highlight of my trip was staying in Chiang Dao which is a very small village about an hour and a half bus ride from Chiang Mai, the 2nd largest city. We stayed here at "nest 2": http://nest.chiangdao.com/. I showed my Thai gluten free card to the owner, who is also the head chef at the small on-site restaurant and she ended up making me a four course meal that included different types of regional cuisine. It was the best food of my entire trip and I feel so grateful! Check it out if you can!

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