You know you’re in Southeast Asia when people start arguing about where you’ll find the best food. If we had to choose, we’d narrow it down to Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur for your next food trip, which just got better thanks to InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. From now until October 17 2018, simply book two nights at a Club InterContinental room, suite or villa at any of the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in Bali, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to enjoy an additional night, which is valid for stays between 1 November 2018 to 31 March 2019.
#1 Bangkok, Thailand
There’s no city like Bangkok for food, whether you’re there for the street delicacies or the Michelin stars. Head to the night markets so you can sample as many snacks and dishes as possible in one session – we love the densely packed Rod Fai (Train Market), Asiatique for a slightly more upmarket feel, or Chatuchak for a good time during the day. Get the phad thai and green curry out of the way early to make room for Michelin-starred eats like Bo.Lan and Chim by Siam Wisdom, which put unique spins on traditional Thai food. Finally, always leave space for a yummy classic, the Nutella and banana crepe.
Classics to try: Poo aob woonsen (crab with glass noodles); gai thod (fried chicken); moo ping (grilled pork skewers)
Stay here: InterContinental Bangkok. It’s one of the city’s largest hotels, located in the heart of the central business district, just a short distance from dining and shopping hotspots. And it’s all great timing – Bangkok’s coolest months start in November, so time your stay to enjoy the weather (don’t forget to soak in the cityscape from your window!).
#2 Hanoi, Vietnam
You could eat incredibly all day at Hanoi without even setting foot inside an actual building. Perch on a stool on the pavement, slurp a bowl of pho standing up, chomp on a banh mi as you walk. There’s great food literally around every corner, you just have to follow your nose (and avoid those people who grab your feet and ask if you want your shoes fixed). (True story.) But Hanoi also celebrates contrasts in its food scene: there are restaurants like Essence that present irresistible Vietnamese delights in a refined setting.
Classics to try: Bún chả (barbecued pork with vermicelli); chả cá (grilled fish with turmeric and dill); bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls)
Stay here: InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72. The hotel is the tallest in Hanoi, so you can expect panoramic views of the city from the middle of the central business district. There are plenty of dining options (the view from Q Bar is stunning!) and the spa and pool are must-visits.
#3 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Speaking of Vietnam, while you’re there, head south to Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a hectic, crazy city, and the stresses are best soothed by rich Vietnamese coffee in between lavish meals (ever heard of The Chopsticks Saigon? You need it on your list). Sample more coffee at popular hangouts like Du Mien Garden Coffee and M2C Cafe, which should kick off your new fascination with the city’s blooming café culture. And afterwards, duck down the side alleys to find the crowded stalls (like the famous Bánh Mì Hòa Mã) and prepare to queue for what you want!
Classics to try: Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich); bún riêu (crabmeat noodles); bánh xèo (savoury pancake wrap)
Stay here: InterContinental Saigon. Popular Saigon landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral are all within walking distance from this hotel, which was named Vietnam’s Leading Hotel in 2018 by World Travel Awards. Enjoy the best cuisines from the east and west all under one roof.
Read also: A two-day itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City
Singapore is home to an incredible variety of food, from the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world to some of the world’s best fine dining, like Odette, number 5 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Join the queues at Liao Fan to try the world-renowned soya sauce chicken, drop by the Crazy Rich Asians-famous Newton Food Court and then end the day at a celebrity chef-helmed restaurant at Marina Bay Sands: Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Adrift by David Myers, Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, the list goes on.
Classics to try: soya sauce chicken, chilli crab, fried prawn mee
Stay here: InterContinental Singapore. The interiors here blend heritage architecture with modern touches to give you a distinct Singaporean stay, just minutes away from the gorgeous Marina Bay and various must-visit museums. And instead of (just) Orchard Road, be sure to head to the nearby Bugis and Kampong Glam precincts for a big dose of art, culture, and shopping.
#5 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
So many regional cuisines come to play in Kuala Lumpur’s streets. Troika Sky Dining is one of the better known dinner destinations with a view (especially from Fuego), and there’s also everyone’s new French favourite DC Restaurant. And because a trip to KL isn’t complete until you’ve had street food, balance out your fine dining pursuits with breakfast at a kopitiam (coffee shop), nasi lemak at Village Park for lunch, an evening exploring a local night market, and a late night supper at a mamak.
Classics to try: nasi lemak (coconut rice with sambal), curry laksa, chilli pan mee (handmade flat flour noodles)
Stay here: InterContinental Kuala Lumpur. There’s no better place than the city centre if you want to experience the best of the Malaysian capital. Needless to say, the hotel is within the dining and shopping hub, and the gorgeous rooms come with sprawling views of the urban jungle around you.