We have both been vegetarian for a long time, so continuing this while travelling is very important to us. When travelling through certain countries (India especially), not eating meat can be a breeze. But how can you get by in the countries that favour meat without speaking the language?
Our Top Tips
- Most obvious first and foremost – get a phrase book. If books aren’t your thing there are loads of useful apps – particually in Asia. In China we use Pleco:
- Be aware that there can be multiple meanings for one word, you may think you are indicating vegetarian food and find that the waiting staff don’t understand you. Research is key here.
- Go offline! Unless you’re happy to use mobile roaming make sure any translation apps are offline.
- Use photographs. A bowl of plain noodles, vegetable soup. Ordered a dish you loved? Take a photo! That way it won’t be difficult to order it again.
- Visit restaurants with photographs in the menu. This can be so simple and easy.
- Remember that some dishes may seem vegetarian but aren’t. We’re thinking of one particular time when a delicious bowl of vegetable noodles had a base of mince, that wasn’t discovered until the end. A time where a meat dumpling got thrown in with the vegetable ones. Sometimes this will happen in a country where being vegetarian isn’t that common. It will be tough at the time but try to shrug your shoulders and move on – it’s all part of the adventure.
- Research vegetarian restaurants. Great things can be done with bean curd!
- Look up national vegetarian dishes, so you get to taste the culture and not miss out.
- Food is often made to order, so do your best to ask for a dish, minus meat. People can be very accommodating.
Do you have any of your own tips? Let us know and we’ll include them (with citation, of course!)