Things you should never eat while traveling around Asia

The joy of traveling around Asia is an experience like no other – from the paradise beach parties in Thailand to the breathtaking scenery of Vietnam. While visiting these beautiful Asian countries, you should always make the most of immersing yourself within the vibrant sights and sounds of their distinct cultures, but when it comes to tasting the culture, you need to be particularly careful.

Asian foods are prepared and produced within entirely different health standards, so unlike the locals, our immune systems may not be prepared for the bacteria, organisms, and chemicals present in the food. To be as safe as possible, we suggest entirely avoiding these foods…

Fish and Shellfish

Shellfish (and fish in general) is perhaps the biggest no-no on this list! Raw seafood is a massive breeding ground for bacteria and harmful microorganisms, which might not necessarily be killed off when cooked either. This means that any dishes containing raw fish should be avoided at all costs – so absolutely no sushi! Mussels and oysters are risky, too. Basically, don’t go there unless it’s a freshly caught carp burnt to a crisp on a BBQ.

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Tap water and ice

Tap water is a risk in any foreign country, and with Asian countries, the water is at high risk of being contaminated with a whole host of dangerous bacteria, parasites, and viruses – in the worst cases these can even cause fatalities. It’s always best to stick to canned and bottled drinks, and also be careful when you are washing and brushing your teeth. Remember to order drinks without ice too!

Raw vegetables

Although cooked vegetables should be perfectly fine, raw vegetables are definitely risky. Due to most of the vegetables on offer being washed and cleaned in the local tap water, many of these foods may be highly contaminated with nasty bacteria. So unless the vegetables are cooked through on a high heat, there’s a chance they’ll upset your stomach. Salads are a particular dish you should avoid – even if you are wanting to be healthy!

Undercooked meat

Asian street food is a staple part of traveling, but this is where you have to be most careful – especially when it comes to the rather questionable meat stacked onto skewers. These may be the quickest snacks, but they also come with great risk, too. It’s not just the fact that you don’t know what you’re eating, but the meat itself may be greatly undercooked as well. Some meats are thought to be best served slightly rare (beef, lamb, duck, etc.), so these dishes pose the most danger!


Asian milk industries are thought to practice far worse health standards than Western industries when it comes to producing and preserving the milk they drink. This means that it’s probably best you avoid drinking any fresh milk as a beverage. Milk products and cooked dairy dishes should be fine, but you never know what might be lurking at the farms.

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It’s always better to be safe than it is to be sorry, so if you want to avoid being seriously ill while on your Asian travels, it’s best if you avoid these foods altogether. The tantalizing streets foods might be tempting, and the bizarre seafood dishes are fascinating enough to make you want to try them, but you won’t feel that way the next day, that’s for sure!