The latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Study has ranked Thailand the fourth most-chosen destination among international tourists, while CNN Travel has listed tom yam kung (or tom yum goong) among the 20 best soup dishes in the world in 2022.
Minister of Culture Itthiphol Kunplome was pleased with the rankings, saying that the Ministry of Culture has been joining forces with all relevant organizations in promoting Thailand’s “soft power” to make it better known worldwide.
According to a survey conducted by Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Hua Hin are the most popular destinations in Thailand, which tourists around the world search for information about through online channels.
Among the most popular activities for tourists in Thailand are traditional Thai massage, eating Thai food, relaxing at a resort, and having cultural experiences, such as visiting Thai temples.
As for tom yam kung, CNN Travel says, “sweet, sour, spicy, and salty, this soup’s magnificent broth is the ideal foil for sweet, tender shrimp. Aromatic ingredients include galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves, while slivers of bright red bird’s-eye chilies add additional heat.”
Thailand has submitted a proposal to nominate tom yam kung for inclusion on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list. This food reflects the simplicity and the way of life of Thai people, and it is also good for health. UNESCO is in the process of considering this proposal.
Thai dishes are regularly included in lists of the “world’s best.” CNN Travel has also named Thai massaman curry among the world’s 50 best foods. Massaman curry is cooked deliberately with rich flavors in a combination of spicy, coconutty, and sweet. In most versions of the dish, chicken and potatoes are added, as well.