Tag: vegan

Peru hasn’t been my favorite country ever but it has so many things going for it, it deserves to be recognized for those gems. Usually people either love Peru or they aren’t such big fans. I’m one of those strange breeds that feels a little in-between about it. It was an awesome month but not without many challenges. This post is going to share my favorite things about Peru. And a few annoying things that shouldn’t distract from your visit I hope.

1. It’s diverse

From bustling cities like Lima, to jungles, to beaches of Mancora and Huanchaco, mountains of the Sacred Valley, floating islands of Uros, colonial cities like Arequipa, and the sand dunes of Huacachina, this country has so much diversity. Probably more so than anywhere I’ve been so far. This is very appealing, especially to Europeans who are sick of seeing the same city over and over again. I met more Europeans than Americans or Australians combined.

2. It’s cheap

My accommodations in dorms and privates ranged from $8 to $15 USD. If I opted for the menu del dia at lunch my meals were under $5 USD. If you were to buy food at markets and cook you could easily spend no more than a couple of dollars per meal. Buses from city to city were on average $10-30 USD. I don’t really do the low backpacker budget anymore because I like a little more comfort and tend to splurge on things so a mid-range budget would be $25-30 USD a day. You can definitely do it cheaper.

3. People are kind 

Granted I was hanging out mostly with expats who live in Peru or travelers, but I did find locals fairly nice too. Anytime I was lost or needed information for something people were helpful and kind, unlike what I experienced in Colombia. I met up with a local vegan when I was visiting Lima and she was so sweet. She drove me around to some local vegan spots and showed me beautiful street art I had missed in Barranco. Travelers from around South America come to Peru as well so it’s a diverse range of tourists in every city.  

4. Machu Picchu 

Peru is known for the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu and it does not disappoint. I splurged and had a travel agency organize a day trip for me and 2 other gals from my retreat. It was so much easier than trying to get all the many pieces together myself in advance (you need a train, then a bus, then entry fee, tour guide, bus and train back). We had such a blast and it’s just as magical as you can imagine. Our tour guide explained the history and what each section of buildings was back in the day. We went in October and the weather was perfect. 

5. Easy and inexpensive transportation

The buses and trains in Peru are nice. Not what you would expect in South America (and being in Ecuador now as I write this the buses here are crap compared to Peru). Taking overnight buses is very common in Peru because it’s huge and this way you don’t miss a day traveling. You can get VIP service with meals and the seats lay back almost flat. I decided to use Peru Hop for most my travel in the southern region of Peru and it is a great service if you plan to hit all the cities along the Gringo Trail. 

6. Vegan food is easy to find
The food is not always that great or unique, but you will not starve in Peru. If you are a high carb vegan even better! Almost every town I visited had at least one vegetarian restaurant, if not many, and a few vegan-friendly choices. Your best deal will always be at lunch with the menu del dia, a 3-4 course meal with a drink that will only set you back 10-15 soles (less than $5 USD). You’ll find vegan versions of traditional Peruvian dishes like the lomo saltado pictured above using seitan instead of beef.

The only thing I couldn’t find is plant milks at coffeeshops or grocery stores (except a few places in Cusco and Arequipa). This is my litmas test to determine how vegan-friendly a country really is and Peru failed. South America fails. As a digital nomad I want to sit at a good coffeeshop with a latte to work on my computer. Needless to say I got used to drinking Americanos black.

7. The markets

The mercados are incredible and everything is super inexpensive. The fruit is some of the best I’ve tasted in the world. The mangoes and avocados made me cry. If you are itching for some home cooking visit the markets and cook your own meals. I did that throughout my month in Peru and it was lovely. You can get everything in the open markets from grains, legumes, spices, and of course fruits and veggies. The quinoa is cheap because it’s coming straight from the source. Be sure to haggle a little; I’m pretty sure I was being upcharged for being a gringa (tourist).

Have you been to Peru? What were you favorite things about it? Tell me in the comments!



Booking.com

by Christy Morgan

Quintana Roo is a popular part of Mexico situated in the Southeast corner of the country. It’s home to Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumal, Bacalar, and many beautiful and ancient Mayan ruins. I spent 5 days in December at an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel, then did my own thing road-tripping around QR in March. I discovered, as I always do, that it isn’t hard to be vegan. Some places are more challenging than others, but I never starve!

Cancun and Cozumel are touristy and full of large all-inclusive retreats. I couldn’t do a post about this area of Mexico with touching a little on my experience at Sunscape Sabor. This all-inclusive resort is pretty affordable if you go at non-peak times and has great free activities like SUP boards, kayaking, snorkel gear, fitness classes, yoga, and wind-sailing. However, our food options were pretty dismal. We made it work like vegans do! Even though I contacted them weeks before and they assured me vegan options were available, none of them were standard except for some items on the salad bar. Even the oatmeal was made with milk. It turns out they have a few “vegetarian” options on each menu in their restaurants, but not really vegan.

We had to specifically ask for vegan beans to be made for us (they always put meat in the beans grrrr) and veggies without butter. The head chef happily made us what we asked for but it was nothing gourmet. I stuck with mostly fruit and oatmeal for breakfast (which they made for us with water), huge salads for lunch, and veggie tacos, rice, and beans for dinner. We ate one meal outside the resort and it was just meh. There aren’t many vegan choices in Cozumel unfortunately.

One of my favorite meals was a veggie pizza with no cheese. PRO TIP: take a shaker of nutritional yeast when you travel for pizza and to sprinkle on anything that needs a flavor punch. We survived the five nights there and the staff was very accommodating to make sure we were fed. They thankfully had soy milk for lattes! Honestly, I won’t be staying at an all-inclusive again unless I know for a fact that vegan options are on their menus and the staff knows what vegan means. 

Now onto Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Bacalar!

In March I visited Playa del Carmen on my way back from Guatemala and discovered it’s a very vegan-friendly place! Also you can score an Airbnb for very cheap. My favorite places to eat in Playa are La Senda, Clorofila, and Pitted Date Bakery. I had the most delicious layer of veggies, corn tortillas, and mole sauce at La Senda. Clorofila has great juices, breakfast items, and both have the most variety of healthy vegan options at affordable prices. 

La Senda
Ave 10 N Entre Calles 10 y 10 bis
Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:30pm

Clorofila Green & Vegan
Calle 20 esq. Av. 30 norte 222
Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm

For breakfast and desserts definitely head to Pitted Date Bakery. The omelet pictured above is stuffed with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes topped with a delicious sauce and nut parmesan. They carry both raw and baked vegan desserts, and other breakfast and lunch options. It’s not to be missed! 

Pitted Date Bakery
Calle 26 Norte
Mon-Sun 8:00am-10:00pm

I jumped in a rental car and headed down to Tulum, where I stopped for lunch then took the long drive to Bacalar. This freshwater lake looks like the ocean and is nicknamed Lagoon of Seven Colors for it’s beautiful layers of color. I think it’s often overshadowed by the beach towns in QR, but honestly I prefer fresh water to the salty ocean. It’s a small, sleepy town in comparison but if you are looking for some peace and quiet definitely consider a short stay here. I recommend Casa Lamat for their perfect bungalows along the lake and the above platform with hammocks so you can chill, swim, and sunbath as the waves lull you to sleep.

I was happy to discover a vegan restaurant in Bacalar! Mango y Chile has plant-based burgers made with whole food ingredients and baked goods too. Definitely stop there if you are in the area!

Mango y Chile
Av.3 Fuerte San Felipe
Mon-Sun 1:00 – 9:00pm (closed Tuesdays)

I headed back up and stopped in Tulum at Charly’s Vegan Tacos for dinner. They have more than tacos! It was dark so I couldn’t get a good photo of my meal but I tried the Huaraches (a Mexican version of a pizza but with corn masa as base topped with yums). I did snap this sign directing people back to the vegan truck. Too funny! There is plenty of seating outside the truck and the staff is super nice. You can look on HappyCow for photos of their delicious food. It’s really creative stuff; they do amazing things with seitan and jackfruit, have unique salsas and sauces, and fancy mocktails.

Charly’s Vegan Tacos
Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila km. 4.5
Tue-Sun 1:00-10:00pm

Have you been to this area of Mexico? Any advice for our readers or favorite places you ate delicious vegan food? Share with us in the comments!

Disclaimer: You’ll find some affiliate links in my travel posts. I appreciate you booking through the links on my site so that I may continue giving you free content and sharing my travel adventures! It costs nothing extra for you & I make a tiny bit to keep running this blog. Thanks for your support!



Booking.com

By Christy Morgan

After spending time on the beautiful island of Ko Phangan I headed to Bangkok to visit friends and spend the last 2 weeks of my time in Asia in the big city. I was a little leery of doing this I’ll admit, because when I visited in 2010 & 2011 Bangkok didn’t leave a great impression on me. At that time there were riots, political unrest, crime, and the streets were dirty and smelly. You couldn’t walk five feet without being harassed on the street. Horror stories were found everywhere online by travelers and backpackers alike.

This time when I arrived at the Bangkok airport no one harassed me and no taxi driver tried to rip me off. There wasn’t a huge crowd of men standing right outside the exit yelling “taxi, taxi, miss where you want to go, need a taxi”. I simply walked up to a machine, printed out a ticket that corresponded to a parking spot where my taxi driver waited for me. He helped me with my bag, and away we went, with the meter on, and the air con blasting. It was a breeze.

I got in very late, so the next morning I hit the streets to do some exploring. Do not go to Bangkok in April/May unless you love heat and humidity. It was already 90 degrees at 8am. Being from Texas I should be used to this kind of weather, but it’s not ideal for walking around a big city.

But this post is about what I love about Bangkok so let’s move on to the fun stuff!

veganerietreats

No travel article would be complete without talking about the amazing vegan food found in the bustling city of Bangkok. This being my third trip there I focused on food more than doing the sites, visiting temples, and other touristy things. Thailand is of course known for it’s delicious food, but the vegan options have especially exploded over the last few years. I was staying with a dear friend and cooking most of my meals at home, but there was no way I could come to Thailand and not try the vegan options. I stayed in the Sukhumvit area of town and visited that general area when trying new restaurants. I didn’t visit any of my old favorites from previous trips like May Kaidee and Khun Churn. 

The place I visited most was Veganerie Concept. The first time there I had the chicken and waffles. This did not disappoint. Not only is the food heavenly the space is gorgeously designed, hip, modern, with vegan signs and motivating words all over the walls. The staff is super friendly too. 

You will drool looking over the desserts, drinks, and shakes menu at Veganerie. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s worth every penny. I highly recommend the strawberry cheesecake shake and the brownie ice cream sundae seen above! 

thecookthailand

Bangkok is known for it’s malls upon malls. I’ve never seen so many malls in my life. And every mall has a huge food court with cheap food stalls. In most malls you will have at least one “jay” stall that has vegan and vegetarian Thai food. This is hands down the best deal in town. Rice with 2 or 3 entrees will be only 30-50 baht or $1-2 USD. There’s always a row of different items to choose from and you can add a spring roll like I did above. The way to order at these food courts is to get a card from the main register and hand it to the stall when ordering your food.

mayveggie

Another hit was May Veggie Home. I wish I would have eaten here more because their menu is HUGE. This is a vegan restaurant with some creative dishes across all Asian cultures. We started with Thai iced tea using coconut milk instead of condensed milk. Then we had the bacon wrapped mushrooms (I wasn’t a fan of personally), the tea leaf salad (shown above, which was amazingly flavorful), and some other special appetizer that I can’t remember. My friend Brighde got a big steamy bowl of Khao Soi (which made me jealous because it was soooo good) and I had some veggie stir-fry thing. I can’t remember if we got dessert but they do have vegan ice cream that you must try!

bangkokactivism

I visited a new kid on the block for a vegan Meetup and had the most delicious vegan pancakes. Broccoli Revolution is beautifully designed having two floors with enough seating to take your computer and work for a couple of hours. We had a group of about 12 for our meetup. Later that week I went to another Meetup at Veganerie that Brighde hosted to discuss different ways to use activism for the local Thai people. It was a blast getting to meet local vegans and brainstorm with them. I’m so proud of my friend Brighde who created vegan brochures in Thai to put around town.

tacosaladbkk

Most the time in Bangkok I made my own meals like the beautiful taco salad shown above. Produce is fairly cheap and many stores have every sort of product you would find back home. So if you are missing your favorite snack food, chocolate, cereal, vegan cheese, whatever, I bet you can find it at one of the fancier grocery stores. For a price! 

Bangkok is a vegan foodie heaven. It’s loud and crazy, but the food is enough of a reason to stop in for a few days.



Booking.com

by Christy Morgan

The infamous best meal you’ve ever had question. Being a chef I often get this question. It’s like choosing your favorite child. It’s near impossible. Especially for foodies like us vegans.

When asked to do an interview for The Vegan Word, this question undoubtedly came up. I thought to myself long and hard, then chose something unique that also had a special place in my travels. My new friend Brighde had taken me under her wing in sweaty, smelly Bangkok 5 years ago. I was there working on a Southeast Asian cookbook with May Kaidee. Having a vegan friend there during those two months contributed to my happiness and ability to survive such a grueling town.

She introduced me to Miang Kham.miangkham

You get this tray of little bowls filled with awesomeness (you can also find it in baggies on the street!). The name means “eating many things in one bite”. You take a herb leaf and fill it with these things, top with sauce, and it’s heaven in your mouth. It usually comes with little dried shrimp so be sure to ask for something else or to leave that off your platter.

This is just one of the many amazing vegan meals you can find in Thailand. Vegan Food Quest has an epic post with some of the best (including their miang kham featured in the image to the right)! Check it out here.

To be especially annoying we turned the tables and ask the favorite meal question to some of our vegan travel blogger friends. Here’s what they had to say!

Do you have a favorite meal you’ve had while traveling the world? Tell us all about it in the comments! 

burger

Caryl and Paul from Vegan Food Quest

Caryl has been vegan for over 12 years and me for nearly 2 years so that is over 15 thousand plant-based meals to choose from! We love everything from simple street food to exquisite fine dining so picking our favourite is impossible; however, we love burgers and this delicious plant-based burger at Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam was pretty special (pictured).

pizza

Amanda from Burger Abroad

Here’s where I’m supposed to say a salad, but I’m a huge sucker for vegan comfort foods, especially pizza. I recently found the best vegan pizza in Brighton, England at Pizzaface (pictured). They made a delicious vegan cheese pizza with sour cream, sausage and rocket on top. Amazingly good.

sushi

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

I’ll go with the sushi at Pirata in Vienna (pictured). Before I became vegan, sushi was my favourite food of all time. If I’d been told I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would have chosen sushi. While the sushi I ate almost always contained fish, I now realize that what I really loved (and still love) about sushi were all the plant-based flavours the fish was wrapped up in – the pickled ginger, the spicy wasabi, the salty nori and the slightly sweet rice. Unfortunately, vegan options in sushi restaurants where I live tend to be limited to rather boring cucumber rolls. That’s why I was thrilled to find out about Pirata – a fish-free sushi restaurant in Vienna! They make really creative sushi rolls; my favourite was the mango and avocado with sesame seeds. Yum!

taipei_yushange3

Caitlin from The Vegan Word

I was lucky enough to have a 9-course gourmet meal at an upscale Japanese-style vegetarian restaurant in Taipei, Yu Shan Ge. All for under $30! Of course, in local currency that’s quite a lot. The restaurant is apparently frequented by a lot of local celebrities. The food was phenomenal and I’ve never experienced service like that. I had a private waiter to myself!

P1030435

Amelia from Plant-Powered Nomad

The one that stands out maybe isn’t the most culinarily extraordinary, but it’s one that shows just how easy travelling as a vegan and finding amazing meals can be. I was with another vegan friend at the time visiting Alishan mountain in Taiwan. It’s utterly beautiful, but we were staying in a tiny village with incredibly limited food options. Chancing our luck we wandered into a restaurant and asked the man (in Chinese) whether there were any vegan options. He pointed out several and so we took them all. We ended up with bamboo shoots, tea noodles, and wasabi tofu which somewhat stole the show. It was incredibly simple, and yet fresh and delicious. It combined the traditional Chinese culture of Taiwan with the Japanese influence left in Alishan: the area is renowned for its wasabi growing.

icecream

Kristin from Will Travel For Vegan Food

I don’t think I have ONE favorite meal but many, many, many good ones. Which is a good thing, for sure. If I had to choose one to highlight here though it would be the ice cream sundae from Portobello in Portland, OR. Not sure if it counts as a “meal” per say, haha but it’s my favorite because at the time I’d never had ice cream that was so rich and creamy. They topped it with whipped cream and it had a chocolate cake base filled with chocolate syrup. Ugh, it was so good. Plus, I got to enjoy it with my parents which made it extra special. Actually, we each got our own because…yeah.

I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering! Thanks to everyone for sharing this delicious food with us! One of my favorite things about traveling is trying all the beautiful, compassionate food around the globe. Each place has it’s own unique flavors, textures, and presentation. Eating is probably the best thing about traveling actually! Do you agree?

Do you have a favorite meal you’ve had while traveling the world? Tell us all about it in the comments! 



Booking.com