DON’T eat meat? Thailand might then be your best bet for a Southeast Asian holiday.
To mark World Vegetarian Month in October, accommodation booking website Oliver’s Travels ranked countries around the world by how “vegetarian-friendly” they were for travellers.
The ranking was based on the number of vegetarian restaurants, the number of vegetarian restaurants in relation to population size, and the annual meat consumption per capita. Southeast Asian countries feature prominently in the top 10
The African nation of Seychelles was found to be the most vegetarian-friendly nation in the world, followed by Southeast Asian destinations Thailand and Malaysia.
Thais only eat 25.8kg of meat per year (compared with 84.2kg in the United Kingdom) and have access to 908 vegetarian restaurants.
Neighbouring Malaysia boasts even more vegetarian joints, with 1,185. It also has more restaurants per head, but Muslim-majority Malaysia also enjoys eating meat, with 52.3kg consumed each year on average.
Singapore was ranked sixth even though on average its citizens eat 71.1kg of meat per year, but for a small city-state, it boasts a lot of vegetarian places – no less than 654.
Buddhist Cambodians eat very little meat at only 15.5kg per year, but dedicated vegetarian restaurants are only numbered at 153.
Then came Sri Lanka (14), Japan (15) and then Indonesia (16) with 438 vegetarian restaurants across the archipelago. Indonesians eat very little meat per capita at just 11.6kg. Australia – at 17th place – has more than 3,000 vegetarian-dedicated food outlets.
Interestingly, the United States has the most vegetarian restaurants of any country, boasting 18,975 restaurants. But Americans are huge meat eaters – scoffing down 120kg per year.