The 6 Must-Buy Snacks When Holidaying In Asia


June 15, 2017 | BY Tien Chew

Going to one of these colourful countries in Asia for a holiday and looking for a souvenir? Buy these essential snacks.

Cover 2.jpg (original size)Illustration by Reshween Maan

Asia is a must on anyone's holiday bucket list and one of the best things about visiting a new country is the opportunity to expand your food knowledge.

Also read: 5 new restaurants to consider this month

Local snacks are a fantastic way to bring back a slice of what the people love to eat when you're travelling.

To help you decide from the countless number of snacks in Asia, six of us on the Tatler team compiled a mini guide on snackables that we think are a must buy.

Kathlyn D'Souza, Polvoron, Philippines

Polvoron.jpg (original size)Illustration by Reshween Maan

Why this snack?
It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Filipino snacks as it’s so heavily imbued in their culture. 

Why is this a must buy? 
Polvoron sweets are associated with celebrations and they would be the first "happy" thing that Filipinos think about when asked what to buy from the country. And they don’t only come in one generic flavour, it’s like a surprise each time.

Tien Chew, Thai Toffee, Thailand


Illustration by Reshween Maan

Why this snack?
Thai toffee is different to that of traditional toffee, infusing local fruits to give it an edge that makes it unique, fun and exotic.

Why is this a must buy? 
It's toffee with fruits! It's playfully chewy, not too sweet and slightly tangy. It's relatively affordable and a packet comes with more than handful, making it easily shareable.

Dian Kaur, Fried Crickets, Cambodia

Fried-Crickets.jpg (original size)Illustration by Reshween Maan

Why this snack?
These snacks (crickets, beetles, spider, scorpions) are perfect for playing truth or dare during happy hours with your colleagues upon your return. 

Why is this a must buy? 
This snack isn’t for everyone, only the brave need apply. It will not only add some cheer (or tear) into the lives of your family and friends back home, it also has a long history in Khmer cuisine. 

Jean Goon, Irvins Salted Egg Snacks, Singapore
Irvins.jpg (original size)

Illustration by Reshween Maan 

Why this snack?
It's downright delicious! I'm a big fan of salted egg yolk dishes and I find that this tastes like the real deal. 

Why is this a must buy? 
Salted egg yolk chips have been done before but this has been the best attempt so far. If you have ever ordered salted egg yolk sotong while at dinner with friends, get this for them! 

Jessica Liew, Kuih Cincin, Sabah/Brunei

Kuih-Cincin.jpg (original size)

Illustration by Reshween Maan

Why this snack?
This snack of Brunei-Malay origin is also a common delicacy in neighbouring Sabah (my hometown), where the floral-shaped ‘ring cake’ is solidly integrated as a Sabahan signature food. 

Why is this a must buy? 
Besides it being suitable for both lovers of savoury and sweet, kuih cincin is a powerful example of food as a multi-cultural heritage. It’s durable for long, bumpy flights and has a relatively long shelf life too. 

Nafisa Akil, Calbee Honey Butter Chips,

Honey-Butter-Chip.jpg (original size)Illustration by Reshween Maan

Why this snack?
Unlike other Korean snacks, which are either sea-weed flavoured or come with traces of kimchi, shell fish and gochujang, this is one is a refreshing delight.

Why is this a must buy? 
Simply because they are delicious! Your family and friends wouldn’t expect a Korean snack to be devoid of spices and strong flavours, since the chips are mild flavoured they work for every palette and not too greasy to consume. 

Wondering why Japan wasn't featured on the list? Stay tuned for our special Japanese souvenir snack guide coming soon.

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