Making my second trip to Thailand. Meeting a food-writer friend in Bangkok. He's then heading off to Chiang Mai and Ko Samui. I've been to Bangkok and Chiang Mai before. Felt like I covered most of what I wanted to experience in Chiang Mai, so I'm not planning on joining him up there. (Though an advanced class at the Thai Cookery School is tempting.)
Instead, I'm planning on going to Kuala Lumpur. 50,000+ hawkers sounds like my kind of town. And I love Malaysian food.
I've got two weeks total. I'm thinking about 4 days in Bangkok, perhaps about the same in KL. So that leaves a few days for another destination. I was considering Vietnam, but I'm trying to make this trip on a budget and flights to Vietnam are about triple or more anywhere else in SE Asia, it seems. Would have loved to hit Ho Chi Minh. Oh well, another time.
I thought I'd look at Indonesia -- very much like Indonesian food --, though I don't know the best cities for food travels. But then I saw that Jakarta is having terrible flooding and malaria and dengue fever is out and about.
So, now I'm leaning towards Singapore. Wouldn't have to deal with another language and it sounds like a great food city. However, I was hoping to get a little more variety and I worry that the food scene in Singapore and KL will be too similar. I'm opening a restaurant this summer and will be working many hours without a chance for travel in the foreseeable future, so I want to pack as much in this trip as possible.