Thai food is among the best in the world, in my opinion, and it has a truly unique taste and flavor. The Thai people take much pride in their cuisine and display much dedication and attention to detail with regards to food preparation.
10 out of 10 people on the street would probably describe Thai food as spicy, first and foremost. Thai food is definitely not bland. It has complex flavors and an intense heat driven by Thai chili peppers.
The flavor of Thai food is difficult for me to describe to Westerners who have never tried it because it is so different from anything they have likely experienced. It combines sweet, salty, sour, and hot to give it unique complexities.
It is easier to describe the main components of Thai food. First, all Thai food usually comes with white rice as a base. Secondly, in Thailand there are four meat choices available for every dish: pork, chicken, squid, and shrimp. No matter what you order, you need to pick one of those meat options.
Thai food is best ordered with combinations of dishes that compliment one another. For example a hot and spicy soup could be paired with a mild chicken and rice dish such as khao-man-gai. It takes a little experience to learn the best pairings of Thai food.
Please don’t be put off or scared by the fact that Thai food is very spicy. It is one of the things that makes Thai food truly special and unique, although it is something different than your palate is probably used to.