Thailand is a one-stop-shop for sun-kissed beaches; hot market buys, street eats galore and nights of endless raving. But 12 hours after downing that last bucket of Mekong Rum, you may be suffering from a hangover (or Chang-over if you decided to get the local beer involved).
Never fear, as your saving grace can be found at almost every street corner in every major Thai city and town.
Over in Thailand, 7-11 is that extra bit special than the ones you find back home. They are a convenience goldmine, stocking the perfect remedies ]you so desperately need to feel more human after the repercussions of the previous night slowly creep up.
So come on in, let the door ring its bell as we walk you through the best things you can find amongst the aisles of Thailand’s notoriously good 7-11’s.
These toasties are of backpacker legend and should go down in the top ten of quintessential big night remedies in Thailand.
I must admit, I am quite the food snob and could not understand why fellow backpackers would lurk outside the 7-11, munching on packet toasties rather than a roadside bowl of Pad Thai for the same 30 Baht price tag. But after a big night out and a need for grease, this toastie was almost heaven-sent with its melted goodness sandwiched between the ingenious hybrid of a croissant and sliced white bread.
I’m telling you, these carb snacks are addictive and hard to stop at one as they come in all sorts of combinations – sausage and cheese, mushroom and cheese, carbonara. If there were ever an award for convenience food items that actually taste good, this toastie should get some 7-11 mantelpiece.
If the toastie is too much of a “Western treat” (and it is), you can also get a doughy steamed pork bun as a snack. You can purchase one next to the tasty toasties as mentioned above or at the warmer near the till.
Milo in a can
Why is this not a widespread thing in Australia? The Thai’s are onto something with this one. Head over to the fridge section where you will spot Australia’s favourite chocolate malt powder as a premade iced Milo, either in a box or a can. It is a sure-fire hit to help to satisfy the need for a chocolate fix in one tasty, cold sip.
Thai food could arguably be one of the best cuisines in the world. Thai’s know how to marry flavours that you didn’t even know could work together using their kitchen wizardry skills – including creating unusual concoctions for packet chips.
Never mind Doritos, in Thailand you can find fried shrimp, ham cheese, crab curry, nori seaweed, Peking duck with sauce, sushi, grilled squid, Chinese lobster in XO sauce, butter garlic scallop, Mexican barbeque just to name a few.
Fish-flavoured err, everything
If you were ever worried about your intake of Omega-3, Thailand has got your back in the flavour sense — although whether it’s still healthy is questionable. There are a variety of dried fish snacks that can be found around the aisles of 7-11 from dried fish, chip flavours and hot foods.
You may recognise the label — two bulls pitted against each other, looking a lot like Red Bull. The Austrian Red Bull that many of us are familiar with derives from Krating Daeng (meaning “Red Bull”) — a sweetened, non-carbonated drink served in a small glass bottle.
Despite the novelty factor, this is potent stuff. It carries a far higher dosage than the Red Bull served up back home and is recommended to have in small swigs (unless you want to be bouncing off the walls).
Feeling the need for a spontaneous facial that won’t cost you the world? Thailand 7-11’s are stocked with a variety of inexpensive face mask treatments. These could be the cheapest face masks that you would ever buy, so maybe consider filling the suitcase to bring that Thailand glow back home.
Poy Sian Menthol Nasal Inhaler
You may see many locals walk by, sniffing a white tube and wondering what on earth are they inhaling. The ever-popular lip-balm sized Poy Sian Menthol Nasal Inhaler helps to revive the senses and give you that fresh feeling. It is a refreshing mix of camphor, eucalyptus, borneol and menthol — similar to Vicks but in a much more convenient form.
If you’re more of a ‘hair of the dog’ type, 7-11 has plenty of grog in stock. Popular local beers include Chang and Singha and come in a few different sizes. Sometimes they’re even a bit cheaper than the ones out in restaurants.
(Lead image: Flikr / Mark Kempe)