Drinking in Thailand

Some tips on gettin' tipsy:

Everyone knows Thailand is a party, but here are a few things you may not know about getting your drink on in the land of smiles


Chang Beer: You will quickly learn the term Changover.

Chang (which means elephant) is the cheap go-to beer for most backpackers. Rumor has it that it's alcohol content is unregulated so you never know how drunk you are gonna get. I've heard it's between 3 and 13 percent. It's also rumored to contain a bit of formaldehyde.

In reality, the alcohol content is 6.4 percent, more than most watery cheap beers, and while the bottle looks the same, it actually has more beer in it. This will get you fucked up. Plus cheap shit = bad hangovers. My advice: spend the extra few bhat for a Tiger or a Singha.

sangsom and soda

Sangsom: Don't believe what some of the other backpackers say, this is good shit. Everyone calls it Thai whiskey, but that's just because Thai people call all liquor whiskey. Sangsom is rum, and that's what the locals drink, mixed with soda water and lime. try it, love it, and save loads of cash.


Buckets: You've already heard of this. What you didn't hear is that redbull was invented in Thailand, but it's not quite the same. Thai redbull is not carbonated and comes in a medicine bottle and is stronger. mixed in a bucket with Samsong and coke with lime is the original, but nowadays there are tons of choices. Basically its a giant fucking cocktail in a sandbucket with tons of straws and a lot of redbull. The reason people love it is because it's social. Buckets are for sharing, and you will share many of them with many strangers. Try the mango bucket and the lime soda bucket. They're awesome. One caveat- I am the last person who will ever tell you traveling alone is dangerous, as a woman or a man, and I don't tell hyped up horror stories. But! Don't share buckets at the full moon party. I have seen SEVERAL girls get drugged, and pretty soon there is a nice Thai guy who wants to help them get home to their room.

no alcohol

No alcohol days: Thailand loves to have special days when they don't sell alcohol, and you'll notice that 7-eleven and Family Mart lock up the alcohol refrigerators after 2am. Fear not my friends, where there is a will, there is a way. There is ALWAYS some dude who will sell you a drink. Seek and yee shall find. - This rule applies for everything. Train is full? Don't believe it. No boat going to your island? Ask a fisherman. All things are possible in Thailand.

The train: One of the greatest things about train travel in Thailand has always been the bar car: 8 tables, one big party. I LOVE the train for this. Drink all night, make new friends, then sleep like a baby and wake up in the islands. My heart is broken now that they stopped serving alcohol on the train. They may resume the awesomeness once the military gives up the government, but until then, bring your own, and bring lots of it to share with the new friends that you will certainly meet. The hangout spot is in the outside corridor between train cars where people go to smoke cigarettes and watch the jungle.

Yeah, that's me in the hat
Yeah, that's me in the hat

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