*DING-DONG* Does it ring a bell? That’s right, the 7-Eleven in Thailand: the shop that’s always open, 24/7! It is the shop that always has what you’re looking for, never disappoints and anticipates your needs. You’ll find one on every street corner and it’s a great place to go if you want some respite from the hot weather: ’cause the air conditioning system is always on!
7-Eleven must haves!
If you’re from Europe, you might not be that familiar with the concept of the 7-Eleven. But trust us, after spending a few days there, you won’t be able (or want) to go without.
There’s always a good reason to go there. For example, they sell raincoats, but also bottles of water and you can go there any time for a snack in between meals as well. They’re literally everywhere in Thailand. You couldn’t escape them if you tried.
In this blog we’ll be accompanying you to the 7-Eleven to show you the best bargains. Here’s a list of the top 11 buys at the 7-Eleven that make our (and your) trip more pleasant and less expensive!
1. Grilled sandwiches: standard backpacker meal
This is the most common breakfast among backpackers in Thailand!
In fact, you can even have grilled sandwiches served in courses. Start off with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, then have one with sausage and cheese, and finally, finish your meal with the cheese pizza option.
At the cash register there are toaster ovens which will have them ready to eat within three minutes.
2. Mosquito spray: CHEAP-CHEAP
Are you familiar with those green and white bottles with the word “DEET” on them?
More eye-catching than their colors, were their price tags. Outside of Thailand, bottles are sold for ten or fifteen dollars a piece and, to top it all off, you are mostly advised to buy two bottles.
Don’t waste your money! At the 7-Eleven they sell perfectly effective mosquito spray for just a dollar!
3. Peanut biscuit: always there when you need it
We never leave our hotel without having one of these biscuits, made of puffed rice and peanuts, in our bags.
Seriously! After dozens of hikes, jungle treks and climbs, we’ve found that this is the ideal snack to keep you going. And it’s pretty tasty too.
Unfortunately, not every 7-Eleven sells these massive peanut biscuits and if they do, you’ll have to search for them carefully, as they’re often placed on the lowest shelves. It would be a shame if you passed them by without noticing!
4. Toilet paper: A MUST!
If you’re going on a 6 hour local bus or train ride, you’ll need a roll of toilet paper.
The state of many toilets in Thailand leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the parts that don’t see as many tourists. Oftentimes there’s no toilet paper, in which case it’s just you and the hose, or worse still: the scoop.
Be prepared and always bring your own roll of toilet paper!
5. Potato chips: no more seaweed snacks!
Thai cuisine is famous all over the world. Who doesn’t like a fresh Pad Thai, Massaman Curry or Fried Rice?!
But in between the traditional Thai meals, you might also be tempted (as we were) to try some of the 7-Eleven’s snacks. And what’s better than a bag potato chips that taste just like the ones at home.
The spiral potato chips are our favorite!
6. Baby wipes: wash your hands before and after a meal
Practical tip for those that just can’t get enough of Thai Street Food.
Not every place has napkins and some meals you eat with your hands. Where do you go to wash them?
Make sure you always have some Mamy Poko baby wipes at hand. You’ll be able to wash your hands and face wherever you like. A great tip!
7. Poncho time!
OK, so there’s not a huge price difference. Ponchos are cheap everywhere.
But have you ever thought about upgrading from a poncho?
Well, we have! You can buy excellent, reusable raincoats for just a dollar. Nice!
8. Socket box: a traveler’s best friend
Power and a wifi connection: a great combination while traveling.
Is there anything more fun that watching Netflix all day while in Thailand?!
Make sure you take one with you, so you’ll have three, instead of just one, sockets available to you. It goes without saying that we take ours with us everywhere we go. Handy!
9. Water: Go Green!
Did you know you can’t drink water from the faucet in Thailand?
You will have to buy your water in bottles, which you can buy at the 7-Eleven for next to nothing.
You can also have your bottles refilled. All throughout Thailand there are Water Refill stations that allow you to refill your bottle for 1 or 2 baht. They’re not always very easy to spot, however. So if you’re having trouble finding one, ask at your hotel.
10. Mama Cup: mama’s noodles
A warm cup of Mama’s noodles is to Thailand what a cheese sandwich is to The Netherlands.
Flavors range from spicy shrimp to salty mushroom. At the cash register they’ll fill them up with hot water, ready for you to eat!
Slurping is allowed in Thailand.
11. Travel plug: do you really need one?
Another example of something that you don’t need to bring with you from home: in Thailand, you won’t need an expensive universal plug.
A lot of plugs fit perfectly in the sockets, so if you’re lucky you don’t even neem one.
But if you do, you can buy a simple plug at the 7-Eleven for half a buck. Problem solved!
Plastic bags at the 7-Eleven
We love the 7-Eleven! However, we do have one point of criticism.
It concerns their plastic bag policy. Before you know it, they’ll have used four plastic bags for all your groceries, stuffed with plastic spoons and straws you don’t even need.
An easy solution to this problem is reusing the bags or putting them in your rucksack. Thanks!
More handy blogs about Thailand
Finally, here are some more handy pages and blogs on how to save money and what you should take with you to Thailand:
- 9 Things You Won’t Need in Thailand
- Everything About Thai SIM Cards, Calls and 4G Data Roaming While Traveling
- Cost of Travel in Thailand: The Daily Expenses