In Chiang Mai we broke down and enjoyed a few hours in Starbucks. In the name of research, of course. We had to see how it compares to our daily experience back at home. A venti caramel frappachino is 160 baht, so a little over $5.25. They were also running a special on pastries, buy 2 get 1 free, at 125 baht each around $4. Steve was overjoyed with his coffee as it was the best he has had in Thailand. Instant coffee is about all you can get in most places. Add ovaltine and its a mocha!
The few noticeable differences were the lack of free wifi. It’s 30 baht an hour ($1), and again the napkins kept behind the counter and rationed to you like gold.
Going to Starbucks is a very “chi chi” thing to do. Reserved for very special occasions for Thai people. You can buy a fluffy scrumptious pastry for 10-15 baht at most markets, so a 125 baht cake is very extreame. A frappe at most stands run around 60 baht and a sweet thai drink is normally around 13. So you can see the target market for Starbucks.
One morning Steve and I got up and went to Black Canyon Coffee for breakfast. For 165 baht he got an omelet, fruit, ham, some wierd hotdog flower, coffee, tea, orange juice, and cookies. For 80 baht I had a huge bowl of fruit, yogurt, and granola with a cup of tea. They offer free wifi, great service and is across the plaza square from Starbucks.
Afterward we walked over to Mc Donald’s to get the kids who were still sleeping, Happy Meals. For 90 baht each they got a chicken sandwich, apple slices, fries, a toy and ovaltine. Still sold in the classic Happy Meal boxes.
We never eat at Mc Donald’s at home so this was an extra special treat! I noticed that this was the only place I have ever seen outside of the USA with large size soda cups. All of the customers were tourists. And they were having large cokes at 9:00 am with breakfast.
A typical thai breakfast runs me around 20 baht, less than a dollar. That includes an entree, rice, tea, and dessert. From a street vendor. So to pay around 250 baht for a Mc muffin breakfast meal seems insane.
It is a fun touristy thing to compare menus at Mc Donald’s around the world. Here you can get a pineapples or corn pie for a dollar instead of apple. I wasn’t brave enough to try them though.