An Often Forgotten Highlight of Thailand: The 7-Eleven
Right, who’d think I would miss something as ordinary as a convenience store when traveling a beautiful country? Especially where there’s plenty of delicious and affordable food and snacks in every corner.
Well, the Thai 7-Eleven is not just any store. It’s a place to cool down after walking an hour in the scorching heat. It’s also a safe haven for backpackers to have a cheap and tasty western breakfast. Here, you can get pretty much anything you need 24/7 while traveling Thailand. In fact, it was the deciding factor on whether the location of our guesthouse was just good or pretty damn perfect! It’s one of the things you’ll definitely miss when leaving Thailand and heading for the next Asian country.
7-Eleven is a Japanese-owned American brand of convenience stores but don’t think that America has a lot of them. After Japan, Thailand has the largest number of 7-Elevens. When you’re walking in the streets of Bangkok, at any given point, you’ll see at least two or three within eyesight. And you might think there’re way too many but trust me, it’s the best thing ever when you’re traveling on a budget in Thailand and I can’t count how many times we’ve said: “Let’s just go to a 7-Eleven".
Budget breakfast galore at 7-Eleven
Thai food is awesome and I also enjoy Thailands Thai and continental breakfasts. When your guesthouse or hostel provides free continental breakfast you’ll often get eggs, toast, coffee, fruit and cornflakes but when you’re on a budget and there’s no breakfast, the next best thing is in a 7-Eleven. Cornflakes? Yes. Toast? Yes. Fruit? Yes. Coffee? Yes. Eggs? Well, no… but there’re plenty of other things to choose from.
The best breakfast at the 7-Eleven in Thailand? Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, yes please. They are super cheap and they’ll grill them for you on the spot. We could have them any day and if you don’t want ham and cheese, just get one with pulled pork, tuna, chicken, banana and chocolate… I mean, goddamn, sometimes we miss having breakfast from the good ol’ Thai 7-Eleven!
And that’s not where it ends. Traveling on a budget means sticking to it and 7-Eleven helps you do that. No time to look for a cheap lunch? Have a cup of noodles from 7-Eleven. Out of shampoo or toothpaste? Just get some from 7-Eleven. They even have smaller versions of most things. It’s like they market everything just for backpackers! Which they probably do, by the way…
Cool down at 7-Eleven
Have you ever walked around in Bangkok for a few hours? Even when taking public transport you’ll sweat your ass off. When the heat starts to get too overwhelming, your best and quickest option is to escape to a 7-Eleven. When those sliding doors open and a gust of cold air embraces you accompanied by that familiar ding-dong sound… you’ll know everything will be alright. No dying of heat stroke today. Just relax and have a cold beer while you’re at it…
7-Eleven makes everything better
Shitty guesthouse? Ugh, sucks, right?! Is it next to a 7-Eleven? Well, then it’s not that bad after all. Yep, a 7-Eleven next to our hostel or guesthouse would add at least one or two extra points to the review score no matter what. Backpackers know: A 7-Eleven will accompany you on your travels around Thailand and they will become your and your budget’s best friend.
So, next time you’re in Thailand, just take a minute to appreciate 7-Eleven and how they improve your budget backpacking experience.