For those partial to the odd tipple, by far the most prevalent of all intoxicating beverages in Chiang Mai are the assorted beers. With a greater than 90% share of the market, sales of the leading domestic brands Chang, Leo and, the country’s oldest lager and “official purveyor to the Royal Court of Thailand”, Singha eclipse even those of other nationally produced premium brews like Cheers, Heineken and Tiger. Sold singly or, for added value, in packs of two to 24, individual 320ml cans of Heineken presently cost 42 to 44 baht at super-/hypermarkets or 7-Eleven convenience stores, 330ml cans of both Singha original and Leo vary in price from 32 to 39 baht not dissimilar to a 320ml can of Chang Classic or Tiger which can be bought for 32 to 38 baht; the larger 490ml cans of Heineken are more consistently priced at 60 or 61 baht, Chang at 46 to 50 baht while the same size tinny of Cheers Regular or, for extra potency, Cheers X-Tra is a steal at 45 to 47 baht. In the standard sized 620/630ml glass bottles, Heineken will set you back 71 or 72 baht, Singha 59 or 60 baht and Leo or Chang marginally cheaper at 53 to 56 baht. Foreign beers, while still popular, attract heavy import duties so are proportionately much more expensive. Where available, indulging in a 330ml bottle of the illustrious Beerlao will relieve you of 55 or 56 baht while a 750ml bottle of the Belgian wheat beer Hoegaarden as much 326 baht!
For those who crave their nicotine, an individual carton of 20 Marlboro cigarettes (the most popular western brand in Thailand) retails at 120 baht compared to L&M which goes for 87 baht. A pack of the top selling Thai brand Krong Thip is similarly priced at 86 baht and 20 SMS smokes cost just 51 baht.
What are your favourite brands of Thai beer? Do you ever splurge on any imported beers? What’s your monthly expenditure on alcohol and tobacco? We welcome your thoughts on the matter so leave us a comment below!