Beverages w/ ice in Thailand

Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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Beverages w/ ice in Thailand

Is it safe to drink beverages with ice in Thailand? I love Thai iced tea, but am wondering whether I can drink it in Thailand without much fear of getting sick. Does it make a difference whether you buy it at a stand or a restaurant?
WalterSobchak is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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for many years of thai travel we never allowed any ice in our beverages....recently we have begun to accept it, but only in 5* type places, like lux hotels and some restaurants...

we feel the risk of having a problem is significant enough to not drink anything as cold as we might like it in deference to becoming sick and ruining part of the vacation....

we would never take ice on the street and in most thai restaurants....outside of bkk, probably no ice except maybe a western 5* type hotel...and then maybe not either....

its best to keep away from it!! imo

this will open up lots of reverse sentiments, but think about it....why do all the hotels provide you with bottled water in your room?? is the ice machine from the same tap source???

why take a chance?
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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We have ice in our drinks in Thailand...but we do not drink things like the delicious looking Thai iced coffees sold in plastic bags with straws on the street. Restaurants, hotels...ice hasn't been a problem for us. If a waitress/waiter actually asks me if I want ice, then I say no...I don't actually know if they are asking because they have so many requests for no ice or if because they make their own...most places buy ice.

In our 4 trips, we've only had 2 illnesses...one was me, and I'm sure it was from the meal we had at Outback Steakhouse. Another time, my daughter, and we are reasonably sure she became ill from swimming in the dungy river with elephants (that should have been a no-brainer, but by the time I noticed what was happening, she was drenched).

Anyway, we pretty much eat and drink whatever we please, using the same standards for selecting where and what to eat and drink that we use at home. (That Outback meal was a deviation from the norm and clearly an error).
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 08:44 PM
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And I don't buy a coke or bottled water that is floating in a vat of semi-melted ice! I've taken to using straws and use bottled water to brush my teeth even in the 5Star hotels. As rhkkmk said, its just not worth the risk of ruining a vacation.
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 09:01 PM
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Ice itself is perfectly safe. It's usually made in a modern plant where the water is filtered and safe to drink (technically, all tap water in Bangkok is safe to drink. It's just so filled with chlorine and other chemicals to make it safe that nobody *wants* to drink it!)

Problems usually arise from the way ice is stored, but even this is rare. In nearly 20 years in Thailand, I can't recall ever getting sick from street food. On the rare occassions I have gotten a little something, it's always been 'nice' restaurants.

Coming to Thailand and NOT having a nice, cold black tea should be a crime.
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 09:04 PM
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I think your stomach has gone native! I've seen too many people here in my hotel get sick this past week to risk it myself. I'm sure if I lived here long enough, I'd loosen up a bit!
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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The ice which is sort of cylinder-like with a hole in the middle should come from purified sources and is fine.

I get a little wary of the crushed or chipped ice. But I've not had any problems with the ice so far.

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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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Northshore...I'm curious where you are staying where you are seeing so many people get sick.
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 10:22 PM
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When one hears of a pattern like that, it begs the question is it the hotel's preparation of food and beverages that is at issue?
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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i've drank soda, beer, vodka, scotch, wine, and even water with ice all over bangkok and never got ill. and this includes the dives that orgy takes me too. lol. went to a great kobe beef steakhouse last nite near the end of suk soi 11. you all should not miss it. will post name later.

btw, northshore, were you at jt outlet this afternoon?
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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I've honestly never known of any ice that isn't "supplied' from purified water, bars, restaurants all buy their ice in and as Bkkmei said the "ice which is sort of cylinder" is a sure sign.

I agree though that the ice might not be well stored but most hotels, decent restaurants and bars store correctly.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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I think this largely depends on what kind of constitution you've got. We had ice in our drinks in restaurants and on the street. Drank gallons of iced coffee in a bag. No problems.

Of course Bob will tell you we just got "lucky" so perhaps the answer is "if you're karma is in order you can have ice"!
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Had ice in all my drinks. Never had any problems. Like Lori, I have a clear conscience. Bob, on the other hand needs to be wary of any Kharmic catastophes.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Like others, I will have ice that is machine-made as described above. I have seen places with crushed ice, and I won't have that. I'm rather conservative about street food (I think it comes from working in health care for o long!), but I've not had problems with ice. I do use bottled water to brush my teeth as others have also noted.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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I have a friend who lives in Bangkok, and he said nobody in Bangkok drinks the water because it's contaminated, so that all the ice is purified. Can anyone verify this?
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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I've heard the same thing. It seems the ice in most countries with "bad" water is normally purified. I gave up worrying about ice years ago. I'll be visiting Thailand for the first time next month and intend to have iced beverages as I normally would. I've consumed iced drinks throughout latin America (including Mexico and Guatemala), with no troubles. I've been sick a couple times, but the doctors suspected that may have come from undercooked seafood once and cruise ship food another time. Even getting sick has never "ruined" a trip for me. Not relaxing and trying local food and beverage would ruin my trip .
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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< Even getting sick has never "ruined" a trip for me. Not relaxing and trying local food and beverage would ruin my trip .>

Right on.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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I'm having a great time sampling the local food and beverages without resorting to eating debateable stuff from street vendors.

Folks that are sick in my hotel say they ate and drink from vendors at the Weekend Market.

I went to the JT House, but it was early last week.
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