Nespresso in Thailand: Machine and Capsule Guide

nespresso-siam-paragon-bangkok

Nespresso, one of the world’s most popular capsule coffee systems, recently made its way to Thailand after years of being unavailable.

In this post, I want to give a quick rundown of the availability of Nespresso in Thailand, as well as the best shopping options for Nespresso machines and capsules.

Nespresso machines in Thailand

There are two ways to buy Nespresso machines in Thailand. Nespresso Thailand’s official website lists a variety of machines available to order online, although prices are somewhat inflated compared to what you’d pay in the United States.

For example, the Nespresso Pixie, which barely costs $100 in the USA, is priced at the equivalent of almost $300 in Thailand. Other machines are similarly expensive when purchased from the official Nespresso website.

At the moment, the cheapest Nespresso machine available in Thailand is the Inissia, which costs 6,500 baht.

Another way to buy Nespresso machines in Thailand is by using Lazada, which is Southeast Asia’s local Amazon/eBay copycat. There are several Nespresso compatible machines available from 2,000 baht, which is a fraction of the price you’d pay for the authentic model from the official Nespresso website.

Finally, Nespresso has a boutique in Siam Paragon that sells both the machines and capsules, although the prices are similar to what you’d pay on the official website.

Nespresso capsules in Thailand

Nespresso capsules are available from the official Nespresso website for 22 baht each, which is relatively similar to international pricing. This guide to the best Nespresso capsules is handy if you’re searching for information on which flavor to try first.

You can also buy Nespresso capsules from the Nespresso boutique in Siam Paragon for the same price as the official website.

At the moment, we haven’t seen Nespresso capsules for sale in any supermarkets. The larger Nescafe Dulce Gusto capsules are widely available, as are Dulce Gusto machines (almost always at far lower prices than their Nespresso counterparts).

The Best Weekend Breaks From Bangkok

Tired of the noise, bustle and pollution of Bangkok? While Thailand’s capital truly defines big city living, it’s quite close to several great beach destinations and upcountry retreats that make great weekend getaways.

Need to get out of the city? Pick from any of these four destinations, book a taxi and enjoy a peaceful or wild (depending on your choice) weekend away from Bangkok.

Hua Hin

Located three hours from Bangkok by road, Hua Hin is a family-oriented beach resort city that’s popular with Thais and tourists. The beach here is lined with upmarket hotels, such as the Hilton Hua Hin and Intercontinental.

Since Hua Hin is on the quieter side, it’s best for couples and families. Solo travelers might find the nightlife here a little dull, since options are limited and closing times are fairly early compared to elsewhere in Thailand. Further south, Pranburi is a great choice for couples.

Pattaya

Thailand’s party capital, Pattaya is two hours from Bangkok by car and by far the most popular beach resort close to the capital. This isn’t the place for a quiet getaway, but if you opt for Jomtien or Wongamat instead of central Pattaya, it’s possible to avoid most of the noise.

If you plan on going out and partying, make sure you pick a guest friendly hotel in Pattaya, as many brands forbid non-registered guests. If you’re traveling with your partner, pick a hotel around Wongamat Beach for a quieter experience with a nicer, more refined atmosphere.

Ayutthaya

Famous for its ancient temples, Ayutthaya was once the historical capital of Thailand. The entire city was destroyed by the approaching Burmese armies many hundreds of years ago, creating the archaeological park that covers large parts of the city today.

One of the most popular tourist destinations near Bangkok, Ayutthaya is better for day trips than weekend getaways. We recommend this one if you’re only able to get out of the city for a single night and don’t have time to travel further afield. Take the train for a fun, more local experience.

Kanchanaburi

Further north than Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi is one of the most relaxing upcountry tourism destinations within easy reach of Bangkok. Minibuses depart from Bangkok’s Victory Monument to Kanchanaburi frequently throughout the week and make the journey in about three hours.

Great attractions include the famous bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and many other WWII-related sights. Some of Kanchanaburi’s most famous resorts are located along the side of the river, offering beautiful views and a relaxing atmosphere.

Gear Recommendations for Travel in Thailand

Thailand is one of the world’s most popular backpacking destinations, and as a result it suffers from a familiar problem for travelers: people severely overpack.

If you’ve traveled in Thailand before, you’ve no doubt seen the type of people I’m talking about. They walk around Khao San Road with massive backpacks — often two, with one on their back and a second, smaller backpack on their front.

Even if you’re backpacking around Thailand as a budget traveler, you don’t need to pack as much as you think. Most of the items you’ll need for your journey are available here, often at a lower cost to back home. You can save a lot of money, discomfort and baggage fees by packing light and picking up the extras once you arrive.

Before we share our gear recommendations, here’s what you don’t need to pack for your trip to Thailand:

  • Non-prescription medicines (they’re all available here at a lower cost to any Western country)
  • More than 4-5 t-shirts, pairs of shorts and underwear. Laundry services are abundant in Thailand and you can buy extra clothes from the markets for very low prices.
  • Travel guides. Books are heavy and cumbersome. Pack a tablet or install the Kindle app on your phone, then read your guides digitally to save weight.
  • A money belt. Thailand isn’t 100% crime-free, but it’s a safe destination and you’ll be find keeping your wallet in your pocket or bag.
  • A backpack. Unless you’re going to explore the islands, you can travel around Thailand using a wheeled travel bag, at least in most major cities. Only use a backpack if you plan on visiting the islands.
  • Sunscreen, toothbrushes and other toiletries. They’re all available in 7/11, again at a much lower cost than back home.

As for what to bring, here are our recommendations for items that aren’t easily available in Thailand or are only available at a high price:

  • Luggage. If you need to buy another backpack or bag here, expect to pay a higher price than average.
  • Boots, shoes and other leather goods. Any imported fashion products in Thailand are more expensive than back home, so we recommend bringing a good pair of walking boots (especially if you plan to visit the North) and a good leather belt for wearing with jeans from home.
  • Technology. Smartphones, computers, cameras and other consumer electronics cost more in Thailand than they do in most Western countries, so buy your tech before you travel.
  • Winter clothing. Thailand is a tropical country, but the North can get quite cold during the cool season. Since good quality winter clothing isn’t readily available, it’s better to bring a thin, breathable jacket from home instead of buying one after you arrive.

On the whole, there’s no need to pack too heavily when you visit Thailand, since everything you could need is easy to find (if, in the case of imported products, a bit expensive). Bring a mid-sized suitcase or light backpack with enough clothing to last you for five days at a time and you’ll have a great trip without the weight, discomfort and back pain of the travelers you see with supersized backpacks.

Hospitals in Thailand: Are They Any Good?

Every year, millions of people visit Thailand. Some are here to relax beside the beach in resort hotels and tropical islands. Some are here to have their big adventure. And many are here to get medical care.

Lots of people don’t know this, but Thailand is one of the world’s most popular and affordable countries for medical tourism. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people come here for plastic surgery, dental work, laser eye surgery and hundreds of other procedures. The biggest draw is the cost (it’s much less expensive to get medical treatment in Thailand than in the USA or Australia) but another draw is the surprisingly high quality of medical care in Thailand.

Thailand might not sound like the kind of country where you’d expect to find world class hospitals. After all, the traffic in Bangkok is beyond description, pollution is a serious problem, and many of the country’s most popular islands are becoming overdeveloped at a scary pace. But despite this, Thailand’s hospitals (at least the private hospitals tourists have access to) aren’t just not bad; they’re really good.

Two of Bangkok’s biggest international hospitals are Bumrungrad, which is near Nana BTS Station, and Samitivej. Both have outstanding facilities that go beyond the expectations of their clients (think of pianists and personal limousines, for example) and both deal with tens of thousands of patients every year. Bangkok has a large variety of other private hospitals, all vying for part of the international medical trade.

It’s not just hospitals that are competing for foreign customers. Dentists in Bangkok are increasingly marketing to foreigners, especially for procedures like crowns and veneers. Like the country’s hospitals, Thailand’s dentists are qualified for the job, with some of the country’s clinics reporting an impressive 91 to 98% success rate for dental implants and other cosmetic procedures.

So, if you’re in need of high quality medical care, particularly for cosmetic and other elective treatments, give Thailand a try. While most are familiar with the appeal of low prices that Thailand offers, the country’s medical and dental industries also have a great deal of expertise to offer.