Tag Archives: McDonalds
March 23, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Singapore

The final McDonald’s — country number 29! — in Singapore.   Our video record of eating at the restaurant chain sort of ended with a whimper; the signature meal was the same as in Kuala Lumpur, so we didn’t get to try anything new and exotic.  Come to think of it, the most memorable thing about it was that it was Christmas day and some of the cashiers had on Santa hats.

As I mention in the video, Oksana and I already ate at an Australian McDonald’s in 2008, so even though we’re going to be living in Brisbane for the year, it’s not like we’re in a hurry to take our camcorder down to “Maccas” (as they call it here.)  Still, you can bet we’ll probably record another video before we leave.  The McOz has a slice of beetroot on it!

March 16, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Malaysia

It had been awhile since we’d eaten at McDonald’s.  Neither Laos, Vietnam, nor Cambodia had the franchise, so we had to wait until our Southeast Asian loop was done before we could eat there again in Malaysia.  Wasn’t hard to find a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur; there was one right outside our hotel.  Oksana went for the Malaysian variation on fried chicken and I tried out the seasonal Prosperity Menu (I guess it only occasionally comes around, like the McRib back home.)  Mmmm…  I can still taste that black pepper!

Not much else to say, except that we saw something new and McDonald’s related around town.  Lots of cars had what looked like Golden Arches parking stickers on their windshields.  Turns out that signifies the driver is a member of the McDonald’s VIP Drive-Thru club, which, I guess, entities them to a small freebie once a month.  Don’t know what McDonald’s gets out of that, but judging by the number of stickers we saw, it seems like it’s a very popular club.


March 14, 2012

Thoughts on Malaysia

We were down to the last couple weeks of our trip when we decided to go to Malaysia.  Sitting in Thailand, we had tickets in hand to fly from Singapore to Brisbane the day after Christmas.  The question on the table was, “What do we want to see between now and then?”

The easiest options would have been to stay in Bangkok a little longer or fly directly to Singapore.  Always wanting to see a new place, my preference would have been to bus down through Malaysia, but I knew Oksana wasn’t up for that.  At any rate, there wouldn’t be time enough to do the country justice.  Kuala Lumpur was only a few hours from Singapore by bus, though.  Perhaps we could spend a few days there – and see the Petronas Towers, at least – before moving on?  (And yes, I’ll admit that chalking up a visit to another country’s McDonald’s may have influenced my decision…)

Oksana agreed, so we paid for a one-way flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur.

I started taking notes about Malaysia two months before we officially entered the country.  After our first month in Thailand, we had to do a visa run to extend our stay.  Since we were in Phuket, we had only two options. One, we could take an all day bus-boat-bus ride across the border into Burma, but that would have only granted us 15 more days.  To get a 30-day stamp, we chose option number two, which was to buy round-trip airline tickets to Kuala Lumpur.

We left practically all our belongings in our hotel room and just brought along a laptop and iPad to keep us entertained during the 5-hour layover.  We never even left the airport, but even so, that’s when I jotted down my first thoughts on Malaysia. (more…)

February 3, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Thailand

We waited over a month to do our McDonald’s video for Thailand, knowing that if we did, we’d be able to wrangle our friends into trying it with us after they arrived.  That was a long time to wait to try a Samuari Pork Burger, let me tell you!  Was it worth the wait?  You’ll have to watch the video to find out…

Not much to say about Thai McDonald’s that we don’t already say in the video.  I will say that it’s darn difficult to find cover footage for editing when you’re shooting five people with one camera.  See if you can may spot any editing tricks I might have used to avoid a jump cut!

Thanks again to Wendy, Dusty, and Sarah for helping out (we certainly wouldn’t have tried so many things without them!)  We’ll eventually see them one more time when I put together a video about our shared experience at a Thai cooking school.  In the meantime, be sure to read about their take on Thailand on their blog, Roam the Planet!

February 1, 2012

Thoughts on Thailand

Out of all the countries we visited on our trip around the world, Thailand was the one in which we spent the most time. 61 days, over two visits.  It has since gone down on our list of places we want to return to someday, but when we first arrived, we were not impressed.

We had been traveling fairly quickly ever since Africa and by October we were both ready for a break.  While we were still in Russia, we planned out the last three months of our trip.  In order to conserve money – we had just officially gone over our travel budget – we wanted to find a place to sit down and rest for a while.  I sent out a request on Facebook and Twitter and asked our friends and followers for their recommendations in Thailand.

We received a lot of good advice, but ultimately had a hard time taking advantage of it because we were set on a month-long rental.  We checked Craigslist and various vacation rental websites, but the vast majority of listings were only available in the largest cities or most touristy areas.  We debated traveling out to the remote islands until we found a place to our liking, but ultimately took the easy way out.  We spent just a couple days in Bangkok, recuperating from our jet lag, before flying to Phuket and following up on some leads there.

The first place we stopped was in party central, Patong.  I can’t even remember why we chose that town, because foam-party nightclubs, seedy massage parlors, and plentiful weed are not on our list of travel necessities.  Nevertheless, Oksana found us a cheap hotel away from the beach, and we stayed there a week.

Prices were low, as October is still officially the off-season.  And no wonder – it rained hard just about every day we were in Patong.  That didn’t bother me especially much because I had just come down with my first cold since leaving home almost a year and a half before.  For the next week, all I wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep.  Easier to do during the day – night were miserable… at least until I visited the pharmacist, a real life anime character, who prescribed me some heavy sleeping pills.

Unfortunately, just as I was about to get over my cold, Oksana picked it up.  Most of our month off was spent battling head and chest colds.

Eventually, we left the Starbucks and McDonald’s behind by moving just four kilometers down the island to Karon Beach.  The oceanfront was prettier, the tourists more family oriented, and both of those things suited us just fine.  For about $19 per night, we stayed in a huge hotel room, venturing out once a day to the pool or to place an order at the on-site restaurant.  We caught up on some internet stuff, rested our travel-worn feet, and worked on our tans.

Prices went up on November 1st with the official start of the high season, but we didn’t mind.  Our friends from Roam the Planet were due to arrive any day and, with our batteries recharged, we were ready to hit the road again.

Because of the record flooding that was going on in central Thailand during our stay, we didn’t get to see as much of the country as I’d hoped.  Most of the things I noticed about Thailand came from the few places we did spend some time: Bangkok, Phuket, the Phi Phi islands, Chiang Mai, and Koh Mak.


January 21, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

You always feel like you’re getting short-changed when you’re only in a country for a day or two.  We had only 17 hours to spend in Dubai, but I’m surprised how much we got to see and do.  We wandered two gigantic malls, went snow skiing, walked the base of the world’s tallest building, road around the city on a tour bus, and of course we ate at McDonald’s for lunch!

Most of the menu in Dubai’s McDonald’s was the normal fare;  the stuff that wasn’t was almost exclusively vegetarian.  We tried the Veggie Burger, spring rolls, and a McPuff!  I could have trimmed this video down a little more — it’s one of the longer McDonald’s videos we’ve made — but there are a couple funny moments that I just didn’t want to cut out.  (Plus there’s a bit of background on that whole Orbitz fiasco thing we went through.  I forgot that by this point, we still weren’t sure if we were going to get reimbursed for our new plane tickets; we eventually did!)

January 5, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Russia

Going to McDonald’s in Russia was almost and afterthought for us.  We spent our first week or so in St. Petersburg without stopping by one, and then, a day or two before we were set to hop on a train to Irkutsk, we realized that we might not get another chance.  I wasn’t sure there was a McDonald’s in Irkutsk, but I knew for sure there wasn’t going to be on on Kamchatka.  We’d already eaten at a Russian McDonald’s in 2006, so it wasn’t like missing it this time would bother me.  Still, we weren’t making videos back then…

So, while we were on our way to buy a new pair of hard drives, we decided to stop off for lunch.  I remembered to bring the video camera, but it turns out I forgot to bring a battery for the microphone.  The on camera mic did well enough, even if it did pick up a bit too much traffic noise.