Have you ever thought that Red Bull, one of the most famous drink that has accompanied hundreds of youngsters’ evenings from all over the world, could have been originally produced in Thailand? The drink we are going to talk about is Red Bull. Although many are not sure about its exact origin, the drink was invented in Thailand in 1981 by Khun Chaleo Yoovidhaya, a Thai billionaire among the few to have become inter (international) with his product. The Red Bull known in Thailand with the name “Krating Daeng” was born as a response to Lipovitan, a Japanese energy drink exported to Thailand to satisfy the energy needs of Japanese salary men who ran production factories in Thailand. In 1984 Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz became a partner and slightly changed the original recipe making it more sparkling and less sweet to be more tasty to Westerners’ flavors.
Why Thais love Red Bull and other energy drinks?
However, what is the main reason why so many Thais love energy drinks? The main ingredients like caffeine, taurine and sugar help truck drivers keep on driving, factory employees keep on working during their endless overtime, hawkers selling and walking under Bangkok’s scorching sun; therefore the main reason is that these people need energy. Although at first glance foreigners could be amazed at Thais’ability of falling asleep in any situation and position; for example it is not difficult to spot children sleeping while sitting on a scooter, people on top of packages on a speeding pick up asleep, this condition is not due to laziness or to the heat but rather to overwork a situation to which many Thais are subjected daily. For many Thais, especially those in lower classes, work means long hours and long overtime, little decision-making power and very often a second night or part-time job. Complicating the situation of many immigrant workers who move to Bangkok from the countryside; there is the family expectation that workers will regularly send part of their earnings home to support their extended family. Very often then, in the little free time left, Thais find themselves assisting relatives and extended families. At the same time in everyday life, the constant search and maintenance of status means that stress accumulates and that there is a need for a break to recharge. Furthermore, the flavor of caffeine is not very pleasing to the Thai palate who prefers sweeter drinks.
In any case, although Krating Daeng is one of the oldest energy drink, there are lots of competitors in the Thai market among the best known: M100, M150, Chalarm and Lipo. Some drinks have military names that exude bravado like M16, Magum and Commando Bear 200. Finally some have preferred to take the large fan following, naming the drink after famous bands like Carabao Daeng (Red Buffalo). Also interesting are the advertisements that are almost always centered around the figure of the macho, Carabao Daeng for example transmits the concept of nationalism so much that many Thais are convinced that by drinking Carabao Daeng they are expressing their Thainess (Kwam bpen Thai) and sustaining their country .
Among the places where you can taste cocktails mixed with local Krating Daeng there is Khao San Road, a former hippie neighborhood today it has become a must for all those travelers who visit Bangkok. Khao San is also one of the most affordable areas where to stay if you like to party till late and want to meet other travelers check our reviews here. If you are curious and want to visit the area accompanied by experts, visit the page dedicated to the experience.