McDonald’s differences in Asia

Yes, we all know how unhealthy Mcdonald’s is but it’s quite difficult to avoid it while traveling. Mcdonald’s are at airports, train stations or other good locations. They have free Wi-fi and outlets to charge your devices and they have cheap fast food. Not healthy, but sometimes so pleasant to eat a hamburger after a long flight. First of all, I do not want to encourage you eating fast food more often while traveling, but sometimes that’s okay to let it go.

Usually, you expect Mcdonalds to be the same standard and food choice as it is in your country, but while traveling in Asia I found so many differences in Mcdonald’s that I wanted to share it with you.

Mcdonald’s in Asia

Rice dishes

In Asia, you can choose a variety of dishes with rice. For example, “Pepper hamburger steak with rice”, “fried chicken with rice” or you can just order a rice ball. I love that you can choose it instead of fries or hamburger bun, it seems like a healthier option. You won’t see it in Europe or in the United States, it’s a very Asian thing.

No food at Mcdonald’s

I experienced that in Palawan, Philippines when I entered the restaurant and employee, told me that they don’t have any hamburgers, nuggets or fries. And I was like “What?!” how is it possible at Mcdonald’s? They always have food, well at least I thought like it before. This situation continued for a week, they just didn’t have any food.


In some Asian countries, I  experienced self-service being not so self-service. When you try to order food via those self-service screens an employee is standing next to you and commenting your every move, saying things like “is that it?”, “would you like some fries with that?”, “do you want a dessert?”. I don’t know if it was their plan to sell more meals (it’s the same McDonald’s which didn’t have any hamburgers) or they just got those machines and tried to teach others how to use it. That was just weird for me. Sometimes I just want to order food and be a bit antisocial, I know that employee tried to be nice, but I felt just bad about this situation.

Processes are not so smooth

Sometimes such an easy process like selling food at Mcdonalds gets stuck. For example, you try to order food through the self-service screen, the whole time an employee stands next to you and watches if you do everything correctly when you go to the counter to pay there is a huge queue. Around 5 people stand behind a counter some are chatting, some laughing some just waiting and the whole service is extremely slow. They are just not rushing and sometimes fast food becomes slow. 


I love sauces, another my unhealthy habit I just loved seeing that in some Asian countries they offer free sauces which are a bit unique for Mcdonald’s. For example, in Vietnam, you can choose chili, garlic, and chili, mustard and honey, mayonnaise sauces for your fries. In the Philippines, you can get gravy for your fries, rice and other meals. You don’t need to pay extra for that.

Sauces in McDonald's

Special dishes

I love that you can get special dishes or drinks inspired by the country. For example:

  • In Japan you can get green tea smoothies, dessert;
  • In the Philippines you can order Spaghetti (Philippians are crazy about pasta, who knew);
  • In Vietnam, you get a broader choice of soups. 

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Mcdonald's difference in Asia

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Its is weird thinking that not all McDonalds sell nuggets and burger. Interesting post x

  2. Sunitha S says:

    McDonalds without fries and nuggets is unimagineable in India.

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