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Drinking Mushroom Shakes in Thailand

Drinking Mushroom Shakes in Thailand
Photo credit: Jeremy Scott Foster

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I slapped my palm against my forehead. “But we already ordered you one! Come on, man. You have to!”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to. In some parts of Thailand, mushroom shakes are about the easiest thing you can buy, and when the timing is right…well, the timing is right.

About three hours prior I had arrived on the southern Thai island of Koh Phangan. There were nine of us in total, staying together in a small group of bungalows, and at about 2pm, one of our buddies (there’s always one) had ordered a round of happy shakes.

I’m not talking about portabella smoothies. I’m talking about those mushrooms that make you see crazy colors, experience a different reality, and make you fall over in giggle fits.

Yeah, those ones.

(Side note: they also make dogs talk and inanimate objects come to life.)

Elsewhere in the world, magic mushrooms are eaten raw. In Thailand, the land of fruit smoothies, the best way to take shrooms is by ordering a milkshake.

On that particular day, my plan was to sit by the beach, edit some photos, answer some emails, and do my daily social media duties. It had been a few days since any work got done and today was definitely going to be a productive day. Right?

I had only just gotten my bags into my room when a plump old Thai lady started shouting at me.

“What flavor you want!?”

I really was not expecting this. I paused and sighed with hesitation.

“What flavor do you have!?” I shouted back.

Mushroom shakes for sale.
Mushroom shakes for sale. Photo credit: Jeremy Scott Foster

My friends all cheered with joy, ecstatic at the fact that I had decided to join their tribe. They insisted that I had to try the banana shake. Never the advocate for that particular fruit, though, I went with mango. It’s not like either one of these was going to mask the taste of something that is literally grown in elephant poop.

It was now 4pm and the sun was well on its way to bumping heads with the horizon. We drank our shakes, sat in big comfy chairs and lazed in hammocks by the beach. We went swimming, told stories, talked nonsense, laughed uncontrollably and bonded over this incredibly unusual experience.

But in some parts of Thailand, it’s not really that unusual.

Sunset on Koh Phangan, Thailand
The sun sets over Chaloklum Bay, Koh Phangan, Thailand. Photo credit: Jeremy Scott Foster

Finding Mushroom Shakes in Thailand

It’s worth mentioning that the insurgence of mushroom shakes in Thailand is due almost entirely to the presence of tourists. It’s not a “local delight.” Most popular on the islands, you’ll find them in party spots like Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Phuket, Tonsai, and more.

Most bars and coffee shops let you purchase one of these “happy shakes” right at the counter, even though some advertise it and some don’t. They’re almost always available, so all you have to do is ask.

Before you indulge, though, there are a couple things you need to consider.

You Need to Be Careful

First and foremost, there are legal implications involved, and the consequences are very, very severeI do not recommend doing drugs in Thailand. If you choose to do so, it is entirely at your own risk.

Second of all, if you insist on doing them, make sure you’re safe. It’s better to get a good batch than a bad one, and you don’t want to end up in any sort of dangerous situation. If you’re determined, ask your friendly tour guide or bartender where to get one that is safe and reliable. They’ll know the scene and likely won’t point you in the wrong direction.

Lastly, don’t take too much. One smoothie is all you need. Enough people travel to Thailand and order mushroom shakes (there are always people taking mushrooms in Thailand), that the guys with the blender know just how much to give you. Order one from the right place, with the right amount, and you should be okay.

I think I can say with complete certainty that nobody who takes mushrooms wants a visit from the devil.

Especially when taking risks like this, it’s extremely important to make sure you have travel insurance. After all, they say if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. If you’re looking for coverage, I highly recommend World Nomads.

Consider Your Environment

If you decide to trip on mushrooms in Thailand, it’s imperative to position yourself in a comfortable and safe setting. Make sure you are with people you trust who you know you can count on. Bad trips are almost always prompted because of uncomfortable environments or people, so find a private beach, guesthouse, or a big open field.

A busy bar in Bangkok probably isn’t the best place to be (you won’t find a mushroom shake in any big cities, anyway) because you are surrounded by a lot of people you don’t know, don’t trust and who are probably too drunk.

Honestly, drunk people and tripping people don’t mix well.

So, if you intend to try something a little different while you’re in Thailand, and drinking a “happy shake” is your cup of tea (or, well, you know what I mean), please heed my advice.

A mushroom trip can last from 6 to 12 hours, which is quite a long time. Don’t commit to doing anything for the day or night, except acting totally weird.


Disclaimer: Drugs are illegal. I don’t condone drug use of any sort, and I am not an advocate for eating mushrooms or doing drugs of any kind. If you intend to consume, please be safe. This article is not intended to persuade, but rather to inform.

Please also note that this story is entirely fictional and definitely did not happen…

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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27 Responses

  1. Yup there’s definitely mushrooms in happy shakes ..and not any other substance that rhymes with seth

  2. This is obviously lacking in important information about psychadelic mushrooms- ie, be wary of undercover cops that want to catch you so you have to bribe them to let you go. This entire article is obviously a travel insurance promo slapped onto a hot topic. But everyone is getting upset about his classist comment. and while I agree it was tactless I decided to comment because everyone really needs to know that from my experience as a hotel representative in a foreign country it is not worth it to save the $20-$100 it would take to cover you with travel insurance. If you get into any sort of medical emergency (or even basic one like an ear infection because now you cant fly!), they are your first contact for getting you back home safely and at minimal cost. I have watched way too many people max out all of their credit cards trying to fix a simple issue gone bad while other families with travel insurance had it taken care of for them. And yes, they can also be a headache to deal with, but after the horror stories I’ve seen in this job, I will never travel without it again. But I have never heard of the company this blog is promoting. Please travel safely.

  3. The author has no idea about the consumption of mushrooms.
    They trip is 3hrs max. The only danger there is, is the danger you create yourself.
    There is no such thing as a bad batch. The psilocybin is the same drug, just with different potencies. If u take mushrooms and need to be medically insured to do them, then maybe you shouldn’t. They guy on the blender has no idea what each persons tolerance is. The drug will affect you differently depending on your body weight and tolerance.
    Mushrooms are one thing! FUN AS FUCK.

  4. The guy, CR, who left the first message, is very superior. He is the real deal. A real dick. He said ““If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel” is pretty classist and close minded.”. Are you 12?

  5. “If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel” is pretty classist and close minded. Sure there could be benefits but also not everyone sees your particular type of travel as even ideal. Many people aren’t traveling hedonistically, staying in bungalows and taking drugs/breaking laws, and may have an approach that is more connection-based and centered around forging relationships with locals, may find work or volunteer options abroad due to budget and/or priorities and values when “traveling,” may have friends to visit and check in with (or may not). This burgeoning generation of smartphone-laden “travelers” can really crawl up its own a** so to speak.. Being able to afford travel insurance is neither a virtue nor character trait, nor a litmus test.

    1. I find it pretty incredible that you’re able to infer such accurate portrayals of people based on a single, 500-word article that was written in 2013. I also fear you missed the point of that statement, which is that if you are traveling, it is more than wise to buy travel insurance, regardless of the reason you travel. Broken leg? Medical evacuation? Lost luggage? Non-elective, emergency surgery? All covered and all because of unforeseen circumstances.

  6. I will definitely try this one when i go to Thailand. I will never miss this opportunity. Thank you for sharing and for spreading awareness.

  7. Amazing trip. Thank you for sharing. This is very inspiring. Looking forward for your next adventures with mushrooms. I would probably try this mushroom shakes when I go to Thailand. And I hope I will also have a good trip.

  8. Thank you for sharing! I will take note of this and hope to try this shake and other delicacies in Thailand.
    It is really amazing to find these kinds of stuff in other places. It goes to show that a lot of people are
    already into mushrooms and know the benefits of consuming it.

  9. I see the original post is from 2013… I am headed to Koh Samui for Songkhran and would like to give a shake a go. Anybody been there recently? Any tips on where to go?

    1. I was there but did not see any special shakes or pizzas, but you can easily take the ferry to Koh Tao which is the party spot.

  10. This sounds like an experience not to miss out on! As long as it is done in the right environment and the right peope 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  11. After reading some news reports of poisonings last year after some milkshakes had been made using mosquito coils, I chose not to bother.

    I think that SEA has begun a process of condeming the rampant drug use by foreign nationals in the countries and I for one applaud it.

    1. That’s pretty scary! I think the widespread use of drugs by foreigners is a part of the whole “amusement park” that is Southeast Asia. I think these areas need to change their approach, and the tourists need to enter these parts of Asia with a little more respect.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. I think that people should really look at how respectful they are in a new country instead of just flying in and behaving like they would at a frat party.

        Of course that there’s no smoke without fire too. There are a number of locals who do try to satisfy the demands of people wanting to have a ‘good time’ in the area, but I think many locals are already trying to shy away from anything where possible trouble with the police can occur.

        1. Though, often times the police just get paid off. Saw it myself. Foreigners get to take drugs and the police walk away with a stack of bills in their pocket.

  12. Haha what a crazy day 🙂

    I agree with Leif “”drunk people and tripping people don’t mix well” should be a fortune cookie haha.” Great line mate!

  13. Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. Sure, it might not have been the most productive day but hey, at least you were able to make something of it after the fact.

    The “happy shakes” are available in other tourist island hotspots throughout SEA, most notably Bali. I will say this though: if you’ve tried ‘shrooms before and are used to and comfortable with the experience, go for two instead of one 😉 In this corner of the world it’s all field shrooms, versus the lab shrooms much of the western world is used to.

    Also, always choose OJ as your mixer. Trust me on this one.

    BTW I love your disclosure at the end. After a little situation of my own I had to add the following disclaimer in the legal speak section of my blog: “Any and all immoral or illegal events described herein are fictional. Certain names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent alike.”

    Finally, I have to (regretfully) say damn you for beating me to the punch. I have a nearly identical post sitting in draft form but it is just one of a dozen that I’ve never gotten around to perfecting for publication. Guess there is no point in doing that now…

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