Five Places You Won’t Find a McDonald’s Burger

The golden arches aren’t just ubiquitously symbolic of the McDonalds empire and its infamous burgers , fries and milkshakes, but also of consumer capitalism, globalization and as some might suggest, the Americanization of the world at the expense of local cultures and traditions.

Many despair at the fact that McDonald’s restaurants can be found in even the most remote, innocent and unspoilt corners of the globe that seem so far removed from the throw-away, break-neck speed values associated with McDonald’s and everything it represents.

While this could be viewed as an invasion of tradition, there are many examples of McDonald’s attempting to assimilate with the local culture, be that through preserving the architectural qualities of the building it inhabits or adapting it’s menus to suit regional tastes .

No matter what efforts the restaurant chain makes not to stamp Americanization all over world, there will no doubt always be an underlying sense of resentment towards those all-too familiar golden arches and that grinning clown.  Surprising though it may be, there are still corners of the globe that have resisted the relentless march of the fast food giant, here are five places you won’t be able to get a Big Mac with fries…


Although Barbados is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for those seeking sun sea and pure relaxation, it lacks one key staple, a McDonald’s. This has not always been the case however, the first and only McDonald’s opened on the island in 1996 but was so unpopular that it closed down just six months later, telling of the inhabitants penchant for fresh ingredients, particularly seafood. The building has since been converted into a bank.


Vietnam is an increasingly popular tourist destination and is often listed in high-end travel guides as ‘must-visit’ destination. It may seem odd then that a destination so popular with Westerners doesn’t have a fast food restaurant serving our perceived staple diet of reclaimed trotter meat. Vietnam’s tragic past however perhaps indicates that it’s reasons for not having established the golden arches may be more political than economic.



The most surprising thing about the absence of the Golden arches in Kazaksthan? It’s the 9th largest country in the world and its capital, Almaty is home to 1.3 million people. Kazakhstan certainly has no need to attract tourism with its vast oil reserves and huge potential wealth, and it’s entirely possible that the locals are perfectly happy with the national dish of boiled horse meat and fermented Camels milk!


Nepal, to the North of India, is of course the location of the world’s tallest mountain, Everest, somewhat of a missed opportunity to establish the highest-attitude Golden Arches in the world. Perhaps surprising since its neighbour to the south as welcomed Ronald and the gang with open arms introducing such home-grown delicacies as the ‘Chicken Maharaja-Mac’.


Another popular tourist destination, in fact one of the most popular in Africa, Kenya attracts thousands of wealthy foreign visitors every year for its luxurious resorts and fantastic safari opportunities, and is widely recognised as one of the most Westernised African nations. It seems in fact Kenya doesn’t need McDonald’s since it has its own successful fast food franchise called Kula Korner, serving up fresh, healthy African dishes.

 Joe is a travel blogger who avoids McDonalds wherever possible! He’s looking forward to sampling the local cuisine when he goes on his Dubai Holidays!