How to Act in Thailand
Thailand, about half the size of Texas, sits in the tropics of Southeast Asia, and has humid warm weather that usually stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 C). Buddhism is the state religion of Thailand and has a strong influence on the Thai culture. Although the Thai people have been influenced by the west, they still maintain their own unique culture and etiquette standards. When traveling in Thailand, you may want to learn some guidelines on how to act.
Avoid getting angry or raising your voice in public places.In Thailand, the people are not confrontational.
- Showing anger may embarrass a Thai person and will not help you in your endeavors.
- When you visit Thailand, practice patience and copy what the Thai people are famous for - smiling.
Learn the proper Thai etiquette for greeting.When traveling in Thailand, the wai is the proper form of greeting.
- Place your palms together with your fingers pointed toward your chin, as if you are praying.
- Bow your head a little bit, over your fingers.
- Thai etiquette determines how high you hold your hands. If you wai a monk, older person or dignitary, you raise your hands to the top of your nose. Hold your hands near your chest when you wai an equal.
Eat food that you pick up with your fingers with your right hand.When traveling in Thailand, licking your fingers or blowing your nose while eating is considered rude behavior.
Avoid touching Thai people.
- Touching a Thai person is an invasion of personal boundaries, and this violates Thai etiquette.
- Pointing your feet at someone, or touching them with your feet, is considered an insult. The feet are considered unholy.
- The head is considered the most revered body part, so never pat someone on the head. If you accidentally touch someone's head, apologize immediately.
Wear appropriate dress when you enter a Buddhist temple.When you visit Thailand, you may want to see some of the ancient temples, but you must respect the dress code.
- Take off your shoes before you enter a Buddhist temple.
- Some temples will provide a shawl or long skirt that you may wear while you are in the temple. If you are wearing shorts or a mini-skirt, you may be denied entrance.
Avoid talking disrespectfully about the king or royal family when traveling in Thailand.The Thai people revere the royal family, and it is sacrilegious to speak out against them.
- Stepping on a coin with the face of the king on it or defacing it in any way is disrespectful and against the law.
- The Thai police may arrest you if you perform any sacrilegious acts when you visit Thailand.
- Wear yellow, the king's color, to honor the royal family.
Remove your shoes before entering a Thai house.Removing shoes is proper Thai etiquette.
Use a Thai person's first name when you address them."Khun" is the proper title for adults.
Video: Thailand Temples | How To Dress & Act
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