Getting to know the traditions of Thailand before arriving in the country is as important as booking a good hotel to rest. Therefore, we tell you the most important ones. Adapt to Thai culture and you will enjoy your stay more.
We start off with some of Thailand’s customs, which are very useful when socializing with Thais. One of the most fundamental is to smile almost continuously. Also, you should keep in mind that:
Learning this custom is essential because you will use it all the time. The word you should use, both when you arrive and when you leave, is “sawasdee”, and you should accompany it with the gesture “wai”. This consists of joining your two hands in front of your chest as if you were praying.
The main religion in Thailand is Buddhism. You will find thousands of temples scattered throughout the country. Not surprisingly, it is common for every Thai to go to a temple during their daily routine. Do not forget to take into account the following recommendations to avoid being called out.
Just like entering a house, Thai culture requires you to take off your shoes. You have to remember that you are in a religious compound and that you cannot raise your voice. When you sit down, you must bend your legs, but with the tips of your feet facing away from the altar. The reason is that the feet are in contact with the ground and pointing to any deity with them is considered disrespectful.
Regarding the clothes you should wear, it is essential that you cover your shoulders and do not wear pants or skirts that are too short. This prohibition is in force in the royal palace in Bangkok, but in the temples you will always be advised to dress properly.
The monks who inhabit these religious buildings often talk to tourists about their religion. Keep in mind that they are highly respected and you should not sit too close to them. Women are not allowed to touch them under any circumstances. To make any offerings, do it in the corresponding place, as they are considered as a sacred person.
It is at their homes where you have to be more aware of their customs. Do not forget that, if you are invited to a house, you have to bring some kind of gift. Shoes should be left outside the house, as it is considered an almost sacred space. It is important that the clothing is discreet, as a sign of respect towards the hosts.
You will find cushions scattered on the floor that will serve as seats. Everything revolves around the table, so the food will be the protagonist of any visit. In addition, you should thank, with the aforementioned greeting, the food you have been served. A buffet is usually served. On the table you will find a spoon, a knife and a fork, but the latter should not be put in your mouth to eat. Don’t worry; the food will be served in small pieces. You should always hold the rice with your right hand. Be careful with sauces if you don’t like spicy food. Maintain decorum throughout the visit and don’t forget to smile.
If the above information is extremely useful, in Thai culture there are a number of customs you should avoid such as:
Apart from all the above, avoid attracting attention and do not behave inappropriately. Despite the undeniable hustle and bustle of the shopping areas, Thais tend to be quiet and comply with the above-mentioned customs.
Now that you know the traditions of Thailand, it will certainly be easier for you to behave like a Thai. Review all the customs and take them with you when you travel. Surely, your trip will be more bearable and you will avoid having problems with the locals or even with the authorities. This will make your trip to Thailand a much more complete experience.