Thailand Local Custom Tips by SumTingWong Top 5 Page for this destination
Thailand Local Customs: 307 reviews and 224 photos
Cool looking bug
In Thai and Buddhist culture killing even animals as small as a bug is seen as evilness. Every creature has a right to live and killing then is strictly prohibited. However, there is a difference between killing a bug on purpose and accidentally stepping on one. Swatting at mosquitoes and killing spiders is inappropriate and received as evil. So next time you see a bug, think about its right to life.
When you visit the Royal Palace Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok there are some dress and cultural requirements. Man must wear long pants and a shirt with sleeves, as well as closed foot shoes. Women must wear a long skirt or pants and a shirt with sleeves as well, and closed foot shoes. Note that you will have to take your shoes off any time you enter a complex. The Royal Palace is a WAT so all rules that apply to a Wat apply to the Royal Palace.
Island by Koh Chang
It is illegal in Thailand to bathe nude. Thailand is far from Europe in both location and culture. For the most part Thais are conservative and bathing in the nude is EXTREMELY inappropriate. So inappropriate that it is illegal by law. Tourists have been ARRESTED in Thailand for nude bathing. Don't do it, unless you find it necessary to be embarrassed, to embarrass the people and culture around you, and to spend some time in a Thai jail.
Wat is the Thai word for a Buddhist Temple. From Wat Arun to the Royal Palace Temple of the Emerald Buddha, these places are all wats. Here is my list of thingst thar are very important to know and consider when at any wat in Thailand.
1) Take off your shoes when entering a room where there is a Buddha image.
2) NEVER point the bottom of your feet at a Buddha image.
3) NEVER sit with your legs extended in front of you inside a wat building.
4) NEVER touch a Buddha image.
5) NEVER stand higher than a Buddha image.
6) Do not openly turn your back on a Buddha image.
7) Obey any rules that you are given about a place.
Just a cultural note!
At Wat Pho
There are many things that are seen as not a big deal in the west that are extremely rude here in Thailand. Here is a list of things to not do (in public) while in Thailand:
1) Do not kiss in public
2) Do not scream in public
3) Do not appear nude in public, even on the beaches
4) Do not hit someone in public (common sense)
5) Do not appear dirty in public (common sense, Thai culture is very clean)
6) Do not disrespect holy sites
7) Do not show the bottom of your feet in public (do not point the bottom of your feet at anyone or anything holy)
Chiang Mai city (a lot of toilets down there)
Yes, you may have the pleasure to use the Thai people toilet, ie the squatter. These may look extremely unappealing at first, but you should love them by the end! You should know how to use them so you know what you're doing when that time comes when you are up against one, well here it goes...:
1) Get bare footed
2) There is normally a rack to put your pants, use it, if not well put your pants somewhere.
3) Place feet on feet pads and just squat down
4) Drop the bomb (1 or 2).
5) Ut-oh, no toilet paper, what to do? (Bring some before if your smart, but biodegradable ones only). But normally you won't have any so heres what to do: there is a bucket and troth of water for a reason... take your LEFT HAND and wet it and clean the spot... now you can see why we don't eat with our left hands!!!
6) Ut-oh, no flusher, but there is a hose and pail. Fill the pail with the water from the hose, pour the water into the toilet from the pail and it will (should) go down.
7) Put your pants and shoes on and congratulations you're done!
Extra comedy provided by me! lol! It really is important!
Gohp, khao, jai gai (frog, rice, chicken heart)
In Thailand eating isn't as simple as it may seem. Obviously these rules aren't very important in the cities, but in rural Thailand they are very important. Here are some important Thai eating rules:
1) Only eat with your RIGHT HAND.
2) Eat with a spoon, don't eat with a fork; only use the fork to put food on the spoon.
3) Wash your hands before eating.
4) If you are in a homestay, shower before eating (as much as possible).
5) Sticky rice is a hand food! Ball it up, then make it into a pinch pot and use it as a little edible spoon-bowl type thing to eat.
6) Enjoy your meal!!!
In Thailand it is common and acceptable to give children you see small gifts. It is not expected or anything, but don't let the kids in hilltribe villages overwhelm you. There is a big difference from giving gifts to hosts in a Thai village, as opposed to giving gifts while on a trek in hilltribe villages. In fact the hilltribe villages have been quite corrupted through all these gifts, which now is very common and acceptable.
Good things to bring are some pens, stickers, and some paper. Balloons are not great to bring (I know through experience) because they are not environmentally friedly and can be dangerous around little kids.
Note: do not let the kids overwhelm you, yes, they seem so sweet and needy, but many times giving these small little gifts hurts more than it helps. The best thing you can do is to donate school supplies to the local village school. Another awesome thing to do is if you have a digital camera take the kids' picture and then show them it.
Children love stickers and pens
To give a gift: there are two proper ways of presenting a gift in Thai society:
1) give the gift with your right hand and have your lift hand on your elbow.
2) present the gift with both hands together (this it the better of the two methods). It is common practice for the receiver of the gift to wahy (two hands together like praying position) before accepting the gift to show respect and gratitude.
When you receive a gift: Before you even touch the gift you should wahy, then you may accept the gift and take it with both hands, or if you have something in your hand accept it with your right hand and put your left hand by your elbow. Then you can say Kohp Koon krap(m)/kaa(f), or you can say this first, up to you.
The king of Thailand is very important to the Thai people. He doesn't have much of an effect on the government, but he is loved by the Thais. If you ever drive by statues of the king in Bangkok you may see your taxi driver waiing in the car, out of respect to the king. This is not North Korea, but do show respect for the king! The Thais will like you for it!
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