Whether for holiday, business, or retirement, spending time in the Land of Smiles can be truly an amazing experience. With its colorful culture set amidst the backdrop of countless tourist spots, Thailand never fails to enchant.
Enhance your Thai experience and make some new friends along the way by keeping in mind these simple tips during your stay.
Thais are known to be tolerant people but there are things that they consider universally sacred to them that any sign of disrespect may cause a grave offense. First of all, you should never express any disrespect for the King or any member of the Royal Family.
To most Thais, the King and his family are the living embodiment of their nationhood. Be prepared to stand up whenever the national anthem or the royal anthems are played.
Thais also regard Buddhism with the highest respect. They consider all Buddha images as sacred and so are the monks. Therefore, you should not wear shorts and sleeveless shirts when visiting any temple and shoes should be left at the entrance.
Despite Thailand being known for its thriving sex industry, the majority of the population is actually fairly conservative. A modest way of dressing will gain you more friends than baring your flesh.
The head, being the most sacred part of the body, should never be touched (do not attempt to pat even the heads of children). The feet, being the lowest, should never be pointed at other people, much less to a Buddha image.
Lastly, avoid showing any sign of anger. You should also avoid initiating a confrontation. Thailand isn’t called the ‘Land of Smiles’ for nothing. Keeping yourself cool is essential. The Thais have a special expression for that jai yen, which translates to ‘cool heart’, they also have the phrase mai pen rai which means ‘no problem’, which could lead you to a better understanding of sanook, the quintessential Thai word for ‘fun’.