Culture and Etiquette

One of the things that will strike you when you start interacting with the local Thai people is their gentleness and happiness – which may contribute to why Thailand is known as the ‘land of smiles’. 

Thai people greet each other, as well as tourists, by what is known as ‘wai-ing’; by putting your two hands together in front of you in a prayer-like fashion. Respect is generally shown by the height of the hands - for example for royalty, the hands would be much higher than for ones friend; this sign of respect is generally accompanied by a slight bow of the body.

There are a few things one should avoid in Thailand; the most important (which could get you into serious trouble) is to show any disrespect to the King, the Thai Royal family or the institution of the Royal Family. Other things to avoid include pointing your feet (feet are considered to be dirty so this is therefore offensive), topless sunbathing, wearing shoes inside, angry behaviour, yelling and touching local Thai people on their head. One of the things you can do when you seem to be stuck is to smile - it will get you a long way to solving any problem you may have.