Thailand has loads of cultural practices and beliefs that are different to those in Western societies. Your Ultimate Thailand Tour Leader and our Thai Guides will teach you everything you need to know during the trip, but here’s a few bits to get you started…
The Royal Family – The Thai’s love their Royal Family! Making derogatory remarks about the Royal Family is against the law with penalties from 3 – 15 years’ imprisonment, depending on the severity.
The Wâi – The traditional greeting is with two hands prayer-like palms together known as a wâi. If a local gives a wâi to you, to be polite, it is nice to wâi back. A wâi, however, is always appreciated. Watch this short video on how to give a wâi.
The Body – Thai culture places spiritual importance to certain parts of the body. You should not point your feet at people, touch people with your feet, prop your feet up on seats or tables or step over people sitting on the ground. The head in contrast has a much higher importance. Avoid touching people on the head as this is considered very rude. You should also avoid sitting on pillows meant for head rests. In some rural areas, food is often served while seated on the ground. Stepping over food on the ground is another extremely rude gesture and will surely embarrass your Thai host.
Shoes – Throughout all of Thailand, if you notice a pile of shoes at or near an entrance to a home, shop or guesthouse, you should remove your shoes before entry; it is considered rude not to do so.
Dressing Appropriately – Most of Thailand’s attractions are of cultural significance. Places like temples and palaces are highly respected by the locals for their religious values and there are certain customs and etiquette you need to respect when visiting these places such as; you are required to wear ‘polite dress’ when visiting official buildings and palaces. This means no flip-flops, no shorts, no skirts above the knee for ladies, and no sleeveless t-shirts.
By learning a little bit about the Thai culture before you start your trip, you’ll be able to fit in with the locals, show respect for their beliefs and have the Ultimate cultural experience in this beautiful country! If you want to know more about the culture of the Thai people, please feel free to contact us, we’ll be happy to answer any questions!