Thais are extraordinarily
tolerant, and will not expect you to know the "Thai way"
of doing things. They will overlook almost all of your socially
cultural embarrassing actions and mistakes. However if you would
like to acclimatize yourself as much as possible, there are many
fairly simple adjustments you can make that are likely to surprise
and in some cases delight people.
Smile. Greet people. It is almost impossible to be overly friendly.
You will be amazed at how many will remember your name if you give
Don't take offence at questions like "Are you married?"
"How much money do you earn?", "How old are you?". No harm is meant by these
queries and this is how they relate to one another.
Try to eat Thai food. It's not all spicy. Order a few dishes with
some steamed rice and share them. That's the way Thais eat.
Get annoyed if all the dishes you order don't come at the same time.
Since Thais usually share everything they order, it doesn't matter
to them which item comes out first.
Fuss over little children and let other people fuss over yours.
Be surprised if a group of strangers pick up and cuddle your baby,
passing him around with "oohs", "aahs" and kisses.
Be patient and stay calm in trying situations. If you lose your
cool, you lose people's respect.
Insist loudly on having your way. Try to win the day with quiet
perseverance. It's much more effective in Thailand.
Remove your shoes before entering a dwelling, a temple or a shop.
If in doubt, look for the presence of others' shoes at the entrance.
Point your foot at anyone who is not an intimate acquaintance,
or place it near them. Feet are considered unclean, and this is
Leave a small tip if you were pleased with the service.
Leave your loose satang (very small change) as a tip. Like most
places in the world, this is not an appropriate way to show your
appreciation for good service.
Be soft spoken and deferential with strangers.
Be loud, aggressive or insistent with strangers. These characteristics
are considered especially obnoxious and unforgivable.
Learn something about the royal family and especially the King.
The way in which he is loved and respected by his subjects will
tell you something about them.
Do anything that might be interpreted as showing disrespect for
any member of the Royal Family. The repercussions will be immediate
Dress presentably in the streets of a business area and when entering
shops. Men and women who wish to respect the locals will wear a
shirt at all times when away from beach and pool areas. Bathing suits
are not appropriate attire in town. In particular, dress neatly
if you are planning to enter a temple, bank, or government office.
Go topless if you are a women. People will pretend they don't notice,
but some will be deeply offended and resentful, especially Muslims.
Observe the temple code. Womens should have shoulders covered and
both sexes avoid scanty shorts. Shoes ALWAYS be removed before entering
any religious building.