Thailand “The Land of Smiles” is one of the most enchanting tourist destination which attracts millions of visitors each year and people enjoy not only the ultra-modern cities and night life but also get a glimpse of the fascinating Thai Culture. As with all the tourist spots, observing a certain code of conduct will tourists bring an added experience to their holiday.
Thai values regarding dress code, code of conduct and authority figures are more conservative than in a western society, although this does not apply to the night life. The Thai people are usually tolerant and forgiving and have an easygoing approach to life.
They are extremely polite and their behavior is controlled by etiquette and also influenced by Buddhism. The Thai society is calm and in their daily life and avoid confrontations at all costs.
The visitors should never lose their patience or show their anger no matter how frustrating or desperate the situation because this is considered a weakness in the Thai culture. While traveling in Thailand it is important to note that conflicts can be easily resolved with a smile.
As far as the dress is considered, the like to dress smartly and neatly. Therefore, do not wear revealing clothing such as shorts, low neckline dresses, bathing suits, etc. as they are considered improper attire in Thailand. Keep in mind that this type of clothing is only acceptable at the beaches or in night clubs.
When entering a temple, it is advisable to wear long skirts or long trousers. Women should not touch Monks. If a woman wants to hand something to the monks, she must do so indirectly by placing the item within the monks reach. Remove shoes when entering houses and temples. Public display of affection between sexes is resented.
Avoid touching people unless you are very close to them. The head is the highest part of the body, so avoid touching it. The feet are considered the least sacred in Thailand, so avoid pointing it at anyone, as it is extremely insulting to do so. The Thais usually do not shake hands. The usual greeting is the ‘Way’. The hands are joined and raised upwards towards the face while the head is lowered with a slight bow. The height to which the hands are held depends on the status of the person being greeted. For monks, higher dignitaries, and elderly, hands are raised to the bridge of the nose, while with equals only as far from the chest. Young people and inferiors are not greeted with a Way’ but a slight nod is sufficient
While eating, do not blow your nose or lick your fingers. When picking up food eaten with fingers, the right hand is used.. When encountering a foreign culture for the first time, one is likely to make a mistake. If you do so, just smile or ‘Wai’ and you will be forgiven.