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Thai customs

Bangkok Culture | How to Act in Bangkok

Thailand is a country known for friendliness and hospitality and they have a history of Thai customs. Crime is low and most tourists don't experience any problems. There are still some Thai customs tourists should be aware of and respect in order to have a pleasant experience during their vacation Bangkok.

The predominant religion of Thailand is Buddhism. Visitors should be respectful of this religion and remember the Thai customs that must be followed. Appropriate dress is required when visiting temples, this means covering your arms and legs and not wearing revealing clothing. Some of the smaller temples will overlook this requirement but in larger ones you will not be permitted to enter unless you are properly covered. This Thai custom is taken very seriously and visitors to Bangkok should remember to wear appropriate clothing when visiting temples.

Another Thai custom that is strictly followed in Bangkok is the treatment of Monks. Monks are not allowed to be touched, or touch, women and are not allowed to take anything form a women. Women must give an object to a man if they want to give it to a monk or place it on a cloth on the ground and let the monk pull it over by the cloth. Monks also cannot shake hands, even with a man. Always be respectful of any monks you may encounter and abide by this Thai custom.

The Thai custom for greeting people is also different than in Western countries. The Thai people do not shake hands, rather they "wai" to show their respect by putting their hands together in front of them and bowing their head slightly. Adults should not "wai" a child and even though this Thai custom is relaxed where visitors are concerned visitors can show their respect by following this Thai custom.

In Thailand, the head is regarded as the highest part of the body and Thai customs do not allow touching the heads of others. Likewise, the feet are considered the lowest part of the body and Thai custom says that you should never point with your feet, especially at another person. This Thai custom is followed pretty strictly and visitors would be well advised not to touch another person's head or point with their feet.

Because Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand, there are Thai customs you should follow about images of Buddha. Visitors should always respect images of Buddha. Never climb on or sit on Buddha statues of point at them with your feet. Be very respectful of these images as Thai custom holds images of Buddha in very high esteem.

Most visitors to Bangkok will have a wonderful time, and locals will greatly appreciate your compliance with their Thai customs.


Last Updated: 27 Feb 2008