DON'T POINT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR FEET
Don't point the bottom of your feet (bare) at anyone or anything sacred. This is also a very
important rule. Specifically, by the culture, pointing a bare heel is very bad and extremely
disrespectful. The bottoms of the bare feet are considered the most unholy part of the body.
And there is good cause also: Thais accept the fact that bare feet are meant to be dirty.
Thais are very clean and shower sometimes more than three times a day, but the bottom of
their feet are always dirty. Squatting toilets only affect the bottom of the feet. This is why the
bottom of the feet is unholy so don't point them at anyone (including pictures and or statues
of the Buddha, famous monks, and the king). Be warned, if you break this rule, even
accidentally, Thai people will be disgusted with you, normally the Thais are very forgiving
and understanding but this one is very bad, although may seem silly to you.
It is a Thai custom to wai when you meet people. Hugging and kissing is not appropriate,
especially in public. The wai is the meeting of the hands under the chin, or higher, depending
on status. You should give a higher wai to a monk, especially an older monk (up to the
forehead), a higher wai to old people and your parents (if your Thai, which you'd know
already). The Buddha deserves the highest wai, the only time one wais above the head. The
wai under the chin is to an equal and is the most common. Farangs are normally forgiven if
they make a mistake, so don't worry. You do not return a wai to children, but a nod.
It is easy, entering a foreign culture for the first time, to make mistakes in etiquette. If you do
so, just smile, wai the person you may have offended, and you are forgiven. When you
consider that shaking hands, and kissing, are perhaps the easiest means of passing germs,
the wai, is in fact a suitable greeting.
TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF
This is a must do for Thailand. If you do not comply it is extremely disrespectful. Take your
shoes off before entering the following places: the inside of a wat, someone's home, before
standing at the same level as the Buddha image, eating on a mat, entering a monks'
quarters, and before going into a temple.. These are all extremely important and please
listen; you'll make a good impression! A good rule of thumb is that if there are shoes by the
door or the entrance, you need to remove your shoes before you enter. It is important not to
ignore this custom as the wearing of shoes indoors is considered very ill-mannered.
DO NOT WEAR SHORTS IN TEMPLES
DO SHOW PATIENCE WITH THAI PEOPLE WHO SPEAK ENGLISH
They are speaking a foreign language in their country. How many languages can you speak
DO NOT KISS OR HUG YOUR PARTNER IN PUBLIC
DO TIP EVEN IF HE SERVICE IS NOT UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS
The wages here are very low and perhaps there was a misunderstanding that led to your not
being completely satisfied with the service. Many people here work 7 days a week and 16
hours a day to support themselves and their famiiles.
DO TREAT THE WOMEN HERE AS LADIES
As that is what they are. If they happen to work in a bar, or giving Thai massages, they
shouldn't be labelled as prostitutes.
Very important Thai eating rules:
1) Only eat with your RIGHT HAND.
2) A fork and spoon are the usual eating utensils. However, noodles are often eaten with
chopsticks. Only use the fork to put food on the spoon.
3) The spoon is held in the right hand and the fork in the left. The fork is used to guide food
on to the spoon.
4) Wash your hands before eating.
5) if you are in a homestay, shower before eating (as much as possible).
6) Sticky rice is a hand food! Ball it up, then make it into a pinch pot and use it as a little
edible spoon-bowl type thing to eat.
7) When eating, it is considered very rude to blow your nose or to lick you fingers. The right
hand must be used to pick up food eaten with the fingers.
8)Most meals are served as buffets or with serving platters in the centre of the table family-
9)You may begin eating as soon as you are served.
10)Leave a little food on your plate after you have eaten to show that you are full. Finishing
everything indicates that you are still hungry.
11)Never leave rice on your plate as it is considered wasteful. The words for food and rice
are the same. Rice has an almost mystical significance in addition to its humdrum 'daily
12)Never take the last bite from the serving bowl.
13)Wait to be asked before taking a second helping.
14)Do not lick your fingers.
Revealing clothing, worn by either men or women, is a little disgusting to most Thais. Short
shorts, low cut dresses and T-shirts and skimpy bathing suits come into this category. In
temples, long trousers or skirts must be worn, and monks should on no account be touched
in any way by women. Shoes should always be removed when entering temples and private
houses. For this reason, most Thais wear slip-on shoes to avoid constantly tying and untying
USING THE THAI TOILET
Yes, you may have the pleasure to use the Thai people toilet, ie the squatter. These may look
extremely unappealing at first, but you should love them by the end! You should know how to
use them so you know what you're doing when that time comes when you are up against
one, well here it goes...:
1) Get bare footed
2) There is normally a rack to put your pants, use it, if not well put your pants somewhere.
3) Place feet on feet pads and just squat down
4) Drop the bomb (1 or 2).
5) Ut-oh, no toilet paper, what to do? (Bring some before if your smart, but biodegradable
ones only). But normally you won't have any so heres what to do: there is a bucket and troth
of water for a reason... take your LEFT HAND and wet it and clean the spot... now you can see
why we don't eat with our left hands!!!
6) Ut-oh, no flusher, but there is a hose and pail. Fill the pail with the water from the hose,
pour the water into the toilet from the pail and it will (should) go down.
7) Put your pants and shoes on and congratulations you're done!
SHOW RESPECT FOR THE KING
The king of Thailand is very important to the Thai people. He is loved by the Thais. If you ever
drive by statues of the king in Bangkok you may see your taxi driver waiing in the car, out of
respect to the king. Do show respect for the king! The Thais will like you for it! Being
disrespectful could land you in some deep trouble. The people here love their King and
Queen. You will see their picture in every business and in every house.
DON'T TOUCH THE TOP OF CHILDREN'S HEAD
It is considered rude to touch the top of children's heads. And for that matter the top of
anyone's head. The top of the head is considered to be one of the most holy parts of the
body and cannot be touched by others.
YOUR HEAD SHOULD BE BELOW THE HEAD OF THE BUDDHA
Your head should be below the head of a Buddha image. This is just a sign of respect. If you
are tall you should kneel or sit so your head is not above that of the central Buddha image.
Just a cultural note!
SHOW RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY
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Don's Life In Thailand