Travelling internationally is a dream come true for many people and it can be even more enjoyable when you are aware of the customs of each country you plan to visit. Thailand is a beautiful destination that attracts people from all over the world to visit. If you plan on holidaying or going there on business, here are some Thai customs of which you should be aware.
Using the Wai
Buddhism is the primary religion of the country and it has a prominent place in Thai culture. When greeting someone, saying goodbye or thanking them, it is customary to use a gesture known as the Wai. The Wai is performed by placing your hands together with your palms and fingers touching as if in prayer. It should be held at chest or nose level and done with a slight bow of your head. This gesture is used around the country and is a show of respect.
Respecting the Anthem
The National Anthem of Thailand is played twice a day and all residents stop what they are doing to pay their respects to it. It is required for them to stand while the anthem is playing and show respect for one of the oldest customs in the country.
Respecting the Royal Family
The Royal family is held in high esteem in Thailand and they should never be disrespected, even as a joke. Pictures of the King can be seen throughout the country and, if you are attending a public event like a sporting event or a film, it is customary to stand when the King’s anthem is being played.
Colour of the Day
When visiting Thailand, you may notice people wearing the same colour on certain days. A custom in the country that pre-dates Buddhism is having a colour of the day. For instance, on Mondays the colour of the day is yellow, which represents the day the King was born, so you may see many people wearing it. Each day has a different colour, so if you want to participate in this custom, ask about the colour of the day when staying at one of the hotels in Sukhumvit, Bangkok.
Remove Your Shoes
One of the customs that every traveller to Thailand should be aware of is the removal of your shoes whenever entering a temple or someone’s home. In addition, visitors need to remember not to lift their feet or to point them at someone because it is considered very offensive.
It is important to be neatly dressed and well-groomed whenever you go out in Thailand. Being inappropriately dressed or poorly groomed is seen as a sign of disrespect and, if attempting to enter religious temples, inappropriate clothing can keep you from being granted permission to go inside. You should be adequately covered because wearing short skirts, shorts, vest tops or miniskirts is seen as inappropriate for entering places of religious significance.
Knowing these six customs can help make your visit to Thailand easier and more enjoyable for both you and the people you meet on your journey.