There are two sacred pillars in Thailand: religion and monarchy. This country is a diamond dream for avid monarchists. Thailand is currently ruled by Pumipon Adulyadej.
Any disrespectful attitude to the royal family is punishable by law. It is only permissible to speak respectfully about this family, but under no circumstances to discuss their personal lives. Even the opposition, which disregards the laws and norms of society, is intolerant of such an attitude toward the Thai monarchy.
In Thailand, it is strictly forbidden to take pictures of military facilities and inside temples. Before you take pictures of the Thais, ask their permission.
When visiting Buddhist temples, one must be dressed appropriately – the entire body must be covered. A blanket will be given to you at the shrine if you need it. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple. Women, under no circumstances, should touch the monk, nor should they even approach him. Every image of Buddha, large or small, whole or partial, is perceived as sacred in Thailand. Do not take pictures with him or perform other actions that could be perceived as extreme disrespect.
For Thais, literally and figuratively, the head is the main and important part of the body. In it, according to Thai belief, sits the guardian spirit of man. Thus, do not touch the head of Thais, even if it is a friendly gesture, for example, if you decide to stroke a child’s head. Don’t pat Thais on the shoulder, and don’t sit cross-legged in front of them like the Buddha does. Pointing at a person or object with your foot is considered rude.
People who speak softly are deeply respected by the Thai people. Outward expressions of anger and just talking loudly are considered bad manners here. And for those guests who remain calm and smiling, all doors are open.
You won’t see Thai couples hugging and kissing on the street. This is unacceptable by the norms of Thai society. Thais are quite conservative about the behavior of their women. They should dress in a way that doesn’t conjure up anything. And as for the dress code, despite the hot weather, the vast majority of female office workers wear stockings. The long-standing traditions of Thailand are still embedded in the female sex, and often walking down the street, little girls will curtsy to you.
Thais greet each other with a greeting known as a Wai, not a handshake as in the West.
Hospitality is the essence of the nature of the Thai people. When greeting guests in their homes or offices, the first thing they do is serve them with a glass of water. Similarly, in restaurants, you will be served cold water right away, whether you have ordered something or not.
Before entering a Thai house, make sure you take off your shoes. The same is true for Buddhist temples and traditional Thai restaurants where guests sit on the floor. It is pertinent to note that it is quite natural for Thai people to sit in squats or directly on the floor rather than on chairs. In most families, the floor is also used as a dining table. Most homes do not have beds, only mattresses. Traditionally, wealthy Thai families have low tables made of teak wood used during meals.
The Thais respect their elders and add the word Pi when addressing them, while the younger ones are commonly referred to as Nong. It would be more appropriate to call the employees of restaurants and similar places Pi or Nong.
All Thais have nicknames that they use informally. Unlike real names, which are quite difficult to pronounce, Thai nicknames consist of a single syllable or even a sound.
Shopping in Thailand is also profoundly different from the Western world. Bargaining is not only a custom, it is inherent in the very nature of the indigenous population. You won’t see price tags in most stores. So you have to ask, “How much?” The seller will then evaluate you as a potential buyer and indicate the price on the calculator. After that, feel free to enter your amount on the calculator. Beware, the Thais are very skillful salesmen.