Central & Eastern Thailand Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd

Central & Eastern Thailand Local Customs

  • Wai - Traditional Thai Greeting

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thais greet each other with the ‘wai’ (pronounced like the word ‘why’), placing the palms of their hands together as in prayer and raising them to the level of their face whilst bowing slightly. Cambodians and Lao people also do this but they don't bow their heads down. In addition to greeting and saying goodbye, the wai is also always used when...

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  • Dress codes

    Bangkok Local Customs

    In most Asian countries it's common to understand the remains of British influence, in the students' dress code. In Bangkok we saw a parade with students using traditional costumes and some uniformity, but not so rigorous and classical as in India, for instance. I don't know what they were celebrating, but they were a very happy crowd - maybe the...

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  • Respect for Royalty

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thais from all walks of life still have deep respect and a genuine affection for their royal family. You will find pictures of the King adorning not just every public building but even holding pride of place in most private homes. All television channels devote at least half-an-hour every evening to a round-up of the royal family’s activities for...

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  • Touching Heads

    Bangkok Local Customs

    The must Do: -dress properly when visiting a temple -treat monks with the highest respect -try to learn a few Thai phrases -smile -enjoy DON'T EVER TRY TO: Don't show disrespect towards the Thai Royal Family Don't touch a Thai woman without consent Don't touch a Thai person's head or ruffle their hair Don't take Buddha images out of the...

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  • Songkran Festival

    Bangkok Local Customs

    During Songkran, most office buildings, banks as well as family-run shops and restaurants shut down completely, while big shopping malls usually remain open. During Songkran,Thais throw water at each other forgood reason. The meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the new year with...

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  • Buddhism & Monks

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thailand is officially a Buddhist country and some 95% of Thais are Buddhists. Always remember to remove your shoes and dress smartly when entering a temple (sleeveless shorts and short skirts are not allowed). Never allow your feet to point towards an image of the Buddha or ven stand taller than him. Monks are not allowed to have any physical...

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  • Thai Language

    Bangkok Local Customs

    A good way to learn the Thai language is through listen .Listening to Thai music can improve your listening skill as well as to learn new words . One band that is easy to listen to with many meaningful lyrics is a band called Loso (very famous rock band in Thailand).They have many albums from heavy rock song with stinging lylics like Mai tong...

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  • Local Food

    Bangkok Local Customs

    thailand is a powerhouse in growing various fruits from around the world and it has a large fruit agro-industrial industry besides the traditional rice growing. evidence of this is that you can buy assorted fruits and fresh fruit drinks in Bangkok Streets, which are sometimes not seen in other South East Asian Countries and an example is the...

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  • Removing Shoes

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Religion has an important part in life for many people in Thailand. And Buddhism is the main religion. Praying and sacrificing with incense and flowers are ways of showing respect to god. Take of your shoes when you enter a temple, never point at Thai people with your feet and be careful if you touch their head.

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  • Local Beers

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Beer Lao is not a thailand beer original, it is manufactured in nearby Laos by the Lao Brewery Company, but it is imported in large quantities from laos as it is becoming popular as a beer drink with tourists and western expats in thailand and also in the Thai Northeast Region (Isan) as the people there are mostly ethnic Laotians, as it was annexed...

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  • Thai Dance

    Bangkok Local Customs

    We were fortunate enough to be visiting Wat Arun when a troop of lion dancers arrived to bless all the shrines for Chinese New Year. After the dancing they lit the usual deafening fire crackers for good luck and to ward off evil.

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  • Public Displays of Affection

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thai and Western ideas about what constitutes acceptable physical contact in public are fundamentally different! While people of the same sex can often be seen holding hands on the street, you will rarely see a man and a woman being so shameless as to do so. In stark contrast to the image some tourists have of Thailand as a kind of sexual...

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  • Bargain - Haggling

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Bargaining is meant to be fun so the first rule is that you should never get angry or rude with merchants. Sometimes merchants will be rude to you in an effort to make farangs lose face but don't stoop to their level. Never, never underestimate the power of the smile and laugh in Thailand. And don't forget that bargaining while you are shopping is...

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  • Smiling

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thais admire serenity and regard overt expressions of emotion as immature and unsightly. This is especially true in the case of anger or impatience. If you show anger, you will immediately lose the respect of Thais. Their first reaction will be to laugh at you, in the hope that you too will remind yourself of the absurdity of trying to solve...

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  • Souvenirs

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Again, as everyone would know by now, not only do I collect fridge Magnets but also shot glasses and here in tourist friendly thailand, there are literally tons and tons of assorted souvenir items to choose from and among these are my favorite shot glasses and they are available anywhere in bangkok, mose so at the main tourist areas and the shot...

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  • Thai Massages

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Thai massage is believed to have been developed by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, physician to Buddha, more than 2,500 years ago in India. It made its way to Thailand, where the Ayurvedic techniques and principles gradually became influenced by traditional Chinese medicine. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks (especially at Wat Po) as one...

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  • Foot Etiquette

    Bangkok Local Customs

    In Buddhist culture, the feet are the lowest and most unclean part of the body, while the head is the highest part of the body. Touching someone on the head, or shaking your foot, or pointing with your feet towards someone, is very disrespectful in this culture. To greet in a show of respect bow you head towards the person just slightly

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  • Flowers

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Flower-power I always adored in the 60's with the lovely Hippie childeren. I guess it is the smell of nature, and you see in Thailand those special flower-shops of arranging flowers used in decorations. On altars, in shrines and at places special dedicated to their beloved ones I saw these decorations of bright-yellow marigold garlands, by the...

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  • Spirit Houses

    Bangkok Local Customs

    You see these everywhere, form the small and humble to the elaborate and not exactly small. These are built to applease and house any spirits (mainly tree dewlling ones,) that are displaced due to development and redevelopment, so that they have somewhere to live now that their previous home was destroyed/moved by the people. Most houses and...

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  • Stray Dogs & Cats

    Bangkok Local Customs

    We saw this poor old dog in Chinatown over a few holidays - it lived in a phonebooth near our hotel, in one of the Chinatown shopping streets. Seemed to be quite tolerated here - people would stand behind and lean over it to make phone calls, and I guess it was given food - all the market animals seem to be cared for in some way. I was almost sad...

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  • Money

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Paid 250Baht to get into the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, upon entering the palace, looked up and was surprised to see a sign that says it's FREE for the Thais. Later, I found the same thing for some other temples/wat. I find it a little odd, here in Malaysia, everybody pays.

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  • Elephants

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Elephant riding has become an integral part of all tourists' visits to Thailand. Well- trained elephants can be ridden through local villages and surrounding forests Tourist attractions throughout the country will often have a resident elephant, however serious trekkers and elephant riders will need to go to the northern regions of Thailand for a...

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  • Singha Beer

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Singha Beer is the number one domestic beer in thailand while Heineken Beer is the number one international brand beer than is brewed in thailand! It is brewed locally by the Asia Pacific Brewery, the makers of Tiger Beer of Singapore, the brewery also brews Tiger Beer locally. What makes heineken the number one international beer brand in...

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  • City Name

    Bangkok Local Customs

    An interesting fact that not many travelers know is that Bangkok is not called Bangkok in Thai. It's official name is Krungthep Maharnakorn...... it goes on and on and on, there is actually a song that the Thai people sing to remember the full name of the city! Try asking any thai friends if they can sing the song for you! A Thaistyle Free World...

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  • Canal & River boats

    Bangkok Local Customs

    On the banks of the Chao Phraya river, you will see rickety old wooden houses on stilts and covered boats. The people that live here are called the boat people. They do not have much money but seem to be very happy living on the river.

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  • Durian

    Bangkok Local Customs

    the Durian fruit is always decribed as "smells like hell and taste like heaven" and this spiky and stinky fruit is commonly found in south east asia and there are various cultivars of this wonderful fruit, and for me, thailand has the sweetest cultivars of this fruit (better than in singapore, indonesia, malaysia and the philippines) and the inside...

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  • Mango With Sticky Rice

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Mango with sticky rice is a sweet south east asian invention. It is composed of Ripe yellow Mango with glutinous sticky rice and sometimes flavored with brown sugar or coconut milk. I don't really know which country started it but it is the BEST DESSERT! Here in Thailand it's called "Khao Niaw Ma Muang" and it the Philippines, it is called "Suman...

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  • Students

    Bangkok Local Customs

    I was met several times by school children during my stay in Bangkok and Thailand. They usually were sent to places like the Royal Palace or Wat Pho to interview tourists to practice their English. I met a group my first day in Thailand. They were adorable, shy and polite, but with a schoolchild giggling streak. They asked general questions about...

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  • Grand Palace

    Bangkok Local Customs

    At the Golden Palace, I saw people touching a ball, placed in the mouth of the lion statue. I asked why they were doing this and I was told that while touching the ball, you make a wish... it doesn't cost anything to try!!!

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  • National Anthem

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Everyday at 8am and 6pm, the street of Bangkok will broadcast the national anthem. I don't know where the music come from, but if all of the sudden if you see everyone on the sidewalk starts to stand still, it's better to follow them. Just to be respectful to Thailand.

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  • Chinese Shrines

    Bangkok Local Customs

    There are many Thais with Chinese ancestors ,so you will often see Chinese style shrines all over the country .On certain ocassions such as Chinese New Year you will see people paying respect to Gods and past ancesters in front of their homes,shop or local shrines.Offerrings of chicken,duck,fruit,pig heads ,Chinese dessert,soft drink ,tea and...

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  • Erawan Shrine

    Bangkok Local Customs

    In Thailand gambling is illegal but this ban is a classic example of no meaning yes. Go to many places around the country and it doesn’t take long to hear by word of mouth that a lot of card games and other games of chance are taking place. The only sanctioned gambling in Bangkok is the state lottery. Go anywhere in Thailand and you will be...

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  • Weather & Climate

    Bangkok Local Customs

    You know, the weather in Thailand can be VERY hot and VERY humid (sad to say, it's hotter and more humid compared to Singapore). Apparently, there is a running joke amongst those people living in Thailand that the country has three different seasons i.e. hot, hotter and HOTTEST. I hate to admit it but... they are absolutely not wrong! The climate...

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  • Chang Beer

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Singha Beer Maybe the number one beer in Thailand but Chang Beer is a Close second (and I actually like the taste of Chang Beer More!) Chang Beer has 6.4 percent alcohol it's nice and strong. The can shows 2 elephants but the colors look a little bit cheap. The color of the beer itself is a bit darker than usual what probably explains the...

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  • Pollution

    Bangkok Local Customs

    BANGKOK Bangkok like most Asian capital suffers from really bad polution..The Air here in Bangkok is really bad due it its thousands and thousands of motorbikes . Definately the transport of choice the Hondas are cheap and economical. Along with the local heavy traffic, cars busses and trucks .. do what the locals do and wear a face mask..This...

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  • Loy Kratong

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Unfortunately you are just going to miss one of the biggest and in my opinion, best festivals in Thailand, Loy Kratong which is Nov 12 this year. Coincides with the November full moon, so the date differs from year to year. www.thai-experience.org/festival/calendar People make up floats, (kratongs) out of lily pads and flowers and incense, place...

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  • Traffic

    Bangkok Local Customs

    Even though there s so muc traffic in Bangkok, many regular workers commute to factories in these artfully painted busses. I couldn't resist taking pictures of them in my company parking lot. These busses are provided by employers, and add a great dash of color to a rainy Thai morning.

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  • Don'ts in Thailand

    Don't show disrespect towards the Thai Royal FamilyDon't touch a Thai woman without consentDon't touch a Thai person's head or ruffle their hairDon't take Buddha images out of the countryDon't point your feet towards other people

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  • Do's in Thailand

    -Respect all Buddha Images-Dress properly when visiting a temple-Treat monks with the highest respect-Try to learn a few Thai phrases-Smile-Enjoy

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  • MUAI THAI - The acient fight art-

    I can't hide that I was to Thailand mainly for to see muai thai matches....But when I saw this great show of this little tigers...I have been moved (and some cry fallen down) for to see with what love the trainers took care of this litle athletes, how this little kids was proffessionals and all the love of the pubblic.... to see little tigers to...

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  • Temple visits: Etiquette

    Some things to know when entering a Wat / Temple:- Dress properly: cover your shoulders, cover your legs (long trousers or skirts). At some Wats you can rent shawls, but it is better (and cheaper) to come prepared. In the picture you can see a sign with what is alowed and what not.- Take off your shoes at the entrance.- Never show your bare feet...

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  • The king

    O.K.,So you know that the Royals command much respect and you know not to point your feet at people.Well you know when you drop a coin and you automatically stop it by stamping on it!!!!!!!Well I made that mistake and got alot of shamefull looks. Its almost automatic to do it...But I thought it worth a mention, considering it combines both of the...

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  • Water lotus

    You will notice that there are lots of water lotus being seen & grown in Thailand, even in busy Bangkok and in the hotel surroundings. Water lotus are associated closely with Buddhism and therefore is an important cultural symbol in Thailand. You will also seen many statues and monuments of the elephant.

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Central & Eastern Thailand Local Customs

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