Outside major cities most toilets will be squat toilets and a small bucket will be provided for cleaning yourself. Never throw toilet paper down the toilet or on the floor, use the trash can provided.
Thank goodness most Thais have nicknames as we probably would find it very difficult to pronounce their real name. My friend's son is nicknamed "moo" which means pig-- nothing abnormal about this. Nok means bird, or Lek means small, Noi means little. You will come across all kinds of nicknames when travelling around the country.
In Buddhist countries the people believe that the head is considered the most important part of your body so never touch a Thai on his head as this will be offensive. The feet are considered the lowest part of your body so never point them at anybody and don't point them towards religious artefacts in a temple as this is considered most rude. This is why shoes are removed before entering houses or temples. When entering temples try not to wear skimpy clothes such as miniskirts, sleeveless tops and flip-flops. A woman should never touch a monk or hand things directly to them.
Ladyboys, gays are tolerated here and are treated equally. You may even see prostitutes eating with a supermarket teller or banker, everyone is accepted here as the country has sexual tolerance and non confrontational.
Mai pen rai means "never mind" and is used a lot in Thailand. Should you find yourself in a particular difficult situation it is best to say never mind as why get stressed out on annoying situations, after all life is supposed to be fun, nothing is to be taken too seriously, have fun!
The Royal Family is treated with upmost respect and almost considered godlike and it is a crime to insult the family. You will often hear the National Anthem being played in the morning and early evening, where most Thais will stop what they are doing and stand still until the anthem is completed. If you have a business in Thailand you must display a Photo of the King in a prominent position.
When Thais greet each other they hold their hands clasped together as if in prayer and bow. The higher the hands are towards their face and the lower the bow means that you are showing more respect to the other person. Mainly the "wai" is used upon visiting someone else's house and again upon leaving.
Do's and Don't in Thailand
Religion : Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attireIt is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept.
Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.
Social Norms :
Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.
Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object. It is considered very rude.
Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon.
When I first visited Thailand I noticed that a lot of people wore white powder on their faces and other parts of their bodies. I was curious but didn't think much more about it. On subsequent visits to Thailand I just accepted this as one of the local customs. It wasn't until fairly recently that I discovered this little secret for myself.
St. Luke's Prickly Heat Powder contains menthol which has a cooling effect on the body. Applying it after a shower is a great way to stay cool. But gents, a word of warning. Unless you are used to the sensation, it can feel a little weird around the scrotal area. Apply with care!
There are two types of eating arrangments that prevail in Thailand - ordering and eating your own dish of food, like a khao pat (fried rice) or pad thai (fried noodles) or kwitio (noodles). These are quick meals that you would typically get at a roadside stall and if you are by yourself or in a hurry, you can order some of them at 'proper' restaurants too.
The more common way of eating for Thais is the communal way - a group orders many different dishes and the rice comes separately. All is shared. You plop some rice on your plate and then 'graze' the variety of dishes that were ordered. Thais do not load their plate up first and then eat as in my culture - they take a little of one dish, say yam pla duk foo, and spoon it on their plate, eat it with their rice, and then go for the next dish they would like to try.
Also, there is no passing of dishes around the table. Everyone reaches. If it is a large group of people around a table, say 10, then you order 2 or 3 servings of each dish you order so that there is enough for everyone and everyone can reach a plate close to them.
Usually every dish ordered in this communal style will come with a spoon to be used in transfering the food to your plate. This is for hygenic reasons – so that any oral diseases are not introduced to the communal food dish. Depending on the group’s familiarity and sobriety level, individuals might start using their own spoon to transfer food to their own plate (or straight to their own mouths), but before you start doing this yourself, watch what everyone else does and then follow suit if you wish.
In Thailand, you are usually presented with a fork and spoon at restaurants. If you are in someone’s home, you might just get a spoon. No need for knives because everything has been cut up into small pieces for you before cooking. The fork is used to load up the spoon.
Toothpicks: yes, use them, but be discrete - COVER YOU MOUTH with your other hand while digging the crud out from your teeth. It will become automatic.
YIM MAI ORK
I want to smile but can't = "the smile that doesn't come out"
YIM CHEUN CHOM
The smile used when you are impressed with od admire someone
Pic 3 YIM MEE LAY-NAI
The smile used to conceal evil ideas = “I’m-smiling-because-I’m-about-to-rip-you-off-and-you-don’t-realize-it”
The high season is just about to start: beginning of November until end of January. The temperatures are the lowest, which is bearable by then for tourists. Plus the King's birthday on 5 December and the holiday season being the peak(s) of the high season.
The slow season is the hot season: end of February until June - the hot season. Temperatures can reach 40 C; not really ideal for tourists.
But today it's blurring a bit. The high season still is high season (= high prices) but the low season is disappearing. Any season is a good season in Thailand.
Buddha amulets are very popular in Thailand.I think most Thais own at least one amulet.The main reason for this is these Buddhist amulets are believed to bring luck, fortune and prosperity to their owner. For example ,Jatukarm Ramathep a beautiful finely detailed amulets originated from the south in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province .These amulets were big business the "in thing "in Thailand and was not unusual to see people wearing more than one Jatukarms around their necks.Also people paying alot of money for them (a slight contradiction to Buddhist teachings).
Buddhist amulets are now very commercial and are available in many different colors, styles, size and of course price ranges. The trading of amulets is also very common in Thailand. For many temples the production of amulets is now a major means of fundraising.
King Rama IV has been reigning for quite some time and is beloved. He was born on a Monday and his color is yellow, hence the wearing of yellow on Mondays abound. Make sure you bring a yellow shirt for your trip!
Even though the cities are modernized it is important to still be respectful and wear as much clothing as you can possibly stand in the heat. I carried around a sarong that I could throw over my shoulders when I was wearing a tank/short sleeve shirt. Some places, even require skirts when you are wearing long pants as evidenced by the picture. It was nice that sarongs were provided!
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