Thailand Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by dutchasiancouple
  • Local Customs
    by lotharscheer
  • The Festival Float
    The Festival Float
    by limkahwan

Thailand Local Customs

  • 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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  • Correct behaviour

    Chiang Mai Local Customs

    To take off your shoes is extremely important when visiting temples. At the massage rooms, it was also necessary to do so. It was even requested at one of the restaurant I went to. So, it is helpful to wear shoes/sandals which can easily be taken off.

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  • Religion & Beliefs

    Ko Samui Local Customs

    One of the things that I have never understood about travellers is their desire to break the rules, or guidelines of the local people. Out of respect to the people who look after this temple, and also the buddhists, please remove your shoes and wear non-revealing clothing. It is not too much to ask to do this, but please do be a respectful...

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  • Religion

    Hat Yai Local Customs

    At various shops around the place you will see orange buckets loaded with food and toiletries. These are passed to monks as part of their daily 'alms-collecting'. Monks are supposed to have very few possessions - but being Thailand the austere monastary rules are to put it politely - 'a bit strained'. Buying one of these goodie-bags is at least...

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  • Wai - Traditional Thai Greeting

    Bangkok Local Customs

    A common Thai greeting is to place your hands together in a prayer like position. All the greetings I've experienced were held close to the mouth. I am told the the height of the hands shows respect. The higher the hands the more respect. This gesture is accompanied by a slight bow and the greeting "Sawasdee" pronounce "sawatdee" This is done...

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  • Local people

    Chiang Mai Local Customs

    This flower market is located along the western bank of the Ping River, to the north of Nawarat Bridge. Here you can see stalls and shops selling the offering garlands that people take to temples plus ones that they hang in their cars.

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  • Language

    Ko Samui Local Customs

    As with any foreign country it is an advantage to learn some basic communication terms.In thai it is handy to know the following terms. Sa-wa-dee khap for males,Sa-wa-dee ka for females(hello or goodbye). Kap kun khap for males,kap kun ka for females(thank you). Other handy one`s are Cow jye my(do you understand) Cow jye(yes i do) My cow...

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  • Bullfighting

    Hat Yai Local Customs

    Apparantly Hat Yai is one of the main centre for Bullfighting in Thailand. Many local people seem to have no problem with a variety of 'sports' that enable humans to use dumb defenceless animals for the questionable pleasure of being able to lay a bet or two. If you read on you will see it is very different to the 'sterotype' we have in our minds...

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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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  • Song Kran Festival

    Chiang Mai Local Customs

    Songkran Day has been celebrated as New Year's Day in the Thai solar calendar since ancient times. The date coincides with the day the sun leaves Pisces and enters Aries, usually falling on April 13 of each year. The word "Songkran" means a passage or course and refers to the position of the sun within the solar system. As the sun enters each of...

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  • Respect for Royalty

    Bangkok Local Customs

    A person can notice coming to Bangkok that many people (men and women) are wearing light pink shirts. Dress shirts, polo shirts or tee shirts in light pink. Winston, my VT friend, explained how the Thai people love their King and Queen. The King was recently ill and hospitalized (2008). After becoming well and departing from the hospital he happen...

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  • Excursions

    Chiang Mai Local Customs

    Interested in different kinds of Fruits and Plants not found in your country? Then there is a good chance of seeing something entirely different in an Akha & Lisu village. I saw a Longan Fruit tree, which was loaded with fruit, (in big clusters on the Tree), but not quite ready to eat. The fruit is not that big in size, about 1" diameter. We did...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Comments (1)

  • Nov 19, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    So now I understand that I can go by local bus to Krabi (about 4 hrs as I recollect), where there are minibuses to Khao Lak (about 2 hrs). I will update this after my journey.

Thailand Local Customs

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