The head is the most sacred part of the body in Thai culture and the foot is the least sacred.There is a certain etiquette to follow regarding these specific body parts.In western society it is quite common practise to ruffle the hair of someone who has done well in perhaps a sporting activity. Do not do this to a Thai person ( especially adult males ); it may well enrage them. A pat on the shoulder is perfectly acceptable if you are reasonably friendly with the person, otherwise, just say well done and avoid any physical contact.Thai people are generally more comfortable sitting on the floor while eating. If you happen to be invited to a Thai household to eat and are seated on the floor, try not to show the soles of your feet or use your feet to point at anything.It is also good practice not to use your feet to move anything which may be lying on the floor, take the time to bend down and use your hands to move any object which may obstruct your path.My wife is Thai and she can get quite angry when I lazily step over her as she lies on the floor . Always walk around.
make an effort to learn some thai phrases it will go a long way ! be respectful of the locals and do not insult them ! i see many tourist behave badly and wonder why they get bad service. thais are very friendly people ,but like you, they do not like to be treated rudely. if you barter too hard and they let you walk away ! you have gone too far . if you return to same person it is like a slap in the face for them . do not barter if you have no intention of buying from them as this is insulting . if you are going to buy ! make sure you have money to pay straight away and not "later" as this is also insult. if you have good business connection with a local trader and greet them every time you pass by the store , they will respect you and give you good tips on buying items and also travel.
If you are travelling around Southern Thailand you may notice scarecrows out the front of many of the houses. Thailand doesn't have a problem with crows, rather, with a terrible ghost named "Phi Bawp" .
These fearsome ghosts are the result of black magic practitioners who allowed their magic to get out of control, overtaking them and transforming them into blood thirsty ghouls who viscerate their victims, eating their livers while they're still alive. The Phi Bawp are especially fond of children, but anyone born on a Tuesday or Wednesday are at risk.
The scarecrows are usually accompanied by a sign, informing any passing Phi Bawp that no one born on a Tuesday or Wednesday lives in that house.
The most common religion present in Southern Thailand is Buddhism. The most typical place to see Buddhist principles are at a Wat (temple). Some statues can be up to 12 metres tall, such as this photo of Wat Phra Yai, which is located in Koh Samui, a small island off the eastern coast of Southern Thailand.
Please enjoy this culture, but respect the requests of Buddhists. Wear appropriate clothing for a religious building, and also please remove your shoes when going into or on top of their shrines.
In Thailand, they do not shake hands but perform Wai.
Clasp your hands together in a prayer-like way, and bow slightly. This is the Thai equivelant of greeting with a handshake and I found it to be a nice little quirk to the whole Thai experience.
This was the one thing my travel mate had the biggest problems with - culture shok so to say.
As an european he was used the toilets where you can sit down. Wipe with toilet paper and flush when you are finished.
Now this. How to use this?
First: you stand on the toilet (you can see the places where your feet go).
So push down trousers or skirts as far as you can and squat.
Second: no toilet paper.
You use water and your left hand to clean. The better toilets have some kind of shower you can use, on the basic ones you have to rinse with the bowl and water from the pot next to the toilet. Don´t worry: you dry fast enough in that climate and there is always a lavabo to clean your hands afterwards, too.
Third no flush:
Use the bowl again to flush.
The beginning is not easy, but one gets used to it. And water to clean is actually quite nice, especially if you have eaten something hot/spicey (that burns twice sometimes...)
This Thai bootleg is absolutely delicious! It is as clear as water and is made from palm sugar (grown in the area) and rice.
It is supposed to be around 68% alcohol, but you wouldn't know it. This whiskey is more smooth and mellow than a good quality, aged scotch. It's also a good basic medium to which you could add flavourings. There is no shock in your mouth or burn down your throat, it's delicious!
We loved it so much we asked if we could buy some. We gave the guy that gave us the tasting 300 baht (around AUD$10) and asked for 3 bottles like he had (small). The next day we went to pick it up and he had a 5 litre plastic bottle full of it! We had to hide it in the back of our car seat in case the police found it. Unfortunately we couldn't drink it all before we came home and gave it to our friends. I did, however fill a water bottle with it and bring it home in my handbag. : )
A terrible picture of a sunburnt Steve here, he'd kill me if he knew I'd put it up, but it's the only one I've got of the Thai whiskey!
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