The Thais are known all over the world for their etiquette. Some of their social mannerisms make them unique. It would be better if one be aware of these behaving patterns while in Thai society. Any tourist who displays understanding of Thai values would be welcomed by Thai people.
Respect for Royal Family
The Thais have great regard for their King Bhumibol (Rama IX) and Queen
Sirkit. In Thailand, you must remember never to show disrespect to the
Keep Smiling Face
You will always find a smile on the faces of the Thais. They always try
to avoid loss of face by losing temper. While in Thailand, you must also
try not to show your anger in public.
How to Dress
In Thailand, be careful to dress appropriately in formal public places.
Improper dressing would be considered unfriendly by the Thais.
Hierarchal Social Structure
Thai society has a complex and well-established social architecture.
The Thai know their rank in society and behave accordingly. Anyone with
higher rank is showed due respect. Usually age, post or wealth are the
factors determining a person's rank in the society.
Thai greet the people with higher rank with a 'wai', a submissive and
graceful bringing together of the hands to the chest. For showing
ultimum respect, folded hands are brought beneath the nose. Social grace
is paramount in Thai society. The Thais always try to keep strangers at
are referred to in Thai society as as 'pii' (older sibling). While
addressing elders and strangers, formal suffixes 'kha' (female) and
'khrup' (male) are always added.
'Mai Pen Rai'
'Mai Pen Rai' (Never mind) is the best thing you can say in difficult
times. Thais would always give a positive response to this gesture.
Regarding Feet and Shoes
Feet are considered a dirty part of the body and are not raised or
pointed directly at the people. Shoes are not worn in indoor living
areas. While relaxing, don't put your feet on chairs, ledges etc. Thais
would consider it lack of manners.
Touching the Head
Avoid touching anyone on the head for it is considered a sanctified
part of the body.
Showing Affection Publicly
Showing affection in public is against etiquette in Thai society. Older
generation considers even holding hands improper behaviour.
The Thais lay stress on the mannerisms of the person. When in person,
one must be careful of body language and approach. A smiling face and
gentle approach always pays.