People, Travel

When Among the Thais

When Among the ThaisWhen Among the Thais

The Thais are famous for their smile, memorable for their ‘wai’, the way they bow and press their hands together to express reverence, gratitude, or apology. Thai welcoming manners may misguide tourists to feel more at home than necessary; the Thais are a traditional people after all. In places other than Bangkok and Phuket, travelers are recommended to dress modestly. It is also best not to perform the wai greeting, for it has many aspects and details unknown to foreigners.

  shared plate

It is customary for Thai people to share food from a large plate. Dishes are thus served in the middle of a table and you are free to get what you want. But when you see a last piece on the plate, don’t take it. Locals consider it unlucky. If by any chance you eat the last piece, you are giving someone else a favor. In return for the misfortune one invites - by picking up the last morsel - someone else at the table can make a wish.

  Go barefoot

Before entering private homes or temples, tourists are recommended to take off their shoes. Some shops also request this from visitors. Taking off one’s shoes is etiquette in Thailand. You can spare yourself from the hassle by wearing slip-ons or flip-flops.

The above piece was excerpted from an article originally published in