Customs and Traditions

Communication

In Thailand, people speak the Thai language. Thai is a quite difficult to learn, everyone says. My favorite example: Question, is there any new wood? “mee mai mai mai? The answer, no, there is no new wood, new wood is burned. “mai, mai mai mai mee, mai mai mai, or Who sells eggs “kai kai kai? answer Kai sells eggs, “kai kai kai. you see, there is a potential of miss understanding. The language is strongly dependent on pronunciation, which for us foreigners is pretty hard to get right. Okay if you know some words Thais love it and try to understand you by the combination of the words used. thank’s to that or I would still not be able to speak after ten years. To make it even a bit harder, there are also many different dialects. Don’t be discouraged, learn a little and enjoy the reactions.

Important, if a Thai doesn’t understand you, he won’t say so, be careful and ask him what he understood.

English is the next best try. In places where tourists are common people should understand at least a little English.

Food and Drink

Image result for Thai food pic Image result for Thai food pic

What is commonly known as Thai food are mostly menus from center Thailand. There is a different kitchen in Issan, North-East and another in the South. Not even the same rice they eat in Issan, there is the home of sticky rice. Issan people would say, if I eat no sticky rice I’m not full. The same happens in the rest of Thailand, they say, if I eat no white rice I’m not full. I love sticky rice, I take it in my hand, knead it and eat it like bread.

Image result for sticky rice pics Image result for sticky rice pics Image result for sticky rice pics

All over the country, most sweet dishes with rice are also made with sticky rice. Thais Love to eat and in the ten years, I am here now I can still find some things I haven’t eaten.

Image result for thai dishes pictures Image result for thai dishes pictures Image result for isaan som tam pic

Som Tam, is a very often eaten food here and too there are different styles. You better try the “Thai” style first and say not hot. It’s the one on the first pic and has only peanuts as special. The second one is Som Tam Boo kem and has salted lake crab pieces in it and is a bit hotter already. The third main style is the Issan style with fish paste, “bralaa” and this has definitely a taste that “westerners” don’t like.

There is a too much to say about food and drink, I could fill a book. See my category “eat in Thailand”.

Religion

Image result for pic big buddha Image result for sleeping buddha thailand pic

Thailand’s national religion is Buddhism. Thai people are not prejudicial about religion. Live as you like as long as you respect the others.

Thai Character

Thai people are actually quite conservative people. you don’t find many “crazy” people except in touristic places. They might look quite freaky to us by the way they dress but most just dress what they can afford and don’t make a statement. So don’t think a guy wearing a cannabis shirt knows anything about cannabis, he just likes the way it looks.

The daily ritual is, getting up early in the morning, take a shower eat breakfast and go to make money. In the evening they come home, take a shower and eat again, watch some TV or “kui len” talk with family, maybe take another shower and go to sleep early. Here in my village, I wait almost ten years for the first time we sit outside at night, make a fire and enjoy our life. You find some people drinking together till maybe nine at night but that is already late. So if you plan a party, plan it around lunch or afternoon, if you plan it after dark you might be disappointed that everyone leaves early or you have to force your guests to stay.

When you go ‘len nahm’ swimming you’ll see Thai girls and women don’t take their clothes off. don’t go too naked or they loose respect for you. this is mainly in rural regions where there are not many tourists. But Thai people have quit prude.

Thai King and Family

   Image result for King thai family pic Image result for new thai king pictures

Money

Image result for thai money pictures Thai Bath is the currency, about 30฿ to one$

I strongly suggest you have a bank, ATM card on you. ATM’s are almost everywhere. Be careful, they charge per payout, not percent so, don’t get too small amounts at a time. The chance that you get stolen cash money by Thai people is really very small. More dangerous I judge foreigners that stay a long time in Thailand. Thais get your money with more sophisticated tricks, which in the end have to blame on yourself.

Changing foreign currencies is a bit of a struggle and also there are all kinds of changing rates and commissions. This also counts for checks.

Thai Holidays, Ceremonies

Image result for Water Festival thailand pic Image result for Water Festival thailand pic

  • Thai Songkran is the most important holiday here. It stands for new years and the start of the rainy season. Thai people enjoy Songkran by visiting their families, have water battles and sing, drink and eat. It lasts three days and is around mid-April. Like all Buddhist festivals, it depends on the full moon. Buddhist traditional Sundays are always on the full moon, half empty moon, empty moon, and half full moon.

Image result for Water Festival thailand pic Image result for Water Festival thailand pic

  • Western new years is celebrated nowadays too. Thais also go home to visit their parents and relax for a few days.

 Not to do’s in Thailand

there are a lot of things Thai people do not do. Most of them are not easy to understand for an outsider but it’s better just to follow the rules. You quickly loose a lot of respect if you don’t follow these rules.

*  Thais never enter a house with shoes

Image result for take off shoes thailand pic Image result for take off shoes thailand pic

This is very important, especially in temples and private homes. you quickly see whether or not people take their shoes off in front of the door.always remember where you put your shoes or you walk home without.

*  Thais never talk bad about the King, Buddha, and Government

Image result for thai prison pic

You can talk about everything with your Thai friends but be very careful when it comes to these three themes. Thais are very proud people and don’t like outsiders making jokes or talk bad about their system. It’s a Thai custom not to talk openly about everything. You can make a person lose his face by doing so.

*   Never shout out loud at a Thai person

In western countries, we are used to arguing with one another. Thai people don’t do that. as long as you don’t know a person really long and talked about this issue you better do not argue. If you get loud, loose your temper, you make your opponent lose his face, you won’t know how he reacts. Thai people have a very hard time admitting to wrongdoing like they don’t do that. Also don’t hit the table when you are angry or anytime, in fact, this is rude.

*   There are a lot of little rules which are useful to follow like

don’t walk over a lying person

don’t walk over food, because they often eat on the floor

don’t point your finger at a Buddha figure

don’t kiss in public

try to look friendly all the time, I know that is not easy haha.


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13 Comments

  1. Wow, that is crazy how the language! I can definitely see why beginners would possible have a hard time learning Thai right at the beginning. I was wondering, is it a tonal language similar to some Chinese languages?

    I’ve had Thai food before (although it was in America) and it tasted delicious! Although I suspect that it was not quite the same as the authentic food you can get while tactfully in Thailand.

    • Hi Nick
      Thanks for your interest. The language, yes it is also quite tonal, if I understand that right. Every word can be pronounced in five different ways and they have total different meanings and are written different.
      The food here is probably very different than what you get in the States. I don’t think they cold sell as hot as here. also the ingredients like meat or sea food are used very minimal here because of the price.
      I hope you get the chance to check it out yourself once.
      I wish you all the best and hope to hear from you again.

  2. Hi, Stefan,
    Thanks for sharing such an informative & useful site. You are really a Thailand expert! You know very well all the details of Thailand and I am sure to come back to your site when I take a trip to Thailand one day.

    • Hi Pricilla
      I hope to see you here one day. I’m happy you like my page and look forward to make it even better.
      have a great time and see ya

  3. Thank you for sharing this article! I’m planning to go to Thailand one day and found this very informative. Especially what you should not do when over there, I agree with you that we like to argue and I think that in general we should do that less often.
    P.s. The language bit made me laugh:)

  4. Hi Stefan,
    I really love this site. It is very informative. I am bookmarking this website for a reference. I have read many a article about Thailand, but I found your information very helpful and insightful. There is so much information to help me when I’m ready to travel there. I love all of the images as well as all of the videos. Can’t wait to see what other information that will be posted on here.

    • Hi Dwayne
      Thank’s a lot for the compliment. I am glad you like my site. I am working hard to get more information on line.
      If you need to know something that is not discussed yet just go ahead and ask. I’ll be here for you.
      Have a great day and see you

  5. amazing stuff. perfect mix of culture spices with beauty.i like the way you put the colurful content
    keep going.

  6. Haha!
    This is actually hilarious especially the language part. Now i wish to visit Thai as soon as possible

    • Hi Ephraim, haha, that is true.
      Sometimes Thai people don’t understand them self’s because of that. Another ex. is the word for “far”, its gai, but the word for “near” is gai too, just pronounced slightly different.
      I hope you get the chance to visit here and enjoy the magic of this country.
      Have a great day Ephraim and please let me here from you

  7. Very interesting article and culture. I was in the Air Force and went to Korea so I can relate to having to respect the culture you have to live in. Everything you mentioned had some similarities except the language. This is good information for anyone who is going to visit Thailand. Thanks.

    • Thank’s Ronnie
      I’m glad you liked my page. I hope you can enjoy Asia on a more relaxed occasion another time.
      I wish you all the best

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