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Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand

Customs and traditions in Thailand
By:Travel Expert

The Kingdom of Thailand attracts more visitors than any other country in Southeast Asia with its irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty, inspiring temples and ancient ruins or erstwhile kingdoms, its renowned hospitality and its robust cuisine. Few countries are so well endowed with national and natural treasures.

From the stupa-studded mountains of Mae Hong Son and the verdant limestone islands of the Andaman Sea, to the pulse-pounding dance clubs of Bangkok and the tranquil villages nestling along the Mekong River, Thailand offers something for every type of traveller.

When to Visit
Thailand's rainy season arrives around July and lasts into November. This season can be uncomfortably sticky. It is followed by a dry, cool period from November to mid-February and then the hot season from March to June.The best time to visit is from November to March when the weather is kind and the beaches are at their finest.

The Land of Smiles
A smile comes easily to Thai lips and for that reason the country is been called the Land of Smiles.

Thai Greeting the Wai
The Wai is the traditional Thai greeting which is used instead of a handshake, but it can also be used as a means of saying sorry, thank you or to pay respect. A Thai person will often Wai as he or she approaches a temple, Buddha image or other item of religious or cultural significance.

On being introduced to a Thai he or she will wai you the greeting should be should returned with a Wai. Generally the younger Wais first, but the Wai of a small child is best return by a big smile. If you receive a ‘thank you’ or courtesy Wai from an airline stewardess, a doorman or after tipping a waitress it is inappropriate to return the Wai but a smile is always welcome.Whilst Thai people are among the most tolerant, friendly and forbearing of hosts, they have nevertheless a number of customs and taboos which the visitor should respect.

Some Dos and Don’ts

Avoid touching people on the head even as a friendly gesture.
Keep your feet on the ground where they belong.
Do not touch, point at, display or show the soles of your feet to anyone especially a Buddha image.
Do not criticise the king or the monarchy.
Do not criticise Buddhism or the Lord Buddha.
Take off shoes when entering private houses, temple chapels, places where there is a Buddha image.
Women should dress appropriately in Buddhist temples, cover shoulders and legs, do not wear shorts.
Even in stressful situations stay calm and smile do not raise your voice or become angry this achieves nothing.
Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. You may see Westernised young Thai's holding hands in public, but that is as far as it goes, in polite society. Men on the other hand display friendship by holding hands.
Topless bathing is against the law in Thailand so do not do it as it causes great offence.
The Thai people have a deep traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and the visitor should also show respect for the King and the Queen, and the Royal Children. When attending a public event where a member of the Royal Family is present, the best guide on how to behave is to watch the crowd and do as it does.

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