Thai Travel Guide | Getting to Know the Culture of Thailand
The Kingdom of Thailand, also known as The Land of Smiles, will entice you with its beauty and grandeur. With its dazzling golden temples, an abundance of beautiful scenery, and of course, who could ignore the delectable Thai cuisine? Thailand is no doubt a wonderful place to relax, unwind and still get your adrenaline rushing.
Considering everything that this country has in store for its visitors, it’s not hard to see why it has become one of the most famous and favorite destinations in Asia. Among the many things that draw tourists’ attention here is its rich, vibrant, and unique culture which is anchored on Buddhist principles.
The unique characteristics of the culture of Thailand is a product of a combination of indigenous traditions, Buddhist beliefs, and foreign influences. The country is a melting pot of different cultures from different times and a bunch of different countries which makes it such an interesting place to visit.
Leaving Thailand without properly immersing yourself in their culture is just unacceptable. With that said, here are a few things you may want to take note of when you travel to Thailand:
- Don’t touch strangers’ heads
- Put a smile on your face
- Don’t lose your cool
- Pointing with your fingers or feet is a big NO
- Be considerate of their traditional and conservative nature
To Thai people, the head is the most sacred part of the body. As such, it’s considered rude to touch the head of a person unless you’re a friend or a family member.
Thailand isn’t known as The Land of Smiles for nothing. Whether it’s simply shopping for souvenirs or just taking an afternoon walk at the park, people here will greet you with their warm smiles. Apparently, you will find more smiles in this country than just about anywhere else on the planet.
These people believe that a smile generates positivity in a person and those that are around them. So make it a life ethos to smile more and smile often. You’ll be surprised at how far a simple smile can take you on your journey to Thailand.
In Thailand, people always talk softly. Thai people consider it very disrespectful if someone is talking loudly, especially in public places. To them, it is as if you are losing self-control and that is something unacceptable in Thailand. They refer to this act as “Jai yen yen” which means “cool heart.” This just goes to show that it is important to maintain your cool whenever travelling to Thailand.
In Thai culture, different body parts have corresponding significance and symbolism. The head and the feet are two examples of this. The former is considered the most sacred part of the body while the latter is the dirtiest.
Pointing at any sacred object or part, or even at another person, is considered disrespectful by Thai people. Consequently, pointing at anything using your fingers is also viewed as disrespect. Preferably, you can use your entire hand or lift your chin slightly in the desired direction.
While much of Thailand has a certain affinity towards Western culture and lifestyle, a significant majority of its population still adhere to their own traditions and customs. Which is why, when getting around Thailand, you must bear in mind that it is still a conservative country where public display of affection is frowned upon as well as showing too much skin, especially when visiting their sacred temples.
The Land of Smiles truly has a unique and distinct allure. The architecture, landscape, the people, and of course their culture all give Thailand a one-of-a-kind characteristics that appeal to tourists worldwide.
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