::Travel Information::

Thailand Inbrief
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The Monarchy
Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and a visitor should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and the Royal Children.

Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire. It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept. Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.

Social Norms
Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.

Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object. It is considered very rude.

Shoes should be removed when entering a private Thai home.

Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon.


Thai is a tonal language belonging to the group of Ka-Tai languages, the five tones are monotone, low, falling, high, and rising. This can be a rather complicated language for the visitor; however, English is quite widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language.


Here are a few Thai basic greetings and phrases to try.

Hello (male speaker) sawatdee krup
Hello (female speaker) sawatdee kaa
How are you? sabai dee reu pao
Fine thanks sabai dee
Thank you kop koon
Never mind mai pen rai
I can't speak Thai phoot Thai mai dai
I don't understand mai kao chai
Do you understand? kao chai mai
May I take a photograph? tai ruup dai mai
Where is the rest room? hong nam yoo tee nai
How much does this cost? nee tao-rai
What is this ? nee arai
Very expensive paeng maag
The bill please gep taang
Good-bye la gon
See you again laew phob gan mai
Good luck kor hai chok dee
Sorry/excuse me kor thoad


Tipping is not a usual practice in Thailand although it is becoming more common. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. Taxi drivers do not require a tip, but the gesture is appreciated.

Fixed prices are the norm in department stores, but at most other places bargaining is to be expected. Generally, you can obtain a final figure of between 10-40% lower than the original asking price. Much depends on your skills and the shopkeeper's mood. But remember, Thais appreciate good manners and a sense of humor. With patience and a broad smile, you will not only get a better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art.

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