What Makes Thai People So Charming?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Thai people are renowned for their gracious and friendly smiles. Most of the time, they’ll simply stare at you, and if you look back at them, you’ll be met with a friendly smile. That explains why Thailandinfo-icon is sometimes referred to as the Land of Smiles.

The warm and welcoming attitude of the Thai people is among the many reasons why millions of tourists keep pouring into their country.

Check out my Postcards from Thailand!

Interesting enough, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country to have never been colonized by any Western power, which is probably why their culture, beliefs, traditions, and practices are entirely different from the Western societies.

If you’re traveling to Thailand soon, here’s everything you need to know about this fantastic country, most especially the local Thai people.

Overview of Thailand

Thailand is famous for its vibrant nightlife.
Thailand is famous for its vibrant nightlife.

Thailand is considered as the travel hub of Southeast Asiainfo-icon because most Southeast Asian countries are easily accessible from here. You can hop on a train going to Malaysiainfo-icon or take the bus to Cambodiainfo-icon, Vietnaminfo-icon, and anywhere else. It is for this reason why Thailand is often the first destination of travelers wanting to discover the entire Southeast Asian region.

Read more: Places to Visit Outside Bangkok

Also, Thailand is well-known for its stunning beaches, delicious street foods, cheap shopping, and crazy nightlife.

It caters to most budget travelers and backpackers since almost everything in the country is cheap, from food, accommodation, and shopping. Of course, the friendly and welcoming Thai people are also among the reasons why many would keep coming back to Thailand. 

Facts About Thailand Culture

Remember to take off your shoes when entering Thai temples.
Remember to take off your shoes when entering Thai temples.

Just like Thailand’s dialect, the culture is also different from one region to another. As you travel to the country and get to know the Thai people more, you will discover different customs and traditions.

Here are some of the most exciting facts about Thailand culture:

  • Body parts - Thai people place certain spiritual importance on some body parts. For instance, pointing your feet at people and touching them with your feet is prohibited. Placing your feet up on tables and chairs and stepping over other people is entirely against the Thai culture. On the other hand, the head has a higher importance and must never be touched, as this is considered rude. Sitting on pillows that are meant for the head is also frowned upon.
  • Royal Family – the Thai people highly revere Thailand's Royal Family. Thus, making derogatory remarks against any of the royal family is highly prohibited and punishable by law, with up to 15 years of imprisonment.
  • Greetings - Thais greet each other with a slight bow and with their two hands formed in prayer-like position, locally known as wâi. You will most likely be welcomed with this greeting wherever you go in Thailand, and it’s best to reciprocate the gesture by doing wâi.
  • Removing shoes - Remove your shoes when entering temples and local houses, as it is rude not to do so. This is especially important if you’re staying at a guesthouse or a local homestay along with a local Thailand family.
  • Visiting temples - You will most likely be spending a lot of your time in temples of Thailand. When doing so, observe proper etiquette. Avoid wearing shorts or short dresses and skirts. Ask permission before you take photographs of the altar.

Thailand Food Culture

The delicious Pad Thai noodle dish.
The delicious Pad Thai noodle dish.

Delicious cuisine is another reason why many tourists would keep on coming back to Thailand. The interest in Thai cuisine has become so popular around the world that you’ll find Thai restaurants in almost every major city in the world these days. 

However, eating local Thai food in Thailand is an entirely different experience especially if you feast on some of the most delicious street foods.  Street foods in Thailand are generally better than anywhere else in the world, and you will find them in almost every street corner.  In fact, street food is an integral part of Thailand daily life.

Read more: Thai Food Guide for Beginners!

The Thailand food culture is genuinely fascinating and something that you should experience during your trip to the country. 

Here are some delicious Thai foods that are worth checking out:

  • Tom Yum Goong - this is a spicy shrimp soup made with lemongrass, chili, lime leaves, and fish sauce, then topped with succulent prawns.
  • Moo Ping - these are pork skewers that are sold along with a small plastic bag of sticky rice.
  • Som Tam - this is a spicy papaya salad made of chilies, garlic, green beans, tomato, and shredded green papaya.
  • Pad Thai - this noodle dish is the best Thai cuisine that’s a favorite by local Thai people and tourists. It’s made of wide noodles with crunchy bean sprouts, onion and egg, served with accompanying condiments of chili powder, sugar, and ground peanuts.
  • Khao Pad - this is a popular dish of fried rice served with slices of cucumber.
  • Kluay Tod - this is a sweet snack of deep-fried bananas cooked with sesame seeds and desiccated coconut.
  • Kao Niew Ma Muang – this is the sticky rice and fresh mangoes that is also a prevalent Thai street food and perfect for desserts and snacks.

Top 5 Destinations in Thailand

Krabi province is the home of the most stunning beaches and islands in Thailand.
Krabi province is the home of the most stunning beaches and islands in Thailand.

There are absolutely so many things to see and do in Thailand that it may not be possible to discover everything in just one regular holiday to the country.

Read more: Destinations in Thailand You Probably Never Heard Of Before!

To help you decide where to go on your Thailand holiday, here are some of the top 5 destinations in Thailand:

  • Chiang Mai City - also known as the northern capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai offers an exciting blend of culture and nature. The city has more than 500 different temples waiting for you to explore and if you love nature, you can go hiking in the lush jungle or take part in a thrilling river rafting adventure. 
  • Phuket - this is the largest island in Thailand and a popular nightlife destination as well. In fact, most of the first time visitors to Thailand would head to this place to experience the hedonistic Phuket nightlife. But aside from the nightlife, Phuket is also known for its many water sports activities. Visitors who are not a fan of the party lifestyle in Phuket would instead catch a boat towards the nearby beaches of Freedom Beach, Karon Beach, and Kathu Beach.
  • Bangkok - of course, the capital of the country should be included in your list of places to visit in Thailand. There’s a wide array of fun and exciting activities to do in Bangkok, from the bustling night markets, historical temples, gourmet restaurants, fancy shopping malls, and so much more! Just like in Phuket, the Bangkok nightlife is equally exciting, especially in the Khao San Road area. Chances are that you've already visited all touristic places around Bangkok, we also wrote a guide to off-the-beaten-path around Bangkok that can give you awesome ideas while traveling!
  • Ayutthaya - this is one of the ancient cities of Thailand and a UNESCO heritage site. Here, you’ll find several ancient temples and stupas surrounded by Buddha statues. One of the highlights of the place is the Wat Mahathat, a temple famous for the stone head encased in a tree. Ayutthaya is easily accessible from Bangkok, which is more than an hour drive away from the capital city. 
  • Krabi - if you are heading to Thailand for its stunning beaches, then head over to the province of Krabi where Thailand’s most picturesque islands can be found, such as the Maya Bay, Koh Lanta, and Phi Phi. It’s in Maya Bay where the popular movie of Leonardo Di Caprio, “The Beach” was shot.

Thai People will infect you with their positive energy!

Thailand is often called the Land of Smiles.
Thailand is often called the Land of Smiles.

Thailand is certainly a great place to visit. It has something to offer for everyone, from the stunning beaches, exciting nightlife scene, beautiful temples, vibrant food culture, and of course, the warm and friendly Thai people.

So if you are planning a trip to Thailand soon, make sure you don't miss out on the best things that the country has to offer.

Carolyn Boston freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling the world on a budget for several years without having a hefty savings account.