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Thai Culture





Of course, the vast majority (95%) of Thais are Buddhists. Although there are many Malay decent Muslims in the south, and even hill tribe (Karen) in the north and western Burmese border area. The traditional Thai greeting is the "wai" (like putting your hands together to pray, but higher and lowering your head). And all Thai's love their King and find any detrimental action or word against either him, or their religion particularly offensive, even provocative. So you should always pay utmost respect to both.

This includes standing up straight and smart whenever you hear the national anthem. Plus always respecting religious leaders and priests. It may be "OK" to hold onto your seat in a bus crowded full with old and pregnant women. But if a priest enters, you had better give up your seat! Although most westerners find such things alien, even oppressive. The Thais do this out of respect, even love, not command. And you should be very careful to honor their undoubted grace by following suit.


Thai web site owners, have you checked out our Featured Sites Page?

"Siamfiles" - Don't be shy to suggest extra text, links or other information.

Chinese Temple Pitsanuloke No matter what their origin, you will find Thais non-confrontational. In fact, confrontation is frowned upon. So if you see a Thai looking at you, smile! As there will be no malice intended on their part. And they may just be looking for the invite to open communication. Many visitors lose something along their travels, and many Thais say to each other "I did try to tell them". So your smile might just save you from losing your camera!


Of course, as with any culture, there are elements to avoid. But these are very few in Thailand. As even the inevitable gangsters do not want to "rock the tourist boat" (for sure). The largest "threat" to tourists are pick pockets, fraudsters (remember, business is business, nothing personal in most Asian cultures) and wanabe gigolos; The later can be extremely aggressive. Although it is wrong to generalize. Ladies, be wary of Thai guys with long and / or dyed hair. You can get good information online from The Thai Tourist Police.

Some useful cultural links can be found on a number of the regional pages of this forum. But here are some that may help you when you are traveling in Siam. If you would like to speak some Thai, try this link here. For arts and crafts, Thai Handicrafts Site, This Handicrafts Site and this one The Bangsai Arts & Crafts Village may help. If you are after Thai contemporary art, try Thavibu Gallery. If you can include food within culture (and you should), there are two excellent sites (with recipes) to get your palate working! The Thai Dish site, and TAT's own food pages. Last, but not least, you can find numerous Thai Buddhist sites on The Dhamma Thai Organization's site and the Thailand Meditation Group, who arrange meditation retreat stays and classes in Hua Hin / Pattaya.

Some "alternative culture" web sites would be My Thai Wife, a site helping lonely hearts find Thai wives. Also My Thai Fiancee, site that helps you get them back home (Visas, etc.). If you are of the the other "persuasion", then maybe the Utopia Gay Resource is for you. And if the relationship does not work out, you could always learn Muay Thai Boxing here.

Open Mind Projects is a volunteer site for people to spend their time helping the people of Thailand.

And finally, if any Thai web sites are, heaven's forbid in Thai and you need to learn the language, or you would like to learn Thai anyway, a tremendous place to start would be the Podcast Learn Thai web site.

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