• Thai greeting consists of a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion. The higher the hands are held in relation to the face and the lower the bow, the more respect or reverence the giver of the wai is showing. A person who has given such a beautiful greeting to someone receives more respectful treatment in response.
  • Touching someone (even a child) with the foot is a taboo as Thai Buddhism considers this an impure region of the body. Pointing with the foot or showing the soles of the feet is strongly discouraged. It is especially important to not to sit with the soles of one’s feet at images of the Buddha.
  • Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Touching someone’s head, even accidentally, requires an immediate apology.
  • Thais hold their king in very high regard and any sign of disrespect is a major faux pas. Currency, postage stamps, magazines covers and any other items with the king’s image are never tossed to the ground or treated harshly. Even licking the back of a postage stamp is considered disrespectful. Most especially, these items are never trod upon as it is a sign of utmost disrespect to place one’s foot above the head of the king. Money or other items dropped accidentally should immediately be picked up and reverently brushed.

  • Kissing in the streets and any public display of affection are considered rude. While many Thais are relatively liberal-minded in matters of sexuality they maintain a strong sense of public decorum.
  • When entering a house, stepping on the threshold is a faux pas that conflicts with Thai beliefs about good and bad luck.
  • Some parts of Southern Thailand have a large Muslim population making applicable certain points of etiquette in the Middle East. Western etiquette applies among the expatriate communities of Bangkok and Pattaya.


Learn about Vietnam customs and etiquette




*This guide is mainly based on wikipedia’s texts & images. We thank the authors , for their great efforts