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Do’s & Don’ts

Do’s & Don’ts

Thai people place great emphasis on good manners, so it will help if you understand some of the customs and beliefs. Thai people are extremely polite and non-confrontational, so avoid confrontations whenever possible. Showing anger is considered a weakness and cultivating the art of diplomacy will take you far.

The head is the highest part of the body, and, as such, it is considered the most sacred. The feet are at the lowest point of the body and are considered the least sacred. The following do’s and don’ts are provided to give you a sense of cultural norms in Thailand. You are by no means expected to remember each and every one, but adherence to these cultural rules will be appreciated by those around you.

A few DO’S:
     - Do speak gently and do not raise your voice.
     - Do keep your temper. Public displays of emotion are to be avoided.
     - Do smile. A smile can be used to excuse small inconveniences or to thank.
     - Do wai monks, old people, and your social superiors. 
     - Do treat monks with respect at all times. It is taboo for women to touch monks.
     - Do use a person’s first name, not the family name.
     - Do refer to all of your instructors as "Ajarn."
     - Do treat Buddha images with great respect.
     - Do remove your shoes when entering a home or a temple.
     - Do dress up and wear more formal clothing than you might at home.
     - Do show respect for the Thai monarchy.

A few DON’TS:
     - Don’t point your feet at anybody and don’t step over anybody or anybody’s food.
     - Don’t touch anyone’s hair or head.
     - Don’t toss objects. Hand them directly to the person.
     - Do not engage in overt displays of affection (such as kissing, etc.) in public.


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