3 Thai etiquette practices you should remember

3 Thai etiquette practices you should remember

When visiting other countries, remember to follow proper etiquette practices. From proper greetings to eating habits at a dining table, learn the country of your destination’s best practices. 

To help you to be on your best behaviour here in Thailand, we at Oxygen Tour Kohtao will share with you three etiquette scenarios you need to remember. 

Meeting etiquette

Once you arrive here, you’ll be greeted by some of the most friendly people you’ll meet. Greet them back properly, remember these important things:

  • The Thai usually go by a first-name-basis with the ‘Khun’ title in front. For example, ‘Khun Kate’ or ‘Khun Anthony’. 
  • Perform the traditional ‘Wai’ greeting. This is done by pressing your palms together at chest level and bow slightly.
  • When someone performs the ‘Wai’ greeting, greet them back the same way. Not doing the Wai greeting back is considered rude.
  • Learn a few Thai phrases. This shows that you care enough to learn about the culture even if it’s just a small amount.
  • If you’re in a large group with a Thai host or friend, let them introduce you to the other people in the room.

Dining Etiquette 

There’s nothing more unappetizing when someone is practising improper eating etiquette. When in a restaurant or inside your host’s home, here are some important tips you need to remember:

  • You are seated based on a social hierarchy. So before taking a seat, wait for the host to introduce you and give you the place where you’ll sit.
  • Having a completely clean plate after meals indicates you’re still hungry. To show that you’re full and that the meal is enough for you, leave a few small bits of food.
  • There is some Thai food that can be eaten with fingers, so use your right hand to eat them. Also, remember not to lick the sauce off your fingers because this is considered rude.
  • Most Thai meals are eaten with spoons and forks, not chopsticks. If you’re not familiar with which meals can be eaten with which utensil, you can ask the server or the person next to you.
  • Similar to many Asian countries, remove your shoes when entering homes or restaurants. Since you don’t want to dirty up the floors you’ll be sitting on to eat.

Gift Giving

Everyone loves receiving gifts! However, there are also still some do’s and don’ts if you want to show some gratitude to your Thai friends. Here are some important points to recall:

  • When visiting weddings and other important events, be sure to bring some gifts. This is because you want to show appreciation to the celebrants who’ve invited you. 
  • Avoid using wrappers in black, blue, or green because they’re funeral colours in Thailand. If you’re giving to Chinese Thais, use red wrappers.
  • It’s not common to open gifts in front of the giver. So wait until they’ve left for you to open their gifts.
  • Not sure which to give your friends? Sweets like fruits, candy, or chocolate are always safe bets. However, it’s still best if you know what your host wants or needs.
  • When invited to someone’s home, a small token of appreciation will suffice.

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