A Quick Guide to Etiquette in Thailand

A Quick Guide to Etiquette in Thailand

Understanding and adhering to Thai etiquette is crucial for visitors to Thailand to show respect and avoid inadvertently causing offense. Here’s a summary of dos and don’ts:




1. **Avoid Feet Gestures:** Never use your feet to point, and refrain from showing the bottom of your feet, as it’s considered disrespectful.

2. **Respect Personal Space:** Refrain from touching someone’s head, including children, and avoid pointing at people or objects. Instead, use a polite gesture such as lifting your chin.

3. **Emotional Control:** Avoid displaying strong emotions, such as anger or frustration, and try to maintain a calm demeanor even in challenging situations.

4. **Respect for the Royal Family:** It’s essential to show respect for the Thai Royal Family, and any disrespectful behaviour or remarks are strongly frowned upon.

5. **Avoid Littering:** Never throw anything on the ground, as littering is considered disrespectful to the environment and community.




1. **Remove Shoes:** Always remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or certain businesses, and step over thresholds in houses or temples.

2. **Wai Gesture:** Show respect by performing the wai gesture, especially to elders or those in authority, such as monks or government officials.

3. **Eating Etiquette:** When dining, use a spoon to put food in your mouth rather than a fork. Most meals are served with a fork and spoon.

4. **Respect for Monks:** Always show respect for monks, allowing them to eat first at ceremonies, and women should avoid direct contact with monks.

5. **Smile:** Try to maintain a friendly demeanour and smile whenever possible, whether as an apology or to convey relaxation and friendliness.


By following these dos and don’ts of Thai etiquette, visitors can demonstrate respect for Thai culture and customs, fostering positive interactions and experiences during their time in Thailand.



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