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Insider Advice & Travel Tips from Locals in Thailand

Greetings
Thai society isn’t that into handshakes – see the No Touch Policy below. When meeting someone, you should place your palms together and lower your head in a partial bow. The higher you position your hands, the more respect you’re offering. If you are greeting a monk or an elderly person, you should bring your hands to your face.

Society
Politeness and self-control significant influences in Thai culture. Try to withhold annoyed or angry outbursts and definitely steer clear of any direct confrontation

Dress Code
Save shorts and anything too revealing for the beach. If you’re visiting a temple, opt for loose-fitting long skirts and pants.

No Touch Policy
Thais aren’t really the touchy-feely type, so they will appreciate you keeping your hands to yourself and keeping any public displays of affection to a maximum of none. Especially avoid touching someone’s head, which is considered sacred. Feet are regarded as the lowliest part of the body, and it’s rude to touch anything with your feet, or to point them at someone. Women aren’t allowed to touch monks, or even hand them something directly. Instead they should place the object just in his reach.

Lose the Shoes
If you know how Thais think about feet, shoes really give them the icks. Take off your shoes before you enter someone’s home or step into a temple. You may be loaned slippers to wear in exchange.

Table Manners
Use your right hand if you’re picking up food with your hands. Don’t lick your fingers or blow your nose at the table. Interestingly, the same rules don’t seem to apply for nose-picking among locals, but as a traveler, you may want to stray from that as well.