Know before you go - A guide to Thai customs

Part of the fun of visiting new places is immersing yourself in the culture and doing as the locals do. Thailand is a destination whose heritage runs deep, and whose daily activity is surrounded with a vast range of customs and traditions that visitors may not normally consider.

As you would when visiting any unfamiliar destination, when heading to Thailand it’s important to acquaint yourself with Thai customs so that you don’t accidentally offend the locals or find yourself in a blush-inducing situation. Here are a few insider tips on Thai customs to help you avoid committing any faux pas.

The Wai

The wai is a gesture you’re probably already familiar with, but just didn’t know it, and are almost guaranteed to see it in Thailand on a regular basis.

t’s the practice of pressing your palms and fingers together in prayer fashion, and bowing. Used as a means of showing respect, the wai is done to say hello, goodbye and thank you.

Removing shoes before entering a home

For spiritual as well as the obvious physical reasons, the feet are regarded as the lowest form of the body in Thailand, so raising or showing your feet to another person is seen as incredibly offensive. It’s a general rule of thumb to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or a religious structure in Thailand. This isn’t always the case for the former, but if you see a line of shoes at the door, that’s a pretty good indication that you should remove your shoes immediately without having to ask.

Temple etiquette