Thailand has become a cultural hotspot for tourists around the world in recent years amassing reportedly around 11.4 million foreign tourists since January 2023 and the numbers are only going up! In 2022, the tourist numbers reported were around 11.15 million.
The country has attracted tourists all over the world not only because of its happening night-life and the popular Thai massages we all have heard about, but the tradition of Thailand also works as a strong tourist-magnet. Thailand not only offers a distinct culture, but also provides serene escapades to secluded islands and is a go-to spot for adrenaline junkies.
Here are some facts about the local tradition of Thailand which makes it a unique and interesting vacation spot:
Thailand: The Land of Smiles
Culture of Thailand follows the YOLO policy. Thai people often retain a cool and composed demeanor and the country is thus nicknamed as ‘The Land of Smiles’. A Thai person may use 13 different types of smiles which often serves as a form of interpersonal communication.
However, a non-Thai person may find it difficult to spot the difference. So next time you visit Thailand, better keep the worries at bay.
Wai: Greet in the Culture of Thailand
Thai people have their unique way of greeting much like any other culture. They join their hands and bow touching their nose to their hands. This greeting is called Wai in the tradition of Thailand. The higher the hands and deeper the bow, the more respect for the person.
Deeper bows are usually offered in front of elders and monks as an expression of greater respect in the culture of Thailand. What’s even interesting is that the Thai locals enjoy when tourists take part in their culture and learn their ways! Thai people are not just friendly but are also known for their hospitality.
Songkran: The Thai New Year Celebration's
Songkran is the Thai New Year’s celebration which starts from April 13 each year. Apart from offering prayers and seeking blessings from elders, the most fun part of this festival is the biggest water fight in the world! The tradition of Thailand dictates throwing of water as washing away the bad luck and entering the new year afresh. Time to update your bucket list for your next trip to Thailand.
Thai People are Superstitious
While the culture of Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, the religion reflects Hindu and Chinese influences in practice. Such influence has made Buddhism in Thai culture unique to other Southeast Asian countries.
Many Buddhists wear amulets even though materialism is renounced in Buddhism. Apart from this, the Thai people are strong believers in ghosts and spirits and even dedicated shrines to spirits. Thus, one can experience a unique yet beautiful spiritual culture.
Insect Snacking is a big part of Thai culture
You heard that right! While playing with insects was a part of a reality show for most of us, the tradition of Thailand has made an appetite out of it. Many Thai people and tourists snack on fried insects tossed in special Thai spices and sauces.
Grasshoppers, silkworms, crickets are some common insects which are devoured and are available at various places ranging from street vendors to convenience stores.
Taking Off Shoes: A Sign of Respect
Taking off shoes before entering some places serves as a sign of respect within the tradition of Thailand and many other cultures as well. The feet are considered as the impure part of the body and carrying dirt along with the shoes is considered disrespectful at certain places like shrines, homes, restaurants and even massage parlours.
The best way to keep up with this tradition of Thailand is to watch the locals as they remove shoes and follow their lead to avoid being disrespectful to Thai culture.
Don't Touch the Head!
Just as feet are considered impure in Thai culture, the head is revered with utmost respect and purity. So never touch a Thai person's head or play with their hair even jokingly as they may take it as an offense.
Being a sacred body part, the head must only be touched with permission and not otherwise. Do not point at monks or the members of the royal family too! While it may seem as an instinctive gesture as a tourist, it can be considered disrespectful by the Thai people. Even pointing at the local people can be considered impolite in the culture of Thailand.
The Thai diet mainly consists of rice, sea food, chicken, pork, vegetables tossed in spices and sauces as well as a wide range of fruits. As per the tradition of Thailand, the Thai families usually dine together in a communal way by sharing meals among them. The most common Thai dish which is famous world-wide is Pad Thai Noodles.
9. Thai Dances
The dances of Thailand have originated from Burma and Indonesian influences. The Thai folk dances are usually performed during religious and cultural celebrations depicting tales from epics like Ramayana.
One can enjoy the beautiful and enchanting traditional folk costumes accompanied by traditional music and folklore. Fawn Thai is one of such folk dances where female dancers are accompanied by musicians to provide a tempting and unique experience for the tourists around the world. Fascinated by the unique culture of Thailand and want to book tickets for your next vacation? Contact Visa2fly to ease your travel!
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