Thailand is one of the most visited tourist destinations, not only in Asia, but the world. Foreigners are usually not expected to know, however following a couple of etiquettes (which are really easy to remember) will seperate you from the average tourist/traveller and can make a great impact.  Though there are some common points  throughout Asia , Thailand still has a few additional ones. But let’s have a look at the basics:

1. At any time, show respect to monks. If you want to take a photo, ask for permission first. If you greet a monk with a wai, don’t expect him them to return it. And ladies – sorry, but don’t hand anything to a monk or touch a monk.

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Monks at Wat Doi Suthep

2. This week we went for the first time to the cinema here in Chiang Mai and got yet another interesting surprise; prior to showing the movie, the cinema shows a two minute clip from the life of the king & queen of Thailand. Stand up, watch the clip and, yes, show respect.

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Major Cineplex at Central Plaza Mall, Chiang Mai

3. Return a wai – the graceful Thai greeting. Yes, for some foreigners it’s a bit, let’s say new for the beginning, but extremely appreciated. Press your palms together at the level of your chest and bow slightly. Note: you don’t need to wai to people doing any service for you, e.g. waiters.

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Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

4.  The Thai national anthem is played every day at 08.00 & 18.00 on national television, radios and public places. If you find yourself on a market for example, stop immediately (like everyone else does) and pay respect

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 18:00 at the Saturday Night Market in Chiang Mai

5. Smile and stay cool – don’t loose your temper. Many times things might go slow or just simply not the way you want, but hey, take it easy. After all YOU are a guest in the land of smiles.

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Young buddhist monk. Photo via Wikimedia by Tevaprapas Makklay

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