Things that are rude in Thailand

The last thing we Americans want to do is offend someone. Although some gestures may mean nothing to us, they can be a big deal to others. Sometimes, such misunderstood gestures might end up in serious confrontations. So, what actions do we consider normal could be considered rude in Thailand?

Don’t put your feet up

Placing your feet on a chair or a coffee table is considered offensive in Thailand. It’s also rude to point your feet to someone. Worst of all, you should not step over other people’s feet or walk around them as it’s considered impolite. As a rule of thumb, you should let the feet hit the ground since they are the dirtiest part of your body. This is part of their etiquette. Although it might be hard to forget the habit immediately, you must train yourself before you leave for Thailand.

Don’t point with your finger

If you have to gesture to something, use your four fingers. Many cultures in Thailand consider pointing as being rude. You are required to point with your hand or by lifting your chin to that direction. On the other hand, you’re not supposed to call someone with your fingers pointed upward. Instead, you should make a patting motion on the ground. The only things you are allowed to point are animals or objects. This may feel awkward, but it’s the right thing to do.

Don’t get angry

Getting angry will only make the situation worse. If you show any signs of anger, you’ll get an equal amount of anger from a Thai. In most cases, the anger is reciprocated with extreme violence. As difficult as it may appear, try to be calm and polite. Here, people are soft-spoken and mild-mannered. Always keep your voice down in restaurants.

Don’t touch other people’s heads

Thai’s consider the head as the most sacred part of their body. You should never touch someone’s head unless you are in a close relationship with that person. This culture applies even to children. When you touch another person’s head without their permission, other people will feel uncomfortable. It’s considered rude and disrespectful.

Don’t expose yourself

Whether you are in a bar, hotel or on the beach, you should keep yourself covered. For example, you cannot sunbath when you’re topless or wear clothes that reveal your body. Here, girls cover their cleavage, shoulders and knees before entering the temple. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you should not do it in public. As for men, no matter how hot it is, you have no excuse to go shirtless.

Don’t get dirty

Cleanliness is important in Thai culture. Nobody likes associating with a dirty person.

Never hug a monk

While men are at liberty to contact other monks, they cannot hug women or hand them something directly. They always keep a respectful distance.

I’m sure this article has answered your question. One downside of foreign travel is that you can easily offend the locals in that foreign country. Thankfully, Thai people don’t get uptight when things go wrong. This makes it one of the attractive countries to visit. Now that you understand their culture, you don’t have to embarrass yourself.

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How to Barter

How do you barter with a merchant in Thailand?

Shopping in Thailand should be fun. In Thailand, bartering is the norm. Spending your hard earned money here is exciting, as many vendors are waiting for customers to come and buy. You should prepare to barter before you go on a shopping spree. Adequate preparation will help you maneuver in Thailand’s markets. Tourist may find themselves entangled in a trap such as buying counterfeit goods or overpaying for goods purchased. Now that you know you can get yourself trapped, the following tips will help you barter with merchants and make your shopping experience unforgettable in an excellent way.

A. Be Friendly

People in Thailand have a warm reception. Try and be friendly and always smile. Avoid being aggressive as you attempt to get discounts. Try and be friendlier and you are more likely to get the discount you ask for. Remain calm and be polite even if a merchant is rude to you.

B. Barter in Thai

Have the knowledge of basic numbers and phrases because they will certainly help you bargain. Bartering using Thai will take you farther than using English. Merchants are more likely to jerk up their prices if they realize you are new here. Knowing some Thai will help reduce the language barrier, and you will be able to negotiate. As a result, you will buy goods at an affordable price.

C. Make Use of a Currency Calculator

A currency calculator will help you convert your home currency to baht. If you have never seen baht before, you may have a difficult time trying to figure out conversation rates. Have a currency application in your phone before going for a shopping spree in Thailand markets. A currency calculator is a must have as it will help you know when you are getting a good price on an item.

D. Buy in Bulk

You will receive a higher discount if you buy in bulk. You don’t have to buy identical items, but if you buy several pieces of the same item, you will be able to barter for lower prices on each.

E. Pick an Item and Ask For A Similar Item That Costs Less

Pick an item and act like the price is too high. Ask for a similar item or a different item. There are high chances that the second item will cost less. By the time you get to the product you want to buy, the starting price will be low, and you will not bargain much.

F. Do Some Research And Decide The Amount You Are Willing To Pay Ahead Of Time.

Have only the amount you are willing to spend in your pockets to avoid paying more than you had planned.

G. Know When to Walk Away

If they do not agree to your offer, turn and start walking out. No street merchant will let good money fade away. If your offer was reasonable to them, they will stop you and accept your price when they see you are going.

Before you go shopping in the streets of Thailand, polish up your bartering skills. While there, be very pleasant and try to look like one of them. Treat bartering like a game and avoid being aggressive. Make the experience enjoyable for the vendor and yourself. Try and learn some Thai before you go shopping. Start your bartering in Thai and use it to ask how much an item costs. It will create a friendly environment.

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