How to adjust to the culture in Bangkok

Adjusting to the local culture in Bangkok
Updated 2022-05-07 19:55

When travelling, every country and city has its own cultural differences. Thailand may be known to be the Land of Smiles; it also is a Land of surprise as to its fascinating culture. The biggest challenge you will need to face when moving to Bangkok would be the dissimilarity of it to your own customs, language, and way of life. The local culture has many peculiarities, both big and small. Here are just a few things you might need to adjust to.


The Thai Language is hard to learn, especially if you're not experiencing or hearing it firsthand. One word in the Thai Language has many meanings depending on how it is pronounced using the tone or pitch. It is fun to learn, but it is difficult to grasp. So make sure to know the tone correctly or else you might be saying a different word.


Thais are simply modest and conservative in most aspects because of their religion, which preaches modesty and humility.


Thais are giving much importance to their families, well, who else doesn't? But unlike Westerners, they are also in close ties with their extended families.


Family connections, job type, education, income, and age are factors that affect your status when it comes to Thai culture. Wai (traditional Thai greeting consisting of a slight bow) is performed differently depending on a person's status, and there are certain rules on who should wai first.

When addressing each other, Thais also have certain words to know the age of the person. For older people, they use Pee or Pii before the name to show respect and nong for people younger than them. Sometimes, a younger person may also be referred to as Pee or Pii if their status or profession is higher than the other.


Thais are one of the most patriotic nations in the world. It also has been taking pride that it's the only nation in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized by European countries. The national anthem is played twice a day everywhere, and you must pay respect to it by standing still wherever, or whatever you're doing. The King's anthem is played before movies in the cinemas, and all must participate whether local or foreigner whenever it's played.

Sabai-sabai (Laidback)

Most Thais are perceived as laidback and kind. They don't want to show their feelings publicly. Only rare situations show strong emotions, such as tantrums and shouting in public. They never take any offense and worry. In most situations in the streets (like motorcycles bumping into each other) Thais will do their best to avoid conflict. In fact, they will probably simply bow to each other and say mai pen rai (which means no worries or no problem) and leave.


Monks are well-respected in Thailand both inside and outside the temples. They are prioritized in buses, trains, and everywhere as there are designed seats for monks on public transport. Whenever they are in public transport, people who are on designated seats must give up. Also, females shouldn't sit next to a monk or their belongings, and they are also not allowed to put their offerings directly to the monks' hands; instead, they should be placed inside their dishes.


Body parts have great significance in Thai culture making the head the most spiritual part of the body which shouldn't be touched by any stranger, and the feet the dirtiest and low which shouldn't be used in touching anyone or pointing to anything as it shows impoliteness. If you're planning to visit temples, most of them require you to take off your shoes. Thais are tolerant, especially when you're new to Thailand but be aware and learn the culture, especially if you want to take part in it.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.