How to adapt to the culture in Thailand

Sunday, 23 July 2017


'The Land of Smiles' is a beautiful place. If you're from the west, there are many things that you will class as the *norm* in your country which will not be the same in Thailand. 

Read my 10 tips before you travel to help reduce your culture shock when you arrive in this far east country.

10 tips to help you adapt to the culture in Thailand

1. If you have a sensitive stomach or are not yet used to travelling then avoid the tap water. I used it for brushing my teeth when I first arrived and it gave me a really bad stomach. The bottled water is cheap (and cold) enough to use for brushing teeth/washing dishes and drinking.

2. When entering a Thai home/small restaurant it is custom to remove your shoes and leave them at the door outside. 

3. You should also never point your feet towards a Buddha. This is a sign of disrespect as they are considered dirty and the lowest part of the body.

4. Under no circumstances should you touch someones head as Thai's believe it is the most highest/spiritual part of the body. This includes playfully ruffling a child's hair. If you do, you should apologise straight away.

5. Crossing the road will prove more difficult in Thailand. Zebra crossings seem to lose all meaning and you can't just saunter across without looking. Pedestrians don't seem to have to right of way when crossing and it's very common for traffic to disobey a red light. Just make sure you cross with purpose and diligence, look both ways all times and have your wits about you. 

6.Taxis/tuk tuks will beep constantly at you as you walk along the road. A simple shake of the head will indicate that you don't require their services. However, if you do, make sure to barter with them as this is expected of you to arrive at a reasonable price for both parties.

7. Thai food will be automatically served at 'blow your head off' chilli level so if you're a fan of the spicy *and i mean SPICY* food then you'll be in heaven. If you think you can handle the heat just a little bit, be sure to ask for your food 'not too spicy'.

8. For a lot of tourist attractions and even some restaurants there will be two prices. One for nationals and one for foreigners. You may find yourself paying up to a third more than a local. On average Thais earn a lot less than westerners so this will reflect in how much they're expected to pay.

9. Don't raise your voice. I get it... its hot, you're lost, stressed and you've been ripped off but you won't get anywhere by shouting. Being quiet and humble is always the best approach.

10. Most locals speak English but as a sign of respect you should learn a few Thai phrases to get you by. Males say Krup and females say Ka after the phrase.

Hello - Sawadee (krup/ka)

Thank you - Khop khun (krup/ka)

Yes - Chai (krup/ka)

No - Mai (krup/ka)

Delicious - Aroy

Hope these help and enjoy your trip!

Love Luce x


  1. Wow! this was so helpful and informative! defo gonna refer back to this before my trip! keep these travel posts coming! im loving them!

  2. so, thailand is on my bucket list. i've wanted to go for ageeees! i did not realise the food was so spicy though. coming from a certified korma addict - this is some good intel to have!!

    katie xx


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