Simple way to find the butcher, baker, candle-stick maker and a whole lot more in Hua Hin

The most important thing to remember is that you are a guest in Thailand and you need to unswervingly respect Thai culture

Below are a few words of advice :

  • The Monarchy - Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the royal family is highly revered. Any criticism of the royal family is not only viewed as extremely disrespectful but under Thai 'Lese Majeste' laws is a criminal offense. NEVER talk about the royal family. If you find yourself in a conversation where someone is talking about the royal family (whether critical or not) best thing is to leave

  • Be Civil - Not everything goes to plan. Keep a cool head and be polite. Yelling and aggressive behaviour will only get you in trouble, perhaps even in the hospital

  • Dress Sense - Appearance is important to Thai people and, whilst some norms may be relaxed in popular tourist areas, generally Thais are very sensitive about men walking around without a shirt on and ladies wearing 'skimpy' clothing in the street. It is viewed as particularly impolite and offensive. Simple solution is to cover up. Shoulders should always be covered and for ladies skirts should be knee length. The colour black should be avoided as generally this is only worn for funerals or times of mourning

  • Footwear - When you enter a Thai residence/temple make sure you take off your shoes and never put your feet up on the furniture as the feet are considered the lowest of low

  • National Anthem - Always stop whatever you are doing and stand for the National Anthem

  • Temples - Buddha images and temple paraphernalia are highly revered and if in a temple it is wise to never touch or come close to such

  • Body Contact - Touching someone's head is considered highly offensive

  • Business Etiquette - Courtesy is extremely important to Thai people. If you anger or insult someone and cause them to 'lose face' your business endeavours will be doomed from the outset. Be polite, courteous, listen and respond accordingly in a quiet manner. Decisions are not determined in group meetings but beforehand and between individuals based upon their mutual respect of each other. The idea is to build personal relationships and establish agreements before any meeting. If you are offered a business card make sure you take some time to read it and acknowledge the person offering it and their title

  • The 'Wai' - Thai people greet each other with a Wai and the correct response can be confusing to foreigners. With a Wai the hands are clasped as if in prayer and the head is bowed as a sign of respect and dependent upon social standing, age, etc, this is administered with different degrees of deference. If you are uncertain about this custom or how to respond to a Wai it is best to simply bow your head, acknowledge the person by name and not try to respond to the Wai with your hands as if done incorrectly may unwittingly cause offence


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