Things You Should Learn About Thailand before Moving Here
Thailand’s popularity as a destination for expats continues to grow over time.
However, the hype over its appeal as a tropical paradise for tourists, retirees, and foreign workers often masks some critical aspects would-be visitors should know about the country.
Below are some things you should learn about Thailand before moving here.
Differences in Culture
If you are a westerner who has no previous experience of the Asian culture, you should brace yourself for a drastic change in culture once you get into Thailand.
Some of the things to look out for include a different approach to shopping, politics and religion.
For instance, people in Thailand are expected to be warm and friendly, and things like getting angry in public are frowned upon.
Thai Language, Relaxed Work Ethic, Odd Meal Times
Even though English is widely spoken, knowing rudimentary Thai is still a necessity for any foreigner wishing to make significant inroads into the Thai social life.
Other cultural aspects you might find unusual among the Thais include the lack of designated meal times, with many people eating whenever they feel like.
Also, once in Thailand, don’t be in a hurry, people have a very relaxed attitude towards things, including work.
Learn the Thai Etiquette
In Thailand, you should never touch a Thai on the head. The head is considered the most sacred part of the body, and only monks may touch it.
You should also not point at anything with your feet. Feet are the dirtiest parts of the body, and using them to point is considered very disrespectful.
Modesty is also expected of all people, and showing affection publicly or dressing immodestly is a no-no.
Be Respectful of the Temples, Buddha, and the King
Speaking ill of the King is a mistake you should never make, since Thais are very respectful of their king.
Actually, you should avoid speaking about the royal family at all costs.
You should also be very respectful when visiting the temples and be reverent when in the presence of the Buddha.
Street Food Carts and Vendors offer the Best Thai Foods
Unlike in most places in the world, street food is really good in Thailand, and usually rivals what many restaurants have to offer.
You can buy dozens of tasty Thai dishes on the street, and at very affordable prices.
To make the best of this cultural aspect, it will be great to learn about some popular street food destinations and some Thai food terminologies.
Be Wary of Scammers
Thailand has many good qualities.
Unfortunately, it also has scammers ready to pounce on unsuspecting people, especially foreigners.
In particular, be very careful when purchasing jewellery, as you can easily purchase counterfeit products.
Additionally, be careful of taxi drivers who tell you that your desired destination is closed and then offer alternatives; there is usually a financial angle they want to exploit.
When shopping, you should also negotiate to avoid paying too much, the sellers expect buyers to negotiate.
Before making the move into Thailand, you should be adequately prepared for the surprises this country has to offer.
First of all, be prepared for a cultural overhaul with regard to social and business interactions, politics, religion, etiquette, and language.
Thailand’s culture, in general, can be described as repressed, which means you have to be restrained and modest in all your public conduct with regard to expressing negative emotions, dressing, and interactions with other people.