The Local Customs
If it's impolite, for us, to leave an elderly person
standing, for Thais its more impolite to stand in front of a
superior. More over, if it's an important person, or one of those
who pays your salary, one should pass kneeling in front of him.
To detail all quibbles of Siamese good manners wouldn't be easy, just remember to do the contrary of what would seem logical for us.
Anyhow, Thais do not expect examples of stylish manners from foreigners, since they consider them strange individuals provided with a higher technology but rough and somehow ill mannered.
Thais are the most tolerant people in the world, partly because of their Buddhist philosophy and partly because of their natural indifference towards their fellow man.
The most important thing for them is to always show a smiling face and to face any situation cheerfully.
A joke or a witty remark can win more friends than awkward attempts to follow local customs.
Some of our behavior seems quite out of tune in Thailand. Therefore, it would be better to try to avoid it as far as possible.
Thais shun any display of emotion, whether of anger, hate, dislike or affection. Scenes of anger due to misunderstanding, are always unjustified and do not obtain the hoped for results.
Display of affection, like walking clinging together, is for Thais a comical sight.
One of the more frequent causes of brawls with locals, something that happens very seldom but that could have lethal consequences, is to stare at someone even without having any particular intention, more so if that person has a bottle within their reach.
Taboos concerning feet and shoes should be known to everyone, since they have been described again and again in publications about Thailand.
To clamber over the head of a Thai is considered offensive. In fact you will never see young children at the beach playing “horse jumping”.
More important is the issue on dressing, especially at the beach. Nudism is officially disapproved (could also be cause of arrest), but should also be avoided for safety matters, even though It is true that prior to 1930 women in Thailand used to go out bare bosom.