Cities in Thailand
Cheap Flights to Thailand with Vayama starting at $ 399
The beauty of Thailand is not only in the exotic temples, the never ending paddy fields, or the jewel coloured waters that surround the country, it is also in the people of Thailand who welcome visitors with open arms. That is probably why Thailand is such a popular destination with many flights landing there every day.
It is wise however to be on your guard, especially in the bigger cities where a wide smile and gesturing arms leading you towards a certain gem factory or clothes shops might have a bit more than friendliness to offer. These people are probably getting a commission to entice you into certain places.
But this wariness should not keep you from having a fantastic time in Thailand, whether that be riding on elephants in the northern part of Thailand or soaking up the scorching sun on one of the islands of Thailand then sleeping in a rickety cabin on the beach.
Most Western visitors to Thailand will not have taken the trouble to learn about Thai customs. It is worth knowing a few just to see the smiles on the faces of the locals as they realise you have taken the time to get to know Thailand.
There are so many glorious temples in Thailand that you will want to visit at least two or three. Make sure you are wearing long sleeves, and trousers and take off your shoes when entering any building that contains an image of Buddha. Also remember to leave a contribution as most temples in Thailand survive on donations alone.
It is definitely worth venturing beyond Bangkok if you have the time to travel around Thailand. Chiang Mai, in the north, is a very popular destination for tourists as you can hitch a ride with an elephant, go river rafting and marvel at the ancient mountains. There are also 300 temples to explore!
One great spectacle in this city, the second largest in Thailand, is the Sunday Walking Market. One of the main areas within the city is blocked off from traffic from late afternoon to midnight, and you can pick and choose goods displayed on all the colourful stalls there.
For a place to chill out in Thailand, visit one of the islands scattered around the country from Ko Samui for a great beach scene and nightlife, to Ko Tao for those with smaller budgets. Ko Chang boasts a jungle and marine national park.
Other places to see in Thailand include Ayuthaya for historical sights and architecture, Sukhothai, the former capital of Thailand, has old city ruins to meander around, and Kanchanaburi where temple caves offer an insight into spirit worship and you can see the bridge over the River Kwai.
If you really want to discover the true Thailand, make sure you get on a Vayama flight to this country and savour all that is there. If you cannot fit it all in, there is no reason why you cannot return another time as the Vayama flights offer such great deals.
Thai Etiquette Tips
Flying to Bangkok? Thailand is a country with many customs and traditions, and many are related to religion, which is why it is so important to be respectful and learn about their etiquette. Below are some etiquette tips to take with you on your trip to Thailand!
1. Dress Attire
- DO dress stylishly and modestly, particularly when visiting temples. Keep your attire neat and clean!
- DO wear nice pants and a nice shirt with or without a tie, if you are a man attending a business function. For women, wear a nice dress or a skirt and blouse for business functions. Don't wear tank-tops.
- DON'T wear shorts, short skirts, or tank-tops if you are entering a temple.
2. Table Manners
- DO use a fork and spoon when eating. Chopsticks are no longer traditionally used in Thailand. Hold the spoon in your right hand and push the food into your spoon with the fork.
- DO leave a little bit of food on your plate when you're done eating to indicate that you are full.
- DO put your spoon and fork at the 5:25 position when you are done eating.
- DON'T use your left hand while eating.
- DON'T snap your fingers or yell to get a waiter's attention when dining out.
- DO leave a tip in all restaurants. Leave the tip with your change leftover from the bill, or tip 10% at a more upscale restaurant.
- DO tip a cab driver by rounding up your total fare.
- DO tip hotel porters 10-20 Thai baht.
4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts
- DO give and receive gifts with your right hand, not your left.
- DON'T open a gift until later.
- DO give gifts such as liquor, books, or sweets.
- DO thank the gift giver with a “wai” (see below).
5. Body Gestures
- DO understand the meaning of the “wai.” Wai is when a person puts their hands together close to their body at chest level and gives a slight bow. The higher the hands, the more respectful the wai. It can mean “Hello”, “I'm sorry”, or “Good-bye.”
- DON'T point with one finger. It's considered impolite.
- DON'T show affection in public or even touch someone of the opposite sex.
- DON'T pass something over someone's head. The head is considered sacred in Thailand.
- DON'T point with your feet or use your feet to touch something. Feet are considered dirty, because they are the lowest part of the body.
- DON'T talk with your hands or put your hands in your pockets while talking to someone.
- DON'T step on a threshold when going through a doorway. Step over it instead. Thais believe that a spirit lives in the threshold.
- DO greet with a wai if you feel comfortable. However, as a foreigner, you aren't expected to initiate with a wai, but you must always return a wai to be polite.
- DON'T greet children, waiters, vendors, etc. with a wai. If they greet you with a wai, simply smile and nod back at them.
- DO shake hands if not offered a wai.
7. Visitors Etiquette
- DO bring a gift for your host. A nice host gift would be brandy, flowers, cakes, fruit, etc.
- DO take your shoes off upon entering a home.
8. Business Meeting
- DO expect men to primarily conduct business, although women are beginning to get more involved in Thailand's business world.
- DON'T rush negotiations. Business decision-making can be slow in Thailand.
- DO be subtle. Directness doesn't always go over well in Thailand.
- DO expect to be addressed by your title and first name, i.e. Mr. Bob. This isn't to be rude or disrespectful.
- DO introduce colleagues of a lower professional status before introducing yourself in a formal business introduction.
9. Religious Etiquette
- DO dress conservatively. Women should wear long skirts or pants and covered shoulders. Don't wear sandals.
- DON'T take photos at a temple.
- DO remove shoes upon entering.
- DON'T sit with your feet pointing towards a Buddha. Sit cross-legged or with your feet tucked under you.
- DON'T touch a monk, give him anything, sit next to him, or sit above him.
- DON'T touch a Buddha image. They are sacred. Don't climb on top of it, move it, or even sit next to it to pose for a picture. It's disrespectful.
Although the above list of etiquette may seem somewhat overwhelming, as a foreigner, you won't be expected to partake in all of their customs. Nevertheless, be conservative in your actions, especially in temples since they are such sacred places. Keep that in mind and have a wonderful trip to Thailand!
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