Saying Hello and Thank You (because why would you travel to ANY country without learning these two phrases in the local language)?
To say hello in Thai is ‘Sa Wat Dee’, and thank you is ‘Kob Khun’. If you are a lady you will add the word ‘ka’ to the end of all of your Thai phrases to indicate politeness, if you’re a guy you’ll add the word ‘krup’ to the end of yours.
Why the Wai?
You may notice that people bring their hands to their face in what looks like a prayer when they greet or thank you – this is called a ‘Wai’. It’s respectful to reciprocate, and a safe place to hold your hands is just under your nose.
Say no to pointing!
Pointing your fingers or hands at people or objects is not considered to be very polite in the Land of Smiles, but pointing your feet at anything is a major no no! More specifically, be sure to never point your toes at any Buddha statue/photo or any photo of the Royal family. You can avoid doing this by sitting cross legged or kneeling down in any temple setting.
WHAT year is it?!
No my friends, you did not travel through time. The current year really IS 2560 in the Land of Smiles! While both calendar years are used here, Thailand operates on its’ own solar calendar which is thought to have begun in March 543BC (the time of the death of Buddha). You will see both 2560 and 2017 while you’re here, and it’s just fine for you to write 2017 on any document you may need to fill out upon your arrival/departure.
There’s so much more to see and so much more to learn! Be kind and be smiley and enjoy your time in this truly incredible country! I think you’re going to love it here.
Blog by Niki Young (A friend of Breathe in life and fellow travel obsessed adventurer. Follow her to hear about her incredible journeys around Thailand and beyond.)