Greeting & Manners
S A W A D D E E
A beautiful expression of welcome, the Thai greeting, or a WAI,
is accomplished by placing the palms and fingers together and
bringing the hands to neck level, with head slightly bowed.
All Thais greet one another in the manner, with the word
Sawaddee, ending in Kha for women
and Khrap for men.
M A N N E R S
The head and feet are two symbolic parts of the bodys.
The head, being the highest part, is treated with great
respect. It's taboo to touch a Thai on the head, even to
In the same light, it is considered rude to point
one's feet at anyone. When sitting on the floor,
Thai men usually sit cross-legged, while women
fold their feet under their legs.
When entering a Thai house, the visitor is expected
to remove his shoes and leave them at the entrance.
The typical Thai house
contains a lounge or sitting room with floor mats and cushions.
Public displays of affection, such as hugging and kissing,
are frowned upon.
Thais address each other and foreigners with the first name
preceded by the word Khun. A simple Khun
will suffice if you want to address a stranger.