Home » Travel

Thai Meets West - Land Of Smiles

Mar 27, 2008
The people of Thailand are an interesting group. They hugely influenced by Chinese culture, being located just to the south of China, so I am sure that some of the things I am going to describe are part of the greater "eastern" culture as well as the Thai culture. However, Thais have developed a unique blended culture of their own. You might wonder how this might affect your stay here in Thailand. If you are not in Thailand more than a few days or a week you may not even notice, especially if you confine your visit to the well known tourist areas where Thai Culture is a bit diluted by the visiting foreigners. However, I have been living among the Thai people and I find their culture quite endearing.

Thai culture holds being polite above all else. Politeness is built into their very language. Not only do they have words that they use to be polite but they have a word, untranslatable into the English language, only used to be polite, and it is used frequently as they speak. This politeness transcends every part of their lives. You will notice that a car horn is only used to "politely" tell other drivers they are there and not to run into them. When at the bank or Movie Theater or grocery store the Thai people seem to automatically fall into an organized line, they call queues, categorized by your need. In the park most everyone runs in the same direction around the park (which is oddly counter clockwise). They do this because there are arrows pointing the proper direction of travel. Thailand is the "Land of Smiles", I believe because they are taught that smiling is an important part of being polite.

Also, Thai people are quiet, politely not disturbing people around them and if there is a loud person, which there is from time to time, they are given a knowing glare. The loud will know immediately they are being impolite but more often than not the loud person will not be Thai. This politeness even extends to their children of all ages. While there is a general grumbling about the teenage Thai, I believe this a universal teenage thing and the teenager soon grow out of the rebellious non-politeness. Thai children are very well behaved and I wish I could determine what methods the Thais employ to impart the politeness on to their children because I am sure the rest of the world would like to know.

Their undeniable love and respect for their King and country seems ubiquitous, and probably is. They show it every day at 8 am and again at 6 pm by standing reverently as their national anthem is played throughout public areas in Thailand. I remember being in a mall, walking where I could see a good portion of the mall, when I realized I was the only one who WAS walking. The Anthem was playing, and every in the mall has stopped where they were walking and standing at attention. Prior to every movie played in a theater a short tribute to their King is played, everyone stands as a sign of respect. It is quite refreshing to be in a country where everyone has such a huge respect for their country leader.

Older Thais, and I understand older people in the east, are fortunate in that they are taken care of by their children when they too old to take care of themselves. This gives the elder generation a sense of security sorely lacking in the east and allows them to be more positive about their waning years.

So, if you only get the chance to take a short visit to Thailand, know that there are good reasons for all the smiles...
About the Author
Christopher Snyder is the Founder of Asia Products LLC and currently is living in Bangkok, Thailand. He writes on a variety of topics including current events, politics, and travel ideas. He manages an e-commerce store buying products to sell on www.asiaproductsllc.com. He is providing Asia Travel Ideas on his website : www.apllc-connect.com/travel/ Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 186
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources