If you visit Thailand for the first time, you will be amazed how different their culture is in terms of religion, tradition and hospitality.
They are renowned to be a very friendly and open society, tolerant to any race and religion.
In the north and northeast, where tradition still plays an important and social role, the folk help each other in any way possible to make everyday tasks and living together as easy as possible.
In the central region where cities become more and more modernized, people tend to adopt western standards and their way of living. However, it is in the blood of every Thai national to be a happy and helpful society, always having a welcoming smile on their face, whether it is to a fellow Thai or to a farang (foreigner).
Not for nothing is Thailand called the Land of Smiles, as you will see more smiling people here than everywhere else.
Mai pen rai – never mind
Forget all habits, attitudes and stress from your home country. Thailand is non-confrontational and easy going by nature. Having fun and a hassle-free life is essential.
They give the impression that if something isn’t sanook (fun), then why bother with it? From this attitude and approach to life, most awkward situations are dealt with with a smile or a mai pen rai.
Whilst Thai people are among the more tolerant and forbearing of hosts, it is important remember that they are deeply religious, and that for most of them Buddhism and tradition play an important role. Therefore, there are several things that should be avoided.
For this reason, the Tourist Authority of Thailand published a booklet entitled Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand to help tourists finding their way among Thais.
Ethnic statistics in Thailand
The country has a population of about 59 million, with some 9.7 million of these people living in the Bangkok area.
Approximately 75% of the citizenry are ethnic Thais, 14% are Chinese, and the remaining 11% are mostly Indian, Malay, Karen, Khmer, or Mon.
The literacy rate is high at about 94% and the average life expectancy is 66 for men and 72 for women.