[th] When you travel to Thailand for cosmetic surgery, remember you are entering a completely different culture to what you are used to. As such, there are certain rules of etiquette you should try to follow in order to avoid offending Thais. Although locals are used to foreign tourists breaking the rules of etiquette and are quick to forgive, you can really transform your vacation into something special by adopting the culture of Thailand for the duration of your stay.
What Not To Do
• Point: Pointing is actually considered rude in various cultures and is deemed to be very offensive in Thailand. Motion towards someone by lifting your chin in their direction rather than pointing. When asking for someone to come over, be sure to wave your hand with your palm down and fingers straight. It is okay to point at animals and inanimate objects but not people.
• Lose Your Cool: Thais do not take kindly to those who lose their temper in public. Thailand is a country where saving face is exceptionally important and native Thais value honour above all else. Foreigners who get angry and start shouting are deemed to be an embarrassment.
• Disrespect The Royal Family: The King of Thailand is the oldest monarch in the world and is adored by the people. You must never disrespect the king or Royal Family and this includes no defacing images of the king. Technically, disrespecting the king can get you the death penalty!
What To Do
• Take Off Your Shoes: Before you enter someone’s home or a temple, you are expected to remove your footwear. Indeed some restaurants and shops also make the same request. A cursory glance near the entrance to see if there is a pile of shoes will give you a clue as to whether or not you need to take off your shoes!
• Be Right-Handed: This is bad news for left-handed people but in Thailand, the left hand is deemed to be dirty and is primarily for unsanitary functions. As a result, you must use your right hand when paying for an item. Incidentally, you can earn extra ‘respect’ points by touching your right forearm with your left hand.
• Return A Wai: A ‘wai’ is a gesture which involves putting the hands together as if in prayer and placing it front of you with your head slightly bowed. If you receive a wai, it is considered extremely rude not to return the favour. Only monks and the king are allowed not to reciprocate wais.
• Smile: Thailand is not called ‘Land of Smiles’ for no reason! Thais are legendary for smiling as it is a big part of their culture and etiquette. You should always smile during negotiations or when apologising.
Hopefully, this guide to Thai etiquette will help you enjoy your stay as you feel more relaxed and at home with local customs. Once native Thais see you making an effort at respecting their culture and traditions, they will be even more welcoming.
If you are looking for cosmetic surgery in Thailand please visit Naravee Aesthetic Center.