Meeting Thailand


Posted on: 14 June 2013 by Steve Newton

For those who are visiting Thailand for a short time or overnight may not see the proper side of Thailand.

For those who are visiting Thailand for a short time or overnight may not see the proper side of Thailand. Once you get to your Bangkok hotel or even have a stopover at a Bangkok airport hotel, may only see some of the bad side of Thailand and it does not reflect Thailand as a whole. It also depends which districts you visit when you are here.

If you are here for a longer time and get out and see what Thailand really has to offer, then you will be happy that you have experience a culture that is pleasant, intriguing and one that you want to come back to visit time and time again.

First Meeting

Bangkok is by no means all there is to Thailand, but for most foreign visitors it is their first impression of the Thai world, and whether they like it or not, their first meeting with Thai culture. Urbanisation and westernisation are now as much a part of Bangkok-Thai culture as the Wai and the Wat.

Certainly, the culture of modern Bangkok is likely to relate much more to a visitor's initial culture shock than anything included in the tourist guides. To ignore Bangkok would be to ignore that part of Thailand's culture in which most visitors spend a large amount of their time.

Every Taboo Broken

In Bangkok, the visitor will see every taboo broken. Young girls swing braless along the street, hand in hand with a (usually foreign) boyfriend. Small men pretending to be big men talk loudly and rudely in restaurants.

The waitress in Patpong Road looks askance at your wai-deserving tip and flips over the tray to throw your tip under the table and to show you the words CHEAPSKATE CHARLIE. The fact that deviancy is evident publicly does not mean that Thai society does not value correct (i.e. Thai) behaviour.

The great (silent) majority of the Thai population dislike bad behaviour and avoid the company of those who go for it. Nobody would deny that westernisation and urbanisation are rapidly taking place but, even in Bangkok, Thai ways of doing things are still very relevant. The visitor should model his behaviour on the generally acceptable rather than the exceptional.

One good reason for doing so is that the Thai population, used to hearing how decadent foreigners have corrupted Thai youth, love a foreigner who knows how to behave.

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