Any interested party:
I lived and worked in Thailand for five years as a faculty member in Management and Marketing in two Thai universities. I enjoyed my time there and hope to return in the near future.
My students recently used this website as part of a class project and it looked interesting.
If anyone is interested, I am happy to provide information about living, working, and otherwise existing in Thailand. My views are one perspective, but an honest one.
If you travel to Thailand, be safe and have a great time!
Welcome to the site! Have you tried out the new wiki travel guide yet?! The perfect place to share your knowledge of Thailand or Bangkok for example
Thank you, Sam I am. I did not know about it, but I will check it out.
I am leaving in two days to live in Bangkok for a year. I will be studying at Thammasat University. I haave lived in Thailand for 3 months before but that was in Nongkhai but I abolutely loved it. Any information you can give me about Bangkok and places to esacpe to for a day or so would be much appreciated. Also if you know of any cheap apartments that would be great.
When people bow, to me in Thailand, I usually just nod and smile. I dont attempt the bowing, because I dont understand the etiquette behind it. I am sure to get it wrong. Do u think the nodding and smiling is enough?
Good question. Yes, I do.
The Thai greeting and accompanying hand gestures have different meanings in different contexts. The positioning of the hands has to do with the context in which you are greeting someone. For example, greetings to important people or people older than you are usually accompanied by the head bow (wai; pronounced "y") and hands just under the nose. Friends or closer acquintances might not make such a formal wai.
If interacting with monks, the hands go to the forehead as it is bowed and for members of the Royal Family, the hands go above the head and the person is generally kneeling on the ground.
Now, in your case, the smile is fine, especially if you are just travelling in the country. Thais give visitors the benefit of the doubt in terms of what they know and do not know and those in the tourist industry will just be more polite than an average person on the street (but surprisingly, not by much...its kind of nice). A smile to them is just as good because you are being polite in your way. You can give the wai back, but it is contextual for you as well. For example, the wai a student gives to me is not the same one I give back due to age, rank, etc...
You can smile, say "hello" or even "sawadee krap" (for men) and "sawadee ka" (for women). Or, ask someone to show you how to do it...I am sure that they would be happy to teach you!
After about 1 week in the country, I had the greeting down and it has been instinctual ever since. Once, in a moment of forgetfulness, I gave the wai to someone here in the States!
Does anyone visiting this post happen to be an EFL teacher in Thailand? If you are, would you please drop me a note.
I am doing dissertation research and thought I might chat with you about your experiences.
For those who are not, I look forward to helping you with your Thai travels in any way I can.
Enjoy the Land of Smiles!
I will be in thailand for roughly one week up north & then a month in the islands about 5 weeks later. Is there anywere up north you would really recommend seeing? we plan on going to Kanchancburi & then to chiang mai, but I would love to hear what you think on this?
Great! I hope you have a nice time...I never made it to the islands, but I worked for a short time up in the North and have family there, so I visited the area often.
I do not have any information on prices for those sites that require an entry fee (I have been away too long). My wife suggested a quick check with the Tourist Authority of Thailand because once per year there is a large fair in Kanchanaburi, but she was not sure if this is the time or not. It is supposed to be a fun and exciting event.
Here are some ideas (some are more well-known than others):
1. Doi Suthep: A temple built on a mountaintop that is quite old and well-known...meaning when you arrive in C Mai, you will be able to find information on this site without difficulty. I was there at least twice; very nice and offers wonderful views of the surrounding area.
Above Doi Suthep, along the mountain road, is the Royal Family's winter palace. There are time/season restrictions on this, but it is usually open most of the time unless a member of the Royal Family is there.
2. Night Safari: This night animal safari is in C Mai and has only recently opened. It was still under development the last time I was in the country (last summer), so I do not know much more about it.
3. On the way to C Mai, by bus or car, you can stop at Sukhothai, one of the old capitals. It is half-way between Bangkok and C Mai. Ayudhaya, also another old former capital city, is located closer to Bangkok, about an hour away.
4. For trinkets, you can visit the famous Night Bazaar. It is in the middle of downtown C Mai. Locals can help you find it, I'm sure...FYI...it's held at night!!!
6. The elephant reserve: In C Mai. I visited this once. You can take a tour on elephant-back. This is a well-known site...I think I even saw a forum thread about it when I opened this one.
7. Bor Sang: (pronounced bore-sang). Handmade paper umbrellas in paper and fabric and the craftspeople decorate them for you. Located just outside C Mai...you have to check with your hotel or local residents to find out more accurate details.
8. Lampang: I used to work in this small town. It used to be a tourist destination for Thais and non-Thais alike, but a super-highway now means that traffic can by-pass it. I always liked it; it has several important Thai temples, also has elephant attractions, and it would give you a different view of Thai life than the bigger cities (e.g., Bangkok, C Mai). It is about an hour/hour and a half from C Mai; halfway between C Mai and C Rai.
I hope that helps!
Safe travels! Please let me know if you have other questions.