8 Things Only Thai People Do

Actually, while I know that Thai people do these things, I am not quite sure about the “only”. My highly developed intuition suggests me that the following observations might refer to other Asian countries as well. If someone wants to invite me so that I can check, please feel free to do so.

My previous post about 11 Things that Thai people do (but we don’t) received more than 170 comments and here I will list some of the additional facts that were suggested by my beloved readers, plus another ones that no one mentioned but I remembered  while facing similar situations here in Milan.

  1. They carry food in plastic bags sealed with an elastic band that has been wrapped around the top (by Richard) – being used to lunch boxes and other solid containers it felt very strange to see the locals taking away their food in plastic bags, especially when it comes to tom yums, curries and even drinks. To me they seemed very unsafe, looking like baloons under pressure, ready to explode any other moment and provoke irreparable damages to my clothing. However, a few months later I got so used to it that I even took home a chicken soup that I wanted to season ,no matter what, with parsley and lemon and make it taste just like a Bulgarian dish.
  2. They don’t like to walk – they would rather drive, take a taxi or motorbike and stay in the traffic than walk 10-15 minutes.
  3. They are massive straw users – most drinks you order come with a straw. Even in the supermarket when you buy a bottled water they give you straws. I wonder where this traditions comes from. Don’t Thai people know that drinking regularly with a straw can contribute to lines and wrinkles?

    I picture I sent to my bf during my first week in Bkk. I was offered this unbottled water and didn't know whether to drink it or not. At the end I did, and I survived.
    I picture I sent to my bf during my first week in Bkk. I was offered this unbottled water and didn’t know whether to drink it or not. At the end I did, and I survived.
  4. They are not obsessed with brands – at least not the way we are. There are many pop-up markets happening around Bangkok every week that feature young brand owners. They are very popular among the locals who purchase even if they have never seen that designer before. Actually some of the biggest names in Thai fashion have started their business on the street.

    This guy used to sell on the street, now he has his own shop.
  5. They love cartoons – the fastest way to attract the attention of a local is a cartoon. Even the bank’s services are advertised on them. This is the secret – you make something super cool (cartonized of course), people will take pictures with it, post it on Instagram, Facebook, Line, etc., and it’s done – the word has been spread.

    Snoopy Bangkok
    Last year’s invasion
  6. And they love everything cute – behind my condo there was the Unicorn cafè which was all pink, with colorful unicorns everywhere and rainbow cakes and drinks in the menu (containing a good part of the Periodic Table I guess). In Siam Square Hello Kitty’s Cafè was the must-visit place for the weekend as the long queues suggested. Clothing with clouds and sweet kittens can be seen everywhere and is far from uncommon even for the boys. Flowers are usually accompanied by Teddy bears… I have to admit that I  this tender aspect of Thai’s psychology.

    Cute t-shirt for men
    Cute t-shirt for men
  7. The bus/boat drivers don’t stop at the bus/boat stop – well, this is true when you are the only passegner to get on/off. If this is the case then they just slow down and test your balance skills.Bangkok Bus 2
  8. They are clean – let’s ignore the fact that they might throw the food leftovers in the river (I refer to the street vendors) and imagine the following circumstances – super crowded bus without air conditioning on a super hot day. In Europe the chances that there will be some unpleasant smell are very big while in Thailand this doesn’t happen. Never! Unless there are other nationalities on board. I am not sure if Thai people have an extremely good and efficient hygiene or they just don’t sweat. If someone know their secret, please share.
  9. ***Added on 23th November 2015***I heard on the TV the recap of a lady who had travelled extensively in Thailand. She said that Thai people don’t like to kiss because they are afraid of microbes and bacteria. Is this true?


  • ” I am not sure if Thai people have an extremely good and efficient hygiene or they just don’t sweat.” – Yes, I have the same impression. It’s in the tropical genes, so they can live together as a society… Now is your chance to travel around Asia on buses with your sniff-o-meter on high alert to test this theory…. but then again, most people travel around Asia for other reasons… 🙂

    • Gabi

      I think that any excuse is good to travel around Asia ? These genes btw already add to the ones responisible for their nice skin and hair – food for thought for the dna engineers!

  • Korakot

    I’m Thai. To keep good hygine, Thai people regularly shower twice a day (or 3 times in the extremely hot day), and wash hair almost everyday.

    • Gabi

      Thank you, dear Korakot, this is good to know. This shoud be the norm in Europe too

  • Fifa

    I’m Thai, and I want to say that, Thai people are obsess with brands (actually about 20-30%), especially Louis Vuitton. If you have been to Siam Paragon, You will see that most of the lady are using LV bag (even the fake one too lol). It depend on where you go, but mostly if you go to Siam Paragon, Emquartier, Emporium, Terminal 21, you will see lots of people are using brands. Our social is also judge people with how they dress. Before, I use to dress casual, when I go to shopping center, no staff care or give service to me. But when I dress luxury, Dolce&Gabbana shrit and pant, Hermes belt, Ferragamo shoes, Rolex watch, all the staff are run to me and serve me the best they can. That’s funny, but it true.

    • Gabi

      Hi Fifa, thank you for stopping by. You are very right for how the way you dress changes the perception of the sales staff. There is one very good quote: Dress how you want to be addressed. However, I also think that you, Thai people, also give chance to the small brands. This doesn’t happen at this level in other countries.

  • Pisit PJ

    in hot country u sweat a lot, so u need some good deodorant. That can prevent from bad smell. And we actually dont kiss by mouth to mouth publicly, that looks bad generally for other Thai people to see.we only do it privately.

  • SeoulKorea

    Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, weather is very hot. Weather reminds me Steam Sauna.

  • Susaya

    i’m thai. we don’t kiss because we feel shy to do 🙂

    • Gabi

      ah good to know 🙂 thank you !