Culture Shock in Bangkok



Relocation entails effort to get accustomed to the way of life of the people in the new place. This will not be difficult in a city like Bangkok. Generally, Thais are polite, soft-spoken and gentle. People are expected to be respectful just as they can expect to be respected in return.

Thailand is under a monarchy. Respect for the Monarchy of Thailand is expected from everyone, locals and foreigners, in all parts of the country. Any form of criticism against the King or the Royal family is frowned upon.


As in any place, respect for one's religion is essential. Most of the major temples of the country are located in Bangkok and everyone who will enter these religious shrines should be properly dressed. Short dresses, sleeveless blouses, shorts and sandals are not allowed. Be very careful about taking photos of their religious artefacts as these are regarded as sacred and in some instances photographs may be forbidden. The country is predominantly Buddhist; about 95% of the inhabitants practice the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

For expats moving to Bangkok, remember that the common way of greeting, as a substitute for handshakes in Bangkok, is the ‘wai'. Do this by putting your hands together in front of your chest while bowing a little. Foreigners practising this are appreciated by the locals as it is a sign of respect for their tradition.

Smoking and littering in the streets are illegal. Fines can be as high as 2,000 Baht for these offences.

Bangkok is remarkably safe for tourists and expatriates alike. Except for some peculiarities, getting accustomed to the way of life in an open and gracious city would unlikely be difficult. As long as the laws are followed, foreigners are free to enjoy themselves without worry.