Strange and Weird Habits of Thai People

Last updated: September 4th, 2014 | by Stefan in Living

Thai people are always laughing about things they think are weird about Farang and don’t understand why we do certain things the way we do them. But then that’s also the other way around, there are so many strange habits of Thai people and situations even after living in Thailand for months and years where I still get surprised about what I experience. If you ask Thais about some of their really strange habits they usually give you an explanation that makes no sense for us. Anyway here are some of the most weird and strange habits about Thai people:

Thai People wash their feet when coming back home

Now that’s the only thing on the list that is strange but actually pretty cool. Whenever you come back to the room with a Thai girl, the first thing she does is run in the bathroom and wash her feet. “Feel better” is their standard response when you ask them why they do it but the main reason is that it comes from the perception of the feet as the lowest and most dirty part of the body (that’s why you should never put your feet up on a higher position as your head or even worse stand on a baht note as it has the king’s head on it) and that’s why they always try to keep them as clean as they can especially when coming from outside back to the room.

Thai People put ketchup and mayonnaise on their pizza

Everyone knows that Thailand doesn’t have good cheese and even though they do import and sell European cheese in certain places normally it’s just too expensive to use it for a pizza in a standard restaurant. So what they do is they put the worst and cheap crap cheese they can possibly find and often you will even see Thai people adding mayonnaise on top of their pizza for a cheese effect. Almost as damn weird and disgusting is when they use ketchup to make the pizza more sweet, just go to any Pizza Company branch in Thailand and the waiter will hand you a bottle of ketchup if it’s not already on the table. Welcome to Thailand.

Thai Cupid Banner

Thai Girls wear shorts under their dress

Thai Girls love to wear dresses and I love it too, it just looks beautiful and I don’t understand why Western girls don’t seem to wear dresses as much often as 20 or 30 years ago. One of the reasons why Thai girls are better than Western girls. Anyway, it just freaks me out when I see all these hot chicks running around in beautiful dresses but then they wear shorts underneath them! It’s such a strange thing and clearly falls into the category only in Thailand, I just don’t get why they dress up as sexy as they can with high heels, making up their hair, doing their nails, putting on tons of make up and then mess up their whole outfit by wearing some random shorts under their dress. I asked lot’s of girls why they do it and the common answer is that they feel more comfortable with shorts and would be scared that guys can see their underwear. Come on.

Thai Guys wear two pairs of underwear

Believe it or not but Thai guys take the proverb two are better than one to a whole new level. Tight grundies and then boxers on top of them. They use these boxers as kind of shorts when they are inside but as soon as they go out they put on some proper shorts or pants and then they basically walk around with three layers. Similar to girls wearing shorts under their dresses guys try to protect their first layer of underwear. Weird.

Strange And Weird Habits Of Thai People 2

Thai People try to avoid talking about bad things and problems

How often have I made an appointment with a Thai girl and she came late without telling me. Like you agree on 6pm and at 6:15pm she writes you like “where are you now?”. Thai people try to avoid telling bad news or especially admitting that they made a mistake. Even if they do (“Sorry, traffic was bad”) they expect you to accept it and not bother about it any longer. Well, I think you can adopt to this behavior and you get used to it after a while and the good thing is you can be late and do mistakes as well and will always be forgiven. Thai people just don’t like worrying too much and analyzing bad events but just go on and live their life.

Thai People repeat what you say

This one is really weird: Thai people like to repeat what you said word by word and smile or laugh along with it. When I first noticed this I thought they are making fun of me and somewhat felt weird when they did it but the longer I have lived in Thailand the more I realized that they just do it to gain time thinking about what to reply. You will note this “repeating what you said” thing even more when speaking in Thai and they are surprised what you are saying to them.

Thai People put ice in their drinks even when they feel cold

There is nothing wrong about iced whiskey, juices, coffee and I even have gotten used to put ice in my glass of beer. Thailand is hot most of the time and we all know there is nothing worse than warm beer. But then what I see now here in my office in Bangkok is again really strange. Winter this year is unusual cool with morning temperatures from as low as 17 degrees, a lot of my coworkers already caught a cold. But then I see the girls walking in the office with jacket and scarf – and an iced coffee in their hands! Then they sit down drinking it and at the same time complaining how cold the aircon is today. Unbelievable!

When you ask Thai People two questions, they will only answer the second one

You probably know this one very well if you have ever chatted on your phone with a Thai girl. You ask her two questions and she only replies to the second question. As if she lacks concentration or forgets the first question immediately after she reads the second one. But actually it’s not just a thing that applies for Thai girls. I’m confronted with this even in my daily work place. Like earlier this week I was corresponding with that Thai guy from Bangkok posts who is managing our company ads. I ask him if he could send me his best price for advertising for the next year and if it is possible to only advertise on Bangkok post and not as a package together with a Thai newspaper. Of course the next day I read the reply, him answering exclusively question number two so I have to ask him again for sending me the quotation. Mai pen rai!

Thai People treat foreigners different

I know I should probably make a separate post of that but still let’s mention it here Thai people treat Farang different, even if you speak Thai and try to adapt to the local culture as much as you can, but when you meet a Thai person in the first place he or she will always assume you are a tourist, don’t speak Thai and have no idea about how things are being done here. Example? If you go to the restaurant it is common for the man to make the order but every single time I go eat with a Thai girl they always ask her and not me. Maybe it’s because Thai people are shy and even a bit scared or Farang? Who knows.

There are lots of other weird habits that Thai people have, how about that: Thais eat KFC chicken with fork and knife and never use their hands. I think there’s always more to discover in this country and if you know of other funny and strange things Thais are doing please leave a comment below.

About Stefan


Stefan lives his dream by living, working and traveling in Thailand. On Thailand Redcat he shares his experiences and advice to all aspects of life in Thailand. Stefan is also fluent in Thai both spoken and written and is author of the books Thai Beginner’s Course and Thai Love Course.

14 Responses

  • I think we like to wash our feet cus In the past Thai people not wear shoes same as many tropical country. So we have to clean our feet before enter our houses. Nowsaday most of Thai houses still not allow to wear shoe inside cus we alway sit, sleep, sometime eat, on the floor. But as you will see we really love to wear slippers or anyshoes which can show our bare feet as much as we can cus of the weather. So our feet alway dirty with dust. That’s why we like to wash our feet when we back home.

  • thaigal says:

    I’m Thai, female and I don’t do any of those things. I wash my hands immediately when I arrive home, it’s kind of an urge. My feet, sometimes. My shins, my calves, all at once.. The ketchup, mayonnaise thing, yup, weird. So much for the great gastronomy of Thailand, I think it’s bad taste. Sometimes, ignorant. People should grow out of that cuz favorable decent pizzas taste better with no ketchup on. Wanna eat ketchup? Eat pure ketchup. Shorts under dresses? I mean, who needs more heat in this country. It’s rooted from third grade, when boys would girls’ pull up skirts (school uniforms), before they can pull down the boxers, we can kick them in the shins. Or peek when girls forget shut their legs while sitting and expose their thighs. But nobody does that beyond seventh grade. So.. why continue this fashion?
    Thai boys are afraid to go commando of reasonable reason. Lack of punctuality is expected among the majority, can go as long as an hour, over that, then you shall appropriately be pissed. #6 Agreed on this one. Honestly, Thais look at you as sugar daddy. Judgmental? One dimensional? Narrow-minded? Exactly! They have no idea you can speak Thai or listen to Thai. The foul ones would as well trash talk and make fun of you in Thai. You can’t tell they look in your direction because of their slant eyes. Plus we don’t do facial expressions. Simply because we can’t. It’s so limited to a nonexistent level. All your research about body language go in futile. Can’t be applied. They might’ve said you’re cute that’s why they’re giggling. About 20% of Thais are privileged to wide range of facial expressions. These rare beings have big brown eyes and natural bushy pointy-shaped eyebrows. Mostly, just embrace the bliss of ignorance and assume the positives. Enjoy, champ !!!

  • Thaigal says:

    Don’t try to understand Thais.

    • Stefan says:

      Oh I do try, that’s what a lot of posts on this site are about :) I think everyone who lives here permanently should try to understand Thais. The key thing is learning the language, it opens your eyes in a lot of ways.

  • LandOfShit says:

    1.Thai people laugh at their own jokes. 5555=hahahaha
    2.Thai people enjoy homosexual dirty jokes.
    3.Gay pride is huge. One of the best countries to be a gay man living.
    4.Parents’ names are used to piss off that specific person.
    5.Our “Your dad” is equivalent to Your “My ass”.
    6.Motor Bikers don’t look cool around here… at all.
    7.Nerds always skip classes in school.

  • I love when you ask a question, SO YOU CANT GO TOMORROW? yees
    oh, SO YOU CAN GO TOMORROW. nooo

    The yes is……. yes cannot go tomorrow.

    So still getting used to the yes / no thing.

    Having been to many countries in this world, Thailand is still my #1 pick and will live here the rest of my life, its an adjustment anywhere you go and here its know different.

    So take your pick of countries….it is what it is…..and I like it.

    • Stefan says:

      Good point there Larry. You have to adjust to what life and culture is like in Thailand, if everything would be the same why would we all move here? Yes there are so many things Farangs will always be complaining about but then why are we here? Because if you take all the good things and bad things about this country the pleasures by far outweigh the annoyances and that’s why living here is so worthwhile.

  • Malila says:

    Wow. You’re pretty observant. About the cuisine part though. I must admit that I was a cheese lover. But most Thai do not enjoy cheese on their meal very much and from some time living without my homeland food instead having the cheesy food everyday I must say I prefer spicy food now. But the ketchup and Mayo are the right choice. They’re not too cheesy and they have a little bit sour taste which is familiar in most Thai meals.

    I’m not sure if you have a chance to try Thai cuisine. They usually have all taste combine (Spicy,Salty, Sour and the dessert are very sweet). We reagularly used spices on our meal. So that’s where the habit of adding ketchup came from. If the taste is not alright we can fix it.

    About the ice in our drink… My Vietnamese friend said they do that in their country too. We have pretty hot summer here that’s why our drinks usually have ice in it. The same reason go to why we have to bath trice a day.

    That’s why we quite disgust with some foreigners who didn’t take a bath and have really bad smell. But I’m pretty sure we will never admit to them out loud since it is the manner not to talk frankly for it might hurt that person’s feelings. (and bear with the smell? No thanks I prefer telling them to go have some showers and put some clean clothes on)

    and…yes our English skills need times to improve (and heaven knows how much time we need).

    I wouldn’t say we are shy…We are not naturally shy.(from what I observe in the camp that have international students. Thai people like to entertain and always jump in to the group)

    The shyness was from the lack of skills in foreign language.

    Anyway have fun with the observation. Good Luck.

  • Murphy says:

    These are some very good observations. I have been coming to Issan (Yasothon) for over a year now and recently married a beautiful Thai woman. It gets a little easier to speak and easier to understand the Thai culture the longer I am here. But I honestly think I could live 2 life times and never fully understand the Thai language, to include the Issan slang, the types off food eaten (century duck eggs- google it-, fermented clams and small crabs eaten with papaya), the family unit (money for this, food for that), or the Buddhist religious rituals. But each time I come I fall deeper in love with not only my wife, but Issan, the friendly, wonderful people, and Thailand. I would have it NO OTHER WAY!!!!! Thank you Thailand for all of the wonderful gifts and beautiful treasures you hold. Thank you……….

  • GB says:

    Where can I find a girl (not a whore or a freelancer) to live with for 2 weeks in Thailand?

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