Strange and Weird Habits of Thai People

Last updated: January 16th, 2020 | 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.

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 Post 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 had to ask him again for sending me the quotation. Mai pen rai!

Strange Habits Of Thai People

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 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.

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 too much”) 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!

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 instead of using their hands.
  • Thais always order some drink with their meal. However, they would never actually drink while having their meal.
  • Thais like to take off their shoes while having a meal.

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.

42 Responses

  • HRt says:

    All of these assumptions on how Thais really are just the result of Thais not knowing English well enough and you not knowing Thai well enough. A few other points are just cultural things.
    Thai People put ketchup and mayonnaise on their pizza. So what? Pizza is not Thai food. It’s not even an Asian food. So people have to adapt the dish a bit before they eat it. Don’t let me start talking about how foreigners eat Thai food.

  • Paul says:

    So much truth in this article, lots more weird stuff I’ve observed too. Currently dating a Thai. Thought I could write a book on weirdness after being married to a Khmer for 11 years but very different (mostly in a good way)

  • Cemento says:

    There are actually many other countries where pizza is eaten with ketchup. Ex-Yugoslav countries (where there’s even “pizza ketchup”, specially flavored for pizza), Iran (one parlor I ate have given me a variety of sauces including Thousand Islands-which I found to be good with pizza), India (there must be a ketchup boom out there, I had been served ketchup with samosas etc), and my native Turkey (mostly in the city of Izmir, it’s a regional thing there).

  • Lost in the jungle says:

    Why do Thai people cover their mouth when they use a toothpick, but will openly dig in their
    Nose? Makes no sense.

  • Got7 says:

    I’m kinda cringing at some of these and the comments too. Only half of these are actually accurate. At first I thought this was just a post by someone who was visiting Thailand or learning Thai, but now I realise you’re one of those people. The people who fetishize Thai girls.
    The washing feet and mayonaisse habits are true (Thai people don’t exactly know what mayonaisse is for), but western girls wear shorts under their skirts too…
    “it just freaks me out when I see all these hot chicks running around in beautiful dresses but then they wear shorts underneath them!” Why does it ‘freak you out’? Were you expecting something? “It’s such a strange thing and clearly falls into the category only in Thailand,” – um, no. Hello? Girls do this all over the world. “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.” So a sexy woman isn’t allowed to wear shorts under her dress because it ‘ruins her outfit’? “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.” You say this as if your intentions are to see their underwear. Saying “come on” just implies that that’s what you want and that you don’t think it’s right for a girl to be comfortable wearing shorts because she feels ‘safer’. Come on.
    Thai men don’t really think of boxers as underwear, or at least the first layer of underwear.
    That thing about Thai people avoiding issues is uh… well it’s just generalising. This whole post is just generaising Thai people based on a few experiences you’ve had.
    Of course Thai people treat foreigners differently. What do you expect them to do? Pretend to be best friends with you?
    I’ve never seen a Thai person eat KFC chicken with a knife and fork…
    Thai people take their shoes off whenever… not just when eating? What?
    Yeah like I said, I cringed at this and the comments.

  • Ajay kumar says:

    Well I have never been to Thailand however after reading every single article been posted by people, what I understood so far is that don’t try and understand Thai people as they are from mars and we still being earth man

  • goldengirl says:

    Good article and I agree 100%! I’ve also noticed a couple more things: Thai girls always flush the toilet before sitting on the toilet seat (I would like to know why!), sometimes they wet a piece of paper and “clean” the toilet seat too. Often, they will also bring their phones in the toilets to chat or talk with someone. Another thing I can never understand is that you are not supposed to wear clothes in the office that might show too much of your chest, but wearing a skirt so short you can nearly see the bottom is fine.

  • Daza says:

    Haha …… A simple and effective piece of advise but so hard to adhere too. My Thai partner of 7 months continues to baffle me on so many fronts . I love him to bits but boy oh boy, it’s / he/ thai culture is confusing. 99% of the time he sleeps fully clothed, very occassionally in his underwear and t-shirt. His reasons vary from , my room mates sleep in their clothes, it’s cold and the latest its cultural!! My response , but I find you you sexy , especially in your underwear. His reply “thank you”. Ahhhh so confused

  • Kelly says:

    I have never been to Thailand nor do I speak Thai. However I work in a Thai restaurant for a Thai family. I work with there friends and I was told when I first started that Thai people can be very rude. Yes this was correct for the first few days. Now I feel like I’m part of their family. They are fantastic I love them. We eat out together, go clubbing together they text me telling me they love me and they always want to spend time while either at work or out. I have even had offeres to stay with their family’s for Holiday’s in thai land. I adore them they appreciate my friendship

  • Newbi says:

    I’ve got a good bit a Thai logic from two days ago.. I went to a Muay Thai fight with my Thai girlfriend. I wanted to bet to make it interesting even only 10bht, she wouldn’t do this because how can she know who will win?? That’s the point!! Then she goes on to say you can’t tell by the size or look of the opponent, it’s how good they fight. Totally agree on that one. She points out that the world champ is Thai and has beaten many bigger opponents from Europe. Ok also fair enough. So no betting, whatever.. HOWEVER what happens next is in the next two fights a Swedish girl beats a Thai girl, then an English guy batters a Thai opponent. Her reaction – this is not fair fight because the two ferangs were a bit bigger and the Thai fighter obviously had not trained hard enough for the fight – HOW THE FUCK IS THAT NOT FAIR AFTER HER PREVIOUS STATEMENTS!!! Typical Thai logic that they cannot ever be beaten by a foreigner and if they are there is an unjust reason behind it… They just can’t accept the better fighter won fair and square because he was farrang!! Unbelievable.

    • Got7 says:

      Calm down. Just because one Thai girl does that it doesn’t mean all Thai people are like that

      • Really??? I would say that attitiude is pretty standard here. They are the best at everything, even if they cheat & if they are proven beyond a doubt to be inferior somehow/anyhow, then its unfair.


  • Mark says:

    Thai people know almost every detail of world current affairs, but nothing of history, which most regard as irrelevant. If there is a volcano eruption or hurricane somewhere, they know about it. If any country is holding an election in the next three months they know all about it. Ask them about the millions of people killed by the Kmer Rouge in Cambodia, and they will reply that they did not hear about it and then ask when it happened. When you tell them it was in the 1970,s they reply how can I know about that, it happened before I was born and they will have absolutely no interest in it. Once I played the Horst Wessel (the well known Nazi Germany marching song in a bar, not because I have any such political leanings, just as an experiment to see the reaction) . In most countries, if the police don’t lock you up, you are likely to get spat on r beaten up for it. All that happened was that the music was turned up I asked, you know this music? The reply was, no, it’s Farang music. I showed then a picture of Adolf Hitler. You know this guy? No, he Farang. Next I put on some Thai pop music. All the bar staff instantly went crazy. Put that off! Now! Police come!

  • Mark says:

    You can say any kind of erotic thing to a girl in a bar in English, but say some of the same things in Thai and you might get a reaction of “I no like people who talk bad, go sit over there and no talk”

  • Mark says:

    If you say something in Isaan, they repeat it, in a loud voice, looking at their friends.

  • Mark says:

    If you go into a tourist type resteraunt and French fries are one line item on a menu, and steak is a different line item on the menu, it makes no difference how much you explain that you want both on the same plate, together, at the same time, as one meal. You will get the chips and when you are finished eating them, then you get the meat. ” You ask for two meals”. Try asking if they get rice, which they have to finish eating, followed by meat when they get food from a Lot Saleng/Lot Poo-Ung/Lot Ken, and they have no answer. It has changed somewhat in recent years, but about ten years ago, you eventually just gave up and ate a meal in three different parts, one after the other.

  • Mark says:

    All Thai girls think that the word in English for breasts is “milk” because it is a word common to both meanings in Thai. If you try to explain what the words for breasts are in English, they don’t really believe you and remain convinced that is milk.

  • Jonatan says:

    Simple and intelligent answer.

  • John says:

    Waiting until outside on a busy road to sqeeze spots on the face and pluck out hairs. Changing from sexy clothes to wearing slippers with Teddy Bears or ducks on the tops to walk through the streets at midnight. if an elderly male, letting a sigle hair from the chin or neck grow until approximately eight inches in length. Having a University uniform requiring young men to wear shorts. But here,s a Farang one: Backpacker hippy type men who think its cool to wear a “Mat Jook” without fully comprehending they are making an unintentional statement of being gay.

    • Got7 says:

      I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but having your hair like that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gay. It’s common for young boys to do this.

  • Panpanpan says:

    Re: maniack

    I wonder what kind of Thai peeps you have been exposing to. Lots of thing you mentioned are pretty much considered disgusting+disrestpectful in Thailand too. ?

  • I’m Thai (born here) and I do none of what you wrote in this article. I guess I’m special? LOL

  • Noweej says:

    Haha some things are soooo true !! But I have to disagree with the fact that they don’t respect manual work. I saw some people of a small jewellery factory and they liked their job and were proud of it.

  • maniack says:

    today i was considering how totally weird people in thailand and generally in asia are..
    even you see for example an arab or indian in an asian country may times they will desire to talk to you just to interact with somebody more “familiar”

    there is throughout all of asia some traits and in thailand these are most strong..
    some of these traits are good some bad and some just strange but neither bad nor good..

    what surprises me is how little people in thailand understand “foreigners”
    for example ive stayed in mongolia and there very isloated country closed to everyone but soviet union officials till 23 years ago..
    but they are normal regular as europeans in man cultural things and in their perceptions feelings emotions.. ect.. they can accept you as equal as them ect.. to some exotic thing.. so people treat you as they treat eachother (many times like shit)
    (just one example)

    but in thailand they have had europeans coming 500 years.. and many europeans and they mix with them very much..

    but still the “farang” is for them some kind of strange animal.. a genius idiot.
    some super strong giant with magic powers to solve many issues and deep pockets… and needing special diet spacial air ect ect..
    thai people are very jealous of “Farang” but also admire them a lot..
    they ever feel equal to them.. but also especially thai males… want to prove they can be equal..
    and in this actions makes them look very.. unequal..

    thai people like to make all european foods sweet by addition of tomato sauce or bbq sauce or anything else..

    thai people dont respect manual work..

    thai women dont like to cook and most thais eat their meals outside the home!!! even the poorest people do this and so ultimately have even less money..

    this mostly ignore the foreigners and will speak with the thai person they are with.. for example in a shop ordering food.. ect..
    not all thais but many it seems to me that a specific type of thai does this … maybe its a confidence thing..

    MANY thai people can speak english many .. more than countries like korea or china .. more than many countries… and still they dont understand us.

    thai people are cowardly in many ways and fear confrontation and i noticed this is taught to children even..
    because of this many indirect things are common in thailand..
    for example they like to say something disrespectful if we as foreigners dont undrstand and then still smile.. but if you confronted them they would deny it..
    they do the same stuff to each other all the time just out of earshot!!!
    Land of gossip and slander..

    many thai women.. and men have strong sexual fetishes for “farang”…
    out hair pale skin pale hair… height.. ect ect.. all fits thai cultural fetishes..

    body hair.. thai men and women thing body hair is sexy on men or women!! fuck…

    thai people lie all the time without shame!!!
    and thai friend of mine said this is the national day he counted how many lies he told in a day.. and he is considered very honest.. he informed me in a day about 20 which is about 5 times less that normal..(according to him)

    thai people will never admit when they are wrong.. like children..

    thai people are overtly preoccupied about sex!! (this is good thing.. :D)
    women like sex men like sex.. ect ect.. japan for example where it has a reputation for sex.. very very few people act this way and wound be considered aggressive perverts for doing so!!
    for example you cn have a business deal with a thai company and a manager maybe mid 0s business lady thai.. will give you overt signals she is interested with you.. flirting with you..
    to begin maybe you think ok its just friendly culture.. but if you return this flirting. next thing you know your taking her home after many drinks to fuck…
    leading me to suspect thai people have A LOT OF SEX

    thi people never grow up..
    adults act as children to their parents.. ect

    thais continue to enjoy childish past times into adult years.. comics… cartoons ect..

    thai people think farts are funny..

    thais pick their noses in public if they have to…

    thais squash blackheads in public!!! and also thai people seem to enjoy this past time so that somebody else will do it for another!!

    thais believe lies really easy!!

    thai people say yes to everything..

    thai people never give useful advise.. as they always want to say yes or say something is good or great or they know about something but really they dont..

    thai people are obsessed with money.. just even about the idea or money or better gold..
    for example they will be interested in something for the reason only that place country person things has money.. nothing more.. dubai has money i like dubai.. ect like this…

    thai women dont like to suck cocks!! cocks is dirty… ect.. if a thai lady just goes down and give you a good blowjob and eats your load on her own….shes either a hooker..or a keeper..

    thai women like to take pictures of .. farangs genitals.. and talk about our genitals.. and tell people.. in public about how big or the size shape colour of our cocks .. ect!! eve educated wealthy women will do this! in your presence .. in thai of course..

    many thai men fuck ladyboys..

    there is ladyboys in primary school!!!

    many thai women fuck boyladys “toms”
    there is toms in school

    the electircal cables in thailand ae the most fucked i have ever seen in the world.!!!!!

    thai people dont know the difference between lime and lemon and confuse the two..!!!!

    if thais dont know the answer to something they will make something up…

    thais like the :Powder” and think “farang” dont understand the “powder” (prickly head powder..)

    thais love eyucalyptus smelling sticks..and oil..

    thai people like funny.. and actually its easy more than any other pace to plan a big group trip..

    of the trip only 30% will show !!!

    some odd positive things.. thai people are very individual emotionally.. so if they like something or somebody they can be very helpful or generous for no reason.. or nasty and selfish.. and can change in the same moment..

    thai people dont judge you just by things you like you can have many thai friends with no common interests at all.

    not all thai people want to get your money ect. some are very generous friends. thais are emotional so if they really like a person genuinely they can do everything for you…

    in the same way women can become obsessive and develop a crazy crush on you..

    mostly more educated thai want to have an “interfriend”

    ect ect ect..could write a book about this stuff

    • fletch says:

      Please continue! you have me in stitches and i can not stop laughing!

    • Daza says:

      So very true regarding the money . My Thai partner is currently earning far more than I. He will often but me dinner , pay for a movie etc. whilst he would like me to be in a better financial situation , he is very understanding this will come with time as my business grows . It’s a comforting feeling knowing he is with me for the right reasons

  • maniack says:

    hey not just thailand.. many countries wash their feet when they get home.. because its dusty and dirty and people ware mostly semi-open shoes..
    . philipines.. indonesia.. brazil ect ect.. its normal and logical..
    i do it too.

    what bothers me is that thai people dont wash their hands befor e ameal!! infact no asians do.. and.. fuck most westeners dont any more either..

    in russia it is a standard.. even in prison you are permitted to wash your hands and face before you eat..

    • Nadia karar says:

      This so true but even stranger things is they never wash there hand after toliet and cook stright away for u also they eat next to toilet while the dors open also the reson for wereibg shorts under dress 90% thia girls are men

  • Pedro @travelwithpedro says:

    Great list! The more I read about Thais’ habits, the more I realise I know nothing!

  • Bigger says:

    Actually most of Thai people can’t speak English well enough. So if you go to restarant with your Thai friend, It is very normal that waiter or waitress will ask who can speak their language. It is easy to communicate. right?
    I also accept that Thai people are shy when speaking with foriegner because they are afraid to say something wrong or even offend any foreigners. Grammar is a thing that most of them worry about.

    • Wombat says:

      I agree with this. If you’re talking to a Thai person, whether it’s a friend or a street vendor or whoever, if someone comes up and interrupts you mid-sentence, talking to the same person, their attention will immediately shift to the interrupter – if they are speaking Thai – and you are relegated to second.

      Have noticed exactly the same thing in other Asian countries and it used to really piss me off until a friend pointed out that I do exactly the same thing when trying to talk to her in her language. I think it’s pretty normal that our brains wil jump at the opportunity to prioritise the language that it feels comfortable with. Even if you are speaking Thai and doing it well, they will still be subconsciously happy to shift to the more comfortable situation of speaking Thai to a Thai person. It would just feel more normal.

      You want to see something really interesting, watch what happens if an Indonesian person who looks Thai tries to talk to them in English. It doesn’t matter if they know she’s Indo. They struggle so hard to get their heads around it, she’s lucky if she doesn’t just get ignored.

      It’s my understanding that this is normal in many Asian countries. I would be very surprised if the same were not normal in Western countries too.

  • slashingboys says:

    what is the habits of thailand?? i dont understand

  • GB says:

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

  • 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……….


      Just like to agree with everything You just said.Particularly the bit about falling Deeper in Love with Your Wife when You are in Thailand I am the same and My respect for Her just grows and grows and to be honest.

  • 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.