Face – Thai people are a proud culture with “FACE” being very important to Thai’s. Face is basically what a Thai believes others think of them. They gain face by acts of kindness and by freely sharing wealth and knowledge. They also gain face by how much the rip off of foreigners in any given day. Thus it is, as a foreigner, very difficult to get a taxi to run their meter. See our taxi page for detailed discussion on BKK “Mafia taxi’s”. During the BKK floods of 2011 USA had two aircraft carriers positioned outside Bangkok and offered their help with equipment men and materials. Bangkok’s Gov’t could not have a foreigner solve their problem and declined the USA’s offer to help allowing the Thai citizens of Bangkok and elsewhere to suffer the consequences of not having accepted the help. Face and Pride!
Prejudice – Runs rampant in Thailand as white is beautiful and black can not be beautiful. Thus you will find a multitude of skin products labelled as whiteners instead of SPF #. You will see some Thai’s walking around all day with white paste on their faces as this makes them more beautiful than the Thai next to them without the white paste. Personally i believe this is an installation of the affluent Chinese immigrants who came with whiter skin and gave them a position above the Thai’s.
Lady boys – Thailand gay males have been an accepted part of Thai population for near 100 years. Although they are accepted they are ridiculed and rejected behind their backs. Gay marriages are not legal and not recognized as a marriage by the Thai Government.
Lesbians – are totally rejected by Thai population.
Land Without Laws – Thailand is sometimes referred to the land without laws. Nothing could be further from the truth than this statement as Thailand has a multitude of laws. It is imply that Thai children are taught at a very early age that some laws are OK to break. Laws such as motorcycle helmet law. It is common place to see a family of 4 all on one motorcycle and none are wearing a helmet. Other laws are ignored and supported via corruption. For example prostitution is illegal but nearly every female working in every bar is a hooker with the police being fully aware of this. Pattaya for example: has earned the reputation of being the largest red light district in the world.
Corruption – Is rampant and is at every level of life in Thailand from a police officer offering the payment of fine be directly to him or you go to the station, to schools having a an arrangements with immigration officers to ignore the foreigner teachers working without work permits, to politicians paying for 5 fire trucks and only receiving 4, to mafia pretty much openly operation protection and or operating permissions for a fee. If you want to arrange finance for a project in Thailand you will be requested to use a local contractor as he will know who needs a Cadillac and when they need it so your materials and equipment will continue to arrive on schedule. So as a tourist it is unlikely you will see the corruption except with your taxi drivers ignoring the taxi laws by refusing to run their meter, or running under sized tires or the driver of your taxi not being the same person in the picture on the dash being the registered operator.
Non Conflict – Thailand culture is one of non conflict. It is straight out rude to raise your voice during an argument or to get your point across. Social issues and what westerners consider a legal right such as Food poisoning by restaurants or road side stands go unchallenged and not reported.
Business Ownership – Most successful businesses are joinly owned by a foreigner and Thai or is owned by a Chinese-Thai. For whatever reason Thai’s are extremely poor at operating a business. See our doing business in Thailand Page for detailed discussion on business ownership as a foreigner.