During the two years that we have been abroad, we have spent a lot of that time in Thailand. We got the opportunity to get to know the people, the language and the culture. Many of these things tourists might never get to know. We are going to share the 10 unique things we have learned about Thailand and the Thai locals.
10 Unique Things About Thai Locals that you didn’t know:
1. Thai locals are extremely willing to share.
The Thai locals are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. The reason for their kindness comes from their beliefs and their culture. Due to their kind nature, they enjoy sharing as much as possible.
Working in Thai schools gave us first-hand experience of their willingness to share. Usually, kids don’t like to share their snacks, but in Thai schools, sharing isn’t a problem for them. Every time a student had a handful of candy, they will share it with all their friends without hesitation. Even if that means they only get one piece for themselves.
For adults, sharing isn’t much different. We have observed them in many public locations. We even found ourselves sometimes staring at them. They will order multiple meals in a restaurant and share all the meals with everyone at the table. The portions of food are small, so they can order many meals and try a little bit of each plate, which turns into a feast.
2. They Don’t Like Confrontation.
Confrontation is uncommon among the Thai locals. They will always try their best to avoid a situation that could lead to confrontation. Whether they have to give you bad news or tell you that what you are doing is wrong, they won’t say anything. This can sometimes get annoying, because if you don’t know what you are doing wrong, how can you fix it. They go with the flow and hope the point that might lead to confrontation doesn’t come up. You will find it very hard to fight with a Thai local. Most of the time, they will just smile at you. In their eyes, a smile can solve anything.
3. Thai locals prefer to stay out of the sun
Thai locals don’t like the sun. They will try their best to avoid being in direct sunlight. In general, most Asians are extremely beauty conscious. Beauty means everything to them. But there’s a method behind their madness. Skin cancer is a rising concern, and sunlight is especially dangerous here in Thailand. They take good care of their skin, by staying out of the sun, as much as they possibly can. This goes as far as them wearing long clothes when they go outside even if the temperature is as high as 35° Celsius. In their eyes, the lighter your skin tone is, the more beautiful you are.
4. They love using whitening cream
As we mentioned earlier in their eyes, the lighter your skin tone is, the more beautiful they believe you are. They take their belief one step further with whitening cream, which in theory is made to make your skin a few shades whiter. You can find these whiting creams all over Asia. We don’t understand the science behind these whiting creams, but almost all creams in Thailand are whitening creams. We bought whitening cream once to see if it will work and it did make our skin slightly lighter for about 20 minutes, but we didn’t notice a big difference. To us, we don’t understand their fascination with being white, because outside of Asia we believed the more tanned we are, the more beautiful we are. It’s so interesting to see what different parts of the world believe beauty to be.
5. They love Spicy food
You can find spicy food in almost every country around the world. Some of us claim that we can eat spicy food, but in Thailand, they’re on another level. In touristy areas such as Phuket, Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai you will find that the spicy food is very mild. The reason for this is to cater to those tourists who don’t enjoy spicy food. When we talk about spicy food, we refer to those Thai towns and those Thai locals that many people won’t get to know. Some of their dishes, such as green Thai curry, can get so spicy that even those who claim they can eat spicy food, battle to eat it without giving up. Well, Thai locals will eat these dishes without any issue, and they might even add more Chili, it’s insane to see!
6. Thai locals taste buds are so diverse
Another interesting fact, while we are on the topic of food, is the variety of things Thai locals eat. Their taste buds are so diverse compared to westerners, and that’s amazing to us. They like all types of food from pizza and burgers to fish intestines and chicken feet. Some of their favourite meals are food that will make some westerners gag. Put a KFC bucket in front of them, a bowl of pasta or a blood jelly and chicken soup and they will enjoy it all in the same way.
7. They love anything and everything fish
Thais enjoy eating fish. In all forms and shapes. The main ingredient in most Thai dishes is fish sauce. If you have ever had a plate of rice and chicken in Thailand, and you wonder why it kind of tastes like fish, it’s because of the fish sauce, that they enjoy cooking with. Thai locals love fish sauce. When you walk into a Tesco or Big C, you will see aisles dedicated to different types of fish sauce. They will even take fish sauce with them when they travel abroad to add to their food. When we first got here, fish sauce was gross, but after 2 years, we like it and can’t get enough of it. Thai locals don’t just stop at fish sauce or a whole fish cooked in garlic and chilli, they have 100s of seafood snacks from crisps, to biscuits to candy.
8. Thai locals have a unique relationships with Aircons
If you have ever travelled to Southeast Asia, you will know how hot and humid it is. Thailand is no exception to this. It’s warm all year round. Being hot all the time, you would think that the locals have over the years got used to the heat and wouldn’t be affected by it so much, but you will be wrong. Locals battle with the heat just as much as foreigners do. For a long time, we couldn’t understand why, but then we started thinking.
We start to notice that every time they are indoors, they will turn the aircon on the maximum fan and the lowest temperature. They will make it so cold inside that we sometimes need long pants and a jacket to be able to bear the cold temperatures.
Knowing that Thais don’t like being in direct sunlight, most of their daytime is spent indoors, where it’s cold. Because they spend all their time inside with the aircon on, they don’t get used to the hot weather. We think the reason why they put the aircon so cold is because when they are outside, they wear long clothes to block out the sun. Then when they go inside, they have all these long clothes on and get too hot, so they turn on the aircon to cool down. Do you think this makes sense?
9. The locals are obsessed with markets and events
Thailand is known for its markets, places such as the Chatuchak market and Asiatique in Bangkok, which is known worldwide. What many people don’t know is that Thai locals love markets even more than foreigners do. They will come up with any excuse to have a market, whether it’s a national holiday or just a normal Thursday night, there will be a market somewhere. In our town, there was a huge market during the loy Krathong festival. Selling everything from sausages on a stick, to cars, to Ferris wheels rides. The market was open for 10 days. You might think that after a few days the market will get quieter, well you are wrong. The next day was busier than the last!
10. They love Karaoke
This might sound like a stereotype but it’s so true. Thai locals love karaoke. In most towns, you will find a karaoke bar and if you don’t they will find another way. If there is any chance for them to grab a microphone you will see them behind the microphone.
They might sound strange but Thai locals are so unique and one of a kind. All of these small things are what makes them so special. Every day we spend with them we just become more mesmerised by them. They are amazing people and if you get the opportunity to get to know one of them, go for it.
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