Travel like a local: When in Thailand

Here are few guides for those who wish to visit one of Southeast Asia's top destinations - Thailand.


Greet: While offering a hand to shake seem to be a universal way of greeting people, it won't hurt to learn the customary way of saying hello while in your chosen destination. In Thailand, notice locals with hands pressed, seemingly praying. This is called wai, pronounced as "why", the traditional Thai greeting, a polite gesture of gratitude, apologizing or bidding goodbye. Doing the basic wai is to simply put the palms together, with all the fingers aligned together, bringing them to the center of the chest, slightly bowing the head, with index fingers touching the nose.


Taste: The perfectly unified flavors of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy is what makes a Thai dish stand out. The famous Tom Yum Gung or Spicy Shrimp soup, with juicy shrimp, mushroom and the aromatic blend of galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chili, tomatoes, fish sauce is the best example of a Thai signature flavored dish. Another would be the stir-fried rice noodles, or popularly called Pad Thai, where quarter-in wide rice noodles are mixed with several ingredients such as scrambled egg, bean sprouts, garlic, green onions, pepper, peanuts, shrimp (or other meat of your choice) tofu, fish sauce, and squeezed with lime juice, a sprinkle of sugar, and ground peanuts (and some with chili flakes for a kick).

Listen: The traditional hardwood musical instrument, khim, is made with brass strings that create a melodious tune when two thinly-shaven bamboo beaters with soft leather tips strike the strings. It was believed that this originated from the Chinese instrument yangqin which has been introduced then adapted by different Southeast Asian countries as well.