Thailand – Land of Smiles and Wats

Thailand has been my favorite place to visit for a long time.  The people are warm and welcoming, the food is tasteful and varied, the weather is comfortable (most times) and thanks to the weakening Thai Baht, things are cheaper there than in HK or KL.

I’m in Bangkok for work and have come several times in the past.  Doing what I do, the normal response I get from my clients are – defensive, indifference, nervous, cocky even and sometimes condescending.  So far, my clients in Bangkok have surprised me time and time again with their genuine warmth in dealing with me.  I get the impression that they don’t really care what I do and that is the way they treat everyone.  They are also very touchy, which some may find uncomfortable, but I like their affectionate gesture of touching  my arms and allowing me to reciprocrate.  It’s like being with family, no pretenses, no airs, only care and concern. 

Their gentle demeanor is reflected in their language (or at least the tone) and mannerism.  The Thai are like gentle lambs, compared to many Malaysian and HKongers, who speak loudly and aggressively.   I especially admire their graceful gesture for greeting and showing respect – the Wai.  It is done by putting both palms together and then bowing.  I find the Wai to be so profound as a sign of respect and thanks.  The Thais take their time to Wai back and their deliberate slowness, increases the meaningfulness of this gesture.   I’ve also noticed that they would “Wai” to me, before accepting my money.  There are some etiquette when “Wai-ing” a Thai.  If in doubt, just Wai but more important is to do it properly and meaningfully.

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