9 common misconceptions about Thailand

Are you a first-time traveler to Thailand or an about-to-be one? If yes, there might be some uncertain things that you are not so sure if it is a fact or a myth. To make your life easier, here is our compilation of common misunderstandings about Thailand that most people get wrong.

1. All Thai foods are spicy

Thai Food

Thai Food

The majority of Thai dishes are spicy, but not all of the menus are that fiery. In fact, there are many Thai delectable recipe that travelers can enjoy such as marinate grilled chicken, the famous Pad Thai or the healthy stir-fried vegetables with soy sauce to name a few.

So there is no need to worry about dining in Thailand, you can still enjoy the scrumptious exotic food as much as you want.

2. Every Thai meal is healthy


Thai Food

It is true that Thai food includes many fresh and healthy ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. However, due to its rich taste, it is likely that there are some add-on products such as MSG and other substances that will make the flavor more intense.

Therefore, make sure that you are not allergic to these seasonings or make sure to inform the cook beforehand if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

3. All Thais are Buddhist

Giving alms

Making merits

Thailand is a Buddhist country, but not all Thais are Buddhist. Around 95% of the Thai population is Buddhist while there are some amount of the locals practice other religion such as Muslim, Christianity or even Taoism.

This is especially important in the South of Thailand, where you will find more Muslim population in most of the provinces. So be informed and address them properly.

4. All Thai guys know Muay Thai

Muay Thai

Muay Thai (an exhibition show)

Thai Boxing is the country national treasure, but not all Thai men practice that. Muay Thai is a popular sport among the local and the tourists. Every Sunday match, most of Thai guys will gather and cheer for the Muay Thai match. It is very joyful just to watch these men cheer for their favorite boxer with loud noises and giggling.

However, Thai boxing is not for everyone. This sport requires a lot of practice, discipline and patience so… nope, not all Thai men know how to fight like that.

5. All transgender are inseparable from Thai female

A ladyboy performer in Calypso Cabaret

A ladyboy performer in Calypso Cabaret

While it is true that Thai ladyboys are beautiful and possess delicate feminine features that can easily fool any passersby, it is a myth that you cannot tell apart which one was born a man and which one was born a woman. However, I will not argue with the fact that it is difficult for anyone to point out right away.

However. there are some tricks that can be used to reveal their true identities such as the voice, the gesture, the Adam’s apple and the location where you met her.

6. All women are crazy for white guys

Thai Women

Photo credit: Marketing Oops

If you are an ordinary looking western man visiting Thailand for the first time, you might notice that you have become popular all of sudden. This is not because your appearances suddenly improved, but it is because being westerner stands out of the Thai crowd.

However, even being a western guy in Thailand allow you to earn some extra attention, don’t make a mistake by generalizing this as a standard to every Thai woman in the vicinity. Not all Thai family will love to have their kids mingle with foreigners, especially the big family, as well as not all Thai women are into western men – if you know what I mean.

7. Marrying a Thai woman means supporting her entire family for the rest of your life


Photo credit: Flirt Pattaya

It might be true that when marrying a Thai lady you will need to follow Thai tradition by paying the Sinsod to the woman’s family. Sinsod or dowry is the amount of the money given to the bride’s parent to thank them for taking care of the woman you love. This amount is a one-time only, so this myth about supporting the whole family for the rest of your life is proved to be wrong.

8. Tap water is drinkable

tap water

Tap Water

Tap water in Thailand is technically drinkable but practically undrinkable. The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority claimed that the quality of tap water in Thailand is drinkable as its procedure meets the standard. However, this doesn’t really apply to the pipe system where water travels to the household. To be safer than sorry, you should drink only bottled water when in Thailand.

9. Toilet paper can be disposed in the bowl

toilet in Thailand

Dispose tissue paper to the bin

Most of the western countries have huge sewer networks where all waste products, including toilet paper, can all wash down the drainpipe. That doesn’t apply to Thailand.

There is no law against throwing tissue paper in the toilet bowl, but you will sure come across many malls, hotels, restaurants and other public places put sign on the wall saying “do not throw the paper into the flush”. So be good and follow the sign, you don’t want to upset them by clogging their toilet.

How many of these did you know?

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