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Being Thai means never having to say I’m Sorry

Behind the smiles and wonder that is Thailand, there is an unknown Thailand that tourists are unaware of. Tourists to Thailand may think that Thais are very warm conciderate, patient and understanding people. The truth however could be further from the truth, Thai's in the most sence are impolite, do not care for others and lie blatenly to ones face.

Some of you might think i'm being harsh or just judgemental because Thai's do things not the way we do things. I have no patience for people who criticize me for criticizing Thai's. I'm just simply stating the truth and fact, that most Thai's care more about themselves then they do other people, don't believe me i'll give you some examples:

  • You'll never see a Thai person pull over to allow an ambulance pass.
  • Thai people will never say they want the job, they'll simply say that they want to start but never show up ( don't give me bull about saving face either because the fact is this is inconciderate of other people and if they are saving face again they are not showing respect for employers thus another example of being inconciderate).
  • Thai people will cut in line at any chance they can, they do not care, it's in fact impolite in Thai society and culture yet they all do it.
  • Thai's will play load music till the early morning.
  • Lieing is against Thai culture and manners as well as buddhist teachings, yet i live here every day and see people lieing to me and more so to other thai's all the time, way more than western people lie.

Apart from this list of examples the main thing that super annoys me about Thai people is their ability to accept responsibility as well as being able to apologize. Actually the word apologize in Thai literally translated means "please forgive me". I have no idea why thai people can't apologize for their actions but they seem to be incapable of it. Being Thai it seems never having to say your sorry, no matter how much damage has been done.

i'm sorry

If you live in Thailand or are moving to Thailand, forget what all people tell you about Thai customs, raising your hands to greet someone other strange manners and customs just think about what being polite back home means and simply do the opposite, cut corners, cut in front of people in lines, on the road, don't run to help anyone, basically don't care about anyone around you and you'll fit right into Thailand, and what ever you do, no matter how wrong or what you've done wrong, Never say your sorry!

One final note I might add though exceptions to these rules, if for any reason you are in some sort of problem and the police get involved, say your sorry a billion times no matter how right you are, by simply saying your sorry in this situation gets you a long way because it's totally unexpected.


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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

14 Responses to Being Thai means never having to say I’m Sorry

  1. Chemalexandru December 25, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Most thais “don’t run to help anyone”!

    Yes, I agree!

  2. westworld June 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    “say your sorry a billion times no matter how right you are, by simply saying your sorry in this situation gets you a long way because it’s totally unexpected.

    Works in a gogo also. I was in Sapphire Lodge in Jomtien and my bar tab went missing from my “tub”. I never noticed it was gone until a lady I assume was the bar manager kicked off. I honestly never took it, I suspect it got lost when I ordered a beer and during that process the bar lady took it away when someone rung the bell and all hell broke loose for a while.
    I had visions of several men turning up at her call and beating the crap out of me, so I found myself looking down and saying sorry I did not have it over and over again. After about the 5th sorry she calmed down and we chatted about what was on my bill. I had a rough idea of the amount and also remembered buying a bottle of water which nailed my tab in the system easily. Duplicate printed, smiles all around so saying sorry really does help, hell it is only a word and if it stops me getting beat up, what a word :O)

  3. Aura December 13, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I’d rather disagree with this post and would like to provide some comments against some examples you gave:
    -“Thai people will never say they want the job, they’ll simply say that they want to start but never show up”
    :This is not true especially in business. People usually show up on time and are serious to get the job.
    – “Thai people will cut in line at any chance they can, they do not care, it’s in fact impolite in Thai society and culture yet they all do it”.
    : This is not true. People do queue even at toilets. If there is someone jumps the queue, he would be discrimated (and sometime would not be served). At supermarket, we can often see dozens of people queueing up at the cashier.
    – “Thai’s will play load music till the early morning”:
    : This is not true. Most people are generally considerate and many do not have time to even listen to a piece of music.
    – “Lieing is against Thai culture and manners as well as buddhist teachings, yet i live here every day and see people lieing to me and more so to other thai’s all the time, way more than western people lie”.
    :Many people are serious and do not say something senseless.
    Thais are not as sweet talking as westerners but they are sincere about what they say.

    I myself and my friends do apologize even more frequent than foreigners and we do accept the responsibility. Apology is a way to show respect and politeness. There are also many Thais who are educated, polite and considerate. It’s totally unfair to judge and generalize a whole country, when you just have met a few people.

    • Chris December 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      I’ve only met a few people? Your defending queue jumpers in Thailand trying to tell us that people don’t jump queues don’t listen to music sounds like a troll.

      • Dom December 15, 2013 at 4:43 am #

        Stop being mean, i love thailand and was quite shocked at this post. – maybe everything you wrote down here is just a mere reflection of whom you are- think about it – im not here to bring you down but i also do not agree with this entire post. Take care Ciao

        • Chris December 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

          I agree to disagree

    • Dean June 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

      I was ready to jump on this post and accept everything that had been written. But, thank you for your response as I do often see all of your arguments in action. I have been living here for 6 months, and I still get annoyed with the queue jumpers. I think the idea that queuing in a shop is different to that of queuing in a toilet. A shop, you buy material things, a toilet is a human need. And this, even thai people respect. I think the point about the ambulance is also incorrect, because even though an emergency is taking place, people are not able to move out the way to allow an ambulance through. It’s not that thai people don’t want the ambulance to get though but rather what is obstructing the flow in the first place. That is the primary problem to help fix the situation. This post is in response to aura’s argument, and not the original poster

      • Chris June 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

        you’ve been living here 6months, come read what you wrote in another 5 years then bitch slap yourself.

    • Dean June 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      What I’d further like to point out is that thai people have a clear distinction between needs and wants. And when we need the toilet, people do come first. When I’m wanting to buy my beer, am I in such a hurry? Not really.

      I think that thai people also feel the same as we about inconsiderstions, and that you cannot label all people the same. The actions of the few are really affect the flow and easiness of the many.

  4. Pirapat May 8, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    we are not bad people, just too many people are just stupid and the society don’t even try to settle thing down about many things.
    p.s. we have brains just like you do,

  5. Gift December 24, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Please don’t judge Thailand because of some bad actions from some Thai people.
    I’m as Thai people, I never judge people just only where they come from.
    There are lots of nice people who have responsibility enough for this world.
    Not only Thais, but also people in every part in this world.

    So, please don’t judge just because the bad attitude that you have or experience with some people. That’s unfair

    • Chris December 24, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Some people? I notice that you didn’t dispute my statement that being Thai means never having to say i’m sorry. I do appreciate your comment though thanks

  6. Alex August 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    I may nod agreeably and I do recognise some of the behaviour which you talk about. I have had a number of negative experiences with Thais. However, I do not agree with generalisations. This is the kind of stuff you can either keep to yourself or only talk about with (close) friends. Generalisation has proven to have a negative effect time and again throughout history. In fact, with this type of negative approach, you only give people more reason to treat you in a certain way, which, in turn, reconfirms your negative feelings towards them again. I understand this tendency because it helps you to deal with the negative behaviour you don’t like. It’s a way of giving an explanation to yourself without taking too much blame for it. However, it’s not really fair. Firstly not every Thai person is like that. Secondly, it has to do with a deficiency of your own ability to comprehend their behaviour. What’s more, by putting all Thais in the same corner, you’re not even giving that one person, who may just be different, the chance to prove you wrong. When people sense that you don’t like them, they won’t be friendly to you anyway. If you can’t deal with them, just keep away from them if you can. If not, just try to place yourself in their shoes. There must be a reason for their behaviour which you cannot comprehend. On a different note, you should really work on your spelling. You may actually be a really nice person who has just been treated badly. However, you’re wrong on this one.

  7. Robert October 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    I’ve been living in Jomtien for almost a year. I’ve seen everything mentioned in the original post more than once or twice. I thought I’d retire here permanently but most likely will NOT. The Thai people here have no desire for good expats to stay. The only want the tourists to drop off a couple thousand dollars in a week and then go home. They are the most inconsiderate drivers I’ve ever seen, I’ve had middle-aged women jump in front of me at 7/11 and just look at me like I deserve it. They spread there mats on the beach walk so you have to walk around them sometimes into the street. When you walk down the beach walk they won’t move to let you by they pretend the expat doesn’t exist. No…I won’t be staying in Thailand.

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