Mind your manners in Southeast Asia with these etiquette tips

Posted by Fodor's Editors on June 15, 2011 at 1:00:00 AM EDT | Post a Comment
Don't point your feet at anyone; keep them on the floor, and take care not to show the soles of your feet, particularly when seated, as in places like Thailand and Bali it’s considered rude. In Bali it’s also impolite to point with your index finger. Gesture with your whole hand instead. Never touch a person's head, even a child's (the head is considered sacred), and, if you are a woman, you should avoid touching a monk. Also, in many places, displays of anger—which include crossing your arms and putting your hands on hips as well as raised voices and confrontations—are considered very bad form.
Posted in Travel Tips Tagged: Asia

Member Comments (2)  Post a Comment

  • katek013 on Jun 15, 11 at 11:45 AM

    Another tip, if you are a woman travelling in Thailand, please don't be insulted if people call you "sir" instead of miss or madam. My best friend and I were travelling there a few years back. We are both fairly tall women (6'2" and 5"10"). The people at the hotel and in the surrounding area kept calling us "sir". My friend was really insulted and kept telling them that we were women. We were later told that it is a sign of respect to call you "sir".

  • bhayacruises on Jun 15, 11 at 04:44 AM

    It would be great to understand cultural differences and take them in mind when traveling to avoid misunderstandings. However, I think Southeast Asian are, in general, quite pacific and hospitable. They will be more tolerate to foreigners.