Thailand Dining Etiquette to Follow in 2021

When we think of Asian cuisine, Thai foods are incomparable. However, Dining Etiquette should be observed in every culture, especially if we are in a particular place. Before ordering your lunch, and indulging in various Thai dishes, arm yourself with the Dining Etiquette the locals practice.

Where to Sit

The Dining Etiquette in the Land of Smiles regarding the sitting arrangement;  the host or the family member with the highest position in the middle of the table. And the guest sits the opposite of the host for a more convenient conversation while enjoying the meal. 

Suppose you need to squat or sit on the floor when dining; make sure to position your feet where they are not shown while eating.

Furthermore, a Dining Etiquette that you might experience at a restaurant when you eat alone is, the crew will ask you to share a table with some diners. Don’t feel uncomfortable because this is normal for Thais. Plus, you don’t need to make a conversation with the person sharing the table with you. 

Enjoy Your Food

Another Dining Etiquette when eating with Thais is your way of munching your meal. Each Thai dish is prepared carefully, so it is to eat your food and devour each bite slowly. Don’t be in a hurry to finish what’s on your plate. The locals like taking time to nibble their food while chatting with one another. If you are accustomed to eating fast, practice doing this Dining Etiquette and savor each spoonful of your dish. 

Interact with your companions while having your meal. Don’t hurry to eat all your food and glue your eyes on the phone. 

Eating with Tableware/ Hands

There’s a misconception about Thais Dining Etiquette in using chopsticks. Most foreigners from the west think that the locals use chopsticks when eating since Thailand is a part of Asia where people utilize chopsticks. Instead of chopsticks, ask for a spoon and fork when dining. 

However, you can use chopsticks when eating noodles. 

Thais use a spoon and a fork when devouring their food. The spoon is on the right hand while the fork is on the left. The fork is used to push the food to the spoon while scooping an amount of food. 

Do Thai eat with their hands? The answer is yes. However, you have to be particularly observant of this kind of Dining Etiquette because you can’t just use any of your two hands. Thais eat with their right hand. Usage of the left hand is a no-no because the left hand is considered “dirty.”

Dining Etiquette During the Meal

After all your orders are on your table, it’s a part of the Dining Etiquette to wait for the oldest person’s (or highest-ranking person) signal to begin the meal. If there’s no signal, wait for the most senior to start eating before you begin munching your food. 

Since the meal is family-style dining, you will be sharing the dishes with all the people around the table. So, get a small portion of each dish and put them on your plate. It is a Dining Etiquette to start getting at the edge of the serving, in the middle. Use a serving spoon when you take refills. Make sure that everyone has finished their turns in getting their share before you can have your take two. 

 Paying the Bill and Tipping

When it’s time to pay the bill, don’t volunteer to pay the bill for everyone. Thai Dining Etiquette in paying the bill is different. The most senior person is in charge of paying the bill. If you want to contribute to the bill, you can offer it once. There’s no need to insist on paying if your offer is declined at the first chance. 

Giving a tip is not a part of Thais Dining Etiquette. A 10% service charge is already included in your bill. But if you are generous and satisfied with the food and the service, you don’t need to get back your change. 

Other Dining Etiquette

  • Don’t talk with your mouth full.
  • In drinking, avoid pouring your own glass. Wait for the person beside you to fill your drink and pour your neighbor’s glass in return.
  • Politely decline if there’s a dish you won’t like or is allergic to rather than leaving it untouched. And as much as possible, finish all the food on your plate. It’s not nice to waste food. 

The bottom line of this write-up is to read and understand Thais’ Dining Etiquette and practice them whenever you have the chance to dine with people from Thailand or dining solo at a Thai restaurant

Thank you so much for devoting time to read about Thailand Dining Etiquette to Follow in 2021. Don’t forget to apply them when you eat out! 

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