So why not extend that respect to people in Thailand by learning to say hello before you arrive.
By learning simple Thai language basics, you can make even the hardest of situations lighter, easier and more relaxed. You might even make a shitload of new friends in Thailand so lets start with some basics.
Thai is a tonal language, and these types of languages can be very hard to learn, I’m only at the very basic stages, struggling to even put sentences together.
I have Thai friends with small children that can speak better than I can. In saying this, learning to say hello is one of the easy ones. Unlike many western cultures, Thais use the hello greeting the same way not matter the time of day, and sometimes even if they are saying goodbye.
Women end their greeting with a drawn-out “khaaa” which falls in tone. Men end their greeting by saying “khrap!” with a sharp, upward tone. The “r” is rarely pronounced, so the ending sounds more like “kap!”.
You should always smile when negotiating prices, greeting people, buying something, and in all interactions. Same as with the wai, you should always return someone’s smile!
Thankyou is an internationally accepted sign of appreciation, and will be understood in Thailand, but why not step it up a notch and say Kob Khun Krup if your a male or Kob Khun Ka is your a female.