There are plenty of great reasons to leave your country and move to Thailand, especially if you want to live in Phuket, but if you’re going to be an Expat here there are a few cultural differences you should be aware of. Integrating into Thai culture is essential if you want to live in the Land of Smiles, so here are a few things to consider.
1. Independence vs Dependence
Thais are very community and family minded, whereas westerners tend to be very independent. Westerners usually feel that it is better to live away from parents and survive without help but Thai families stick together like glue. Be aware of this if you ever want to start a family with a Thai person.
2. Style vs Substance
Don’t get me wrong, style is worthwhile, but in the west people tend to judge one another by personality and ability. In Thailand, people go by this standard as well, but presentation is everything. One chocolate stain on your shirt can take you down a few ranks in the eyes of Thais.
3. Same, Same but different
In the west, people tend to value their own uniqueness but in Thailand there is a level of tradition and uniformity that can be very hard to break away from. Thais generally don’t like show ponies.
4. Expression vs Repression
Thai people are usually very considerate, they are very big on not losing face or embarrassing others. Westerners on the other hand, don’t really care about these things and feel that it’s best to express oneself and be direct. Losing face is like water off a duck’s back for Westerners, whereas Thais feel a little bit differently.