Thai Treats
Global Traveler|August 2019

Bangkok bustles with options for wining and dining clients.

Ellen Clark

BANGKOK: This big, colorful, noisy, larger-than-life city positively bursts with energy. The air feels supercharged, and the legendary non-stop traffic jam seems downright overwhelming. This city comes at you like a whirlwind, yet few can resist its seductive charms.

The city tantalizes visitors, from the shimmering gold- and jewel-colored mosaics of Wat Phra Kaew at the Grand Palace complex to the fascinating river life along the canals of the Chao Phraya River and the slightly chaotic but interesting Bang Noi Floating Market. But Bangkok’s national treasures tell only part of the story. Plenty is happening on the business front, and Bangkok’s business-savvy inhabitants have some clear guidelines for doing business with foreigners.

First and foremost, visitors should respect Thai culture. Do not ever make negative remarks about Thailand or the royal family, and never touch or take selfies with statues or images of Buddha. Also, the bottoms of feet are considered offensive and should never be pointed toward another person or a sacred image. The Thai people value courtesy and saving face, so they may see aggressive Western sales techniques as rude. Business culture in Thailand tends to be hierarchical and based on respect for elders and for position. Thais like to develop relationships with business partners, so business might progress more slowly than Westerners are used to.

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