The people of Thailand are modest and quiet. Take a relaxed view on things and avoid using abusive expressions while you are in their country. Just remember a smile and friendly attitude transcend language and other differences.

Siamese Thai is the main language spoken throughout the country. There are other Thai and minority languages spoken in the various regions across Thailand.

The majority of the people in Thailand are Buddhist. Other worldwide religions are also represented in smaller numbers.

In keeping with their reserved spirit, the people of Thailand are conservative and private. They appreciate a clean and fresh appearance, both personal and in attire. If you plan to visit a temple, make sure you are wearing clothes that cover the legs. Ask if photography is allowed, especially if monks are worshipping. Remove your shoes before entering, and, if you sit down, don't have your feet towards the Buddha - tuck them under you or sit cross-legged. Don't touch someone on the head, and don't touch monks at all.

Showing respect for Thailand's King is important. Don't make discourteous remarks about any members of the Royal Family, or even step on a coin or baht (Thailand's currency) which feature the King's image. If you are present at an event where the Royal Anthem is played, you must stand up until it is finished (watch your Thai neighbors to know when to stand and when it is ok to sit).

Thailand's cuisine has become world famous. It's delicious dishes balance the various flavors, heat and textures of local produce and spices.

The main staple of the cuisine is rice, or khao. It is prepared in a variety of styles and with a wide range of meats, fish, shrimp, vegetables and fruits. Noodles are sometimes substituted for rice.

Soup also plays an important part on the Thai menu. Try tom yang kang, a spicy mushroom and shrimp soup, and tom kha kai, spicy and sour coconut milk and chicken soup.

Favorite beverages include iced tea, iced water and local Thai beer.

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