Thai Eating Etiquette

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A few useful tips especially if you ever find yourself eating with Thais:

Use a fork and spoon (a spoon to put the food into your mouth and a fork to help navigate the food onto the spoon) it is definitely not normal to eat rice with chopsticks in Thailand! If you are eating rice you will be presented with a spoon and fork. Chopsticks are mostly used for noodles! Sticky rice is traditionally eaten with the hands, a lump can be broken off from the main serving and dipped into curry or popped straight in your mouth.

Sometime food may be served as an individual meal but Thais usually eat communally with all the dishes in the middle of the table and the food will be shared. It is polite to only take a small amount of food from the communal servings at a time (but feel free to go back for more!)

If separate serving spoons are provided in the communal bowls then use these to serve onto your plate rather than your own spoon.  A small bowl can be used for your soup if there is no small bowl available use a separate spoon to place the soup onto your spoon.

When chewing the lips should be closed tight no chewing sounds do not talk while food is in your mouth and do not open your mouth while there is food still inside. That’s right-shut your mouth!

If it is necessary to spit something out, spit it on your spoon first and then put in the edge of the plate.

To indicate when you are finished eating, put the fork and spoon together and lay them in the middle of the plate at twelve o’clock

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