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Asian Customs and Etiquette

With Asia being such a huge continent, knowing the language for this destination can be daunting. However, if time is short then instead of learning the lingo why not make sure you know the customs and etiquette of the country you are visiting to make sure you don’t make a faux pas. Here are some customs and etiquette to get you started:


  • A traditional greeting in Cambodia isbowing with hands that are clasped together like you are praying. This is a little and understated bow, however, the bow will be slower and deeper for a person that is more highly respected.

  • Public displays of affection of the romantic kind are not appropriate and many people consider it to be rude and offensive.

  • Make sure that you...

    • Don’t touch anyone on the top of the head (a sign of disrespect)
    • Don’t point your feet at anyone (including Buddha statues)
    • Don’t wear shorts in a temple – legs should be covered up!
    • Take your shoes off if you are invited into someone’s house


  • A traditional greeting in Thailand involves saying ‘Wai’ and having your hands in the prayer position and raised with your head bowed

  • Make sure that you...

    • Don’t make any derogatory comments about the country
    • Don’t point your feet towards a Buddha statue
    • Don’t pass anything with your left hand
    • Don’t wear shorts in a temple
    • Take your shoes off if you are invited into someone’s house
    • Treat any Buddha statues or images with the greatest respect


  • A traditional greeting in Vietnam is through handshaking and a vocal greeting

  • Make sure that you...

    • Don’t leave chop-sticks sticking out of a bowl as this is considered bad luck
    • Dress smartly and appropriately – again, take your shoes off when entering someone’s home and make sure you don’t wear shorts in any temples
    • Ask before you take photographs as it is prohibited in certain places to take photographs of people