People in Thailand are so clean: how many showers a day do Thais normally take?
When many westerners come to Thailand, one of the first things they notice is how clean Thais are. That’s because, not only do Thais put on clean clothes at least once a day, and often twice, they also take many showers. So, how many showers a day to Thais normally take? And, if you come to Thailand, will you be expected to take that many as well?
Most Thais I know, but particularly Thai women, take at least two showers a day and usually three. You will rarely, if ever, meet a Thai who doesn’t shower before they leave their home every morning and, if they can get back home at lunchtime, many Thais will shower again then as well.
A second, (or third shower), is taken when a Thai gets home from work or from dinner with friends and, if a Thai has sex before going to bed, most will have a shower again afterwards. Add onto that the fact that most Thais wear body lotion and baby powder and, if you think Thais smell a lot better than westerners, you won’t be far wrong.
Do Thais ever have body odor?
In fact, in 10 years of living in Thailand, I have only ever met a couple of Thais that had a distinct body odor and they were motorcycle taxi drivers who worked out in the hot sun all day. The rest are so incredibly clean, it’s nigh on impossible to meet a Thai that smells bad.
Think of it this way. Thailand is one of the world’s hottest countries and Bangkok is, officially, the world’s hottest city. With average temperatures in Thailand between 90 and 100 degrees almost all year round, it’s easy to sweat, even for a Thai.
Thais, however, don’t like to smell and don’t like being around people that smell either. That’s why 2-3 showers a day is normal in Thailand, and even four isn’t seen as excessive.
Westerners keeping clean in Thailand
If you spend time in Thailand it’s up to you if you take as many showers a day as a Thai normally takes. Do be aware, however, westerners already smell different to Thais due to the huge amounts of dairy and meat most westerners consume. Add onto that a distinct smell of sweat and, if you don’t shower often, you’ll soon find Thais giving you a lot more distance than you might like.
As for me, I’ve lived in Thailand for over a decade. I grew up in a family where two showers a day was normal, even when we lived in the UK, so when I came to Thailand, I didn’t really have to adjust that much.
If I don’t leave my home at all I will have a shower in the morning and another before I go to bed. When I was working in Thailand, however, or now if I leave my home to go shopping or out to meet friends, I always take a third shower when I come home.
If you don’t want to be described as the ‘falang men maak‘ (“the westerner who smells bad”), you might want to do the same. Our article, How to stay clean and sweat-free in Thailand will help.