One thing you may find unusual on a first trip to Thailand is how Thais behave when the national anthem is played.
Thailand’s national anthem can be heard every day at 8am and again at 6pm, coming from televisions and radios and loud speakers all over the country.
When the national anthem plays in Thailand, however, it is not ignored like it may be in most developed countries. Instead Thais, no matter what they are doing, stop, stand still and pay their respects to Thailand’s national anthem, to their King and to the country.
For foreigners, being in the midst of the absolutely packed sky train station at Siam in downtown Bangkok at 6pm or at a local market at 8am, it can be very strange to suddenly see hundreds of people come to an absolute stop and stand still at a respectful attention.
Personally, I have always loved it and, even though I am not Thai, I still always stop and listen to the national anthem and pay my respects to the country and the people I love so much.
To see what I mean, here’s a video taken at the Sunday Walking Street Market in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand at 6pm.
Everyone is going about their business as normal, shopping, eating, selling, talking and then the announcement can be heard that heralds the start of the Thai national anthem.
Everyone then comes to a standstill, young and old alike. I think it’s lovely.