Here are five basic Thai phrases for travelers, presented in a more casual and easygoing style, along with a friendly Thai greeting.

1. Hello / Goodbye – สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dee)

This is your go-to word for saying hi and bye. It’s friendly and works in almost any situation.

Pronunciation: sa-wat-dee

  • When you meet someone: “สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ (sà-wàt-dee kráp/kâ)”
    • kráp is for guys, and is for gals.
  • When leaving: “สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ (sà-wàt-dee kráp/kâ)”

2. Thank You – ขอบคุณ (khàawp-khun)

A simple thank you can go a long way. Thai people appreciate the effort!

Pronunciation: kop-koon

  • After someone helps you out: “ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (khàawp-khun kráp/kâ)”

3. Yes / No – ใช่ (châi) / ไม่ใช่ (mâi châi)

Knowing how to say yes and no is super handy.


  • Yes: chai
  • No: mai-chai
  • Agreeing: “ใช่ครับ/ค่ะ (châi kráp/kâ)”
  • Disagreeing: “ไม่ใช่ครับ/ค่ะ (mâi châi kráp/kâ)”

4. Excuse Me / Sorry – ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot)

Use this to apologize or to get someone’s attention politely.

Pronunciation: kaw-toht

  • When you bump into someone: “ขอโทษครับ/ค่ะ (khǎaw-thôot kráp/kâ)”
  • When you need to get past someone: “ขอโทษครับ/ค่ะ (khǎaw-thôot kráp/kâ)”

5. How Much? – เท่าไหร่ (thâo-rài)

Perfect for shopping adventures. Ask this to find out the price.

Pronunciation: tao-rai

  • Checking the cost: “อันนี้เท่าไหร่ (an-níi thâo-rài)”

Thai Greeting Etiquette – The Wai (ไหว้)

Besides saying hello, you might notice people doing a cool little bow with their hands together. This is called the wai.


  • Greeting someone: Put your hands together like a prayer and give a slight bow. Say “สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ (sà-wàt-dee kráp/kâ).”
  • More respect for elders or monks: Raise your hands higher, to your face level, and bow a bit deeper.

By picking up these basic phrases and the wai, you’ll blend in better and show some local flair. Enjoy your travels in Thailand!