Do Thai eat with chopsticks?

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  • In Thailand you sometimes see enthusiastic travellers eating fried rice with chopsticks, or actually trying to eat. It is touching, but especially clumsy. Thai people don't eat with chopsticks, but with spoon and fork. The spoon is the most important tool and is held in the right hand and the fork in the left.

    Only with noodle soup the Chinese chopsticks appear, then in combination with a soup spoon. By the way, Thai will never say anything about it if you want to eat their loose rice with chopsticks, they are too polite for that and it is 'live and let live'. Traditionally Thai people just eat their food with their right hand, roll a scoop of rice, dip it in a sauce and it's ready.

    It seems to have been King Rama IV who in the 19th century saw the use of spoon and fork as progress and introduced them to the Thai. That may be correct because Rama IV was one of the first Thai kings who also focused on the west. His children (and there were about 80 of them, with several women and concubines) were taught by a British governess. And they all learned to eat with spoon and fork.

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