The Thai ethnic has over 1 million of the population and is the third largest nation in Vietnam. Through the emigrations, currently, the Thai inhabited mainly in the provinces of  Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and scattered in some of the mountainous and Central Highlands due to emigration. The Thai ethnic groups Tay Đam, Tay Khao, Tay Muoi, Tay Thanh, Hang Tong, Pu Thay, Tho Đa Bac.

Thai people in Vietnam

Thai people in Vietnam


Language Thai is on language family Tay-Thai. The Thai is one of few ethnic which owns private speech and writing. But nowadays, there are less and less Thai people know how to use it; therefore; the Thai language fall into oblivion step by step.

Economic features

Agriculture is the main economic activity of the Thai ethnic, mainly cultivate rice in the fields in the valley, glutinous rice is on an upland hillside. The residents have lots of experience in irrigation. The high grounds do not put water on the crops they built water wheel to bring water from springs to the field. Rice is the staple food, especially sticky rice. In addition, they also grow crops and many other plants. Families also focus on raising cattle, poultry, knitting, spinning cotton, plant dye trees, raising silkworms and weaving, some places still make pottery.

The Thai has weaving for a long time, the famous product of the Thai is brocade fabric with unique patterns, bright colors, durable and beautiful.


Because of owning speech and writing, they have a valuable cultural heritage of myths, versed stories, legends, ancient tales, and folksongs. They are fond of singing, especially, “Khap” which is sung with the accompaniment of string instruments and a dance performance. Their folk dances such as “Xoe”, “Sap”, “Han Khuong”, and “Con” are the reflection of the Thai’s unique cultural characteristics and performed in stages at home and abroad. In festivals, “han khuong” and “nem con” are two games with the Thai’s unique cultural features.

Mua Sap - a folk dance of Thai people

Mua Sap – a folk dance of Thai people

Customs and habits

The Thai choose the lands, which are near to water resources to reside. Every village contains from tens to more than hundred houses.

In marriage, the Thai still maintain to stay with wife’s family. A few years later, when the couple has children and then split off in the separate house.

About the spiritual world, the Thai have polytheistic notions and keep worshipping ancestors. Because of association with life with agricultural production, they have customs as taking water on New Year’s Eve, thunder festivities New Year and some other seasonal festivals. As for the dead, they think the death is continuing the concept of “living” in the afterlife so the funeral is ceremony for the deceased to “heaven”


The Thai people’s costumes always praise by the simplicity but still highlight the exquisite beauty of every Thai girl. Costumes of the Thai group as Thai Black & Thai White have much in common but still, stand to the own identity.

Thai women weaving cloths

Thai women weaving cloths

A traditional clothing Thai women include short vests, long black skirts, scarves, and ornaments while men have accepted the Kinh’s clothing style.

The Thai cuisine

One of the most famous cultural characteristics of the Thai is cuisine. Thai people enjoyed the barbecue which is marinated with spices such as pepper forest, garlic and chili. This brings tasty flavor to the dishes. According to barbecue, the bamboo-tube rice is the typical food of the Thai used to invite the guest in special occasions. In the trips, travelers can carry some sticky rice and, the bamboo-tube rice to eat along the way or at rest in the sights will be very convenient. Just taste it once, the cuisine of the Thai ethnic group can fascinate visitors

Grilled fish - a specialty of Thai culture

Grilled fish – a specialty of Thai culture