Written by mdw on December 27th, 2010

"napkin" dispenserWhy are there so few napkins in Thailand? I mean real napkins, made for just that purpose.

Paper products don’t seem to be the issue, I see napkins on every table in many Siam Paragon restaurants. But Thais universally use toilet paper in all but a small number of fancy Bangkok restaurants instead of using napkins.

I don’t even see paper napkins for sale in stores, undoubtedly because nobody will buy them.

Is this some longstanding, antiquated law that just never got repealed?

Did the cloth napkin cartel lobby to have paper napkins banned?

another "napkin" dispenserPerhaps the launderers of Thailand are in collusion, and charge exorbitant rates to clean cloth napkins in bulk?

My theory is that restauranteurs fear that once they put paper napkins on the tables, their patrons will take huge amounts of them home.

Or maybe every restaurant already has a complete set of those little dispensers, with toothpick holders, and nobody wants to reinvest in new ones.

Maybe it’s bad luck to throw away those paper dispensers before they’re broken?

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