Quick Tips – 5 Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand
Being in Thailand can be a fun and engaging experience. There are some very important things to take note of however. This is a new culture and as a visitor, not everything you normally do at home is acceptable in Thailand.
Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts of Thailand:
- Be respectful and polite. Do not desecrate any Buddha statues or temples that you visit. This is a crime punishable by law and it is insulting to the Thai culture whose religion is Buddhism.
- Follow all the regulations given. Make sure your documentation is in order. Carry your visa and passport with you wherever you go. Make sure you have arranged adequate travel insurance. Follow the rules as they are there for your safety.
- Be cautious. There are good people and not so good ones wherever you go. As you go about your business, be cautious of any danger you may be in. Be especially cautious of people who offer to show you around. For any more things to be cautious about, contact them.
- Try to learn a bit about the culture before you leave your country. Learn about the things that are frowned upon and the things that are considered disrespectful. Pick up a few Thai words and gestures that you can use as a foreigner. It will be of great benefit to you in the long run.
- Respect monks. Buddhist monks are treated with high respect in Thailand and disrespecting them is not something you should endeavor to do. Respect is a general requirement of everyone.
- Disrespect the royal family. Showing disrespect for the Thai royal family can actually be punished by imprisonment in Thailand. The charge incurs a sentence of up to 75 years in prison. DO NOT attempt it.
- Carry Buddha statues out of the country. This is illegal unless you receive special permission. The locals may sell the statues to you but may not necessarily tell you about the laws against taking them away.
- Disregard cultural norms and rules. It is not advisable to just touch a woman whenever you want. Thai women are conservative and it will be seen as an invasion of privacy. Do not touch people’s heads or ruffle their hair either. Not even for children. It is seen as an offense. Greetings are done by pressing your palms together and bowing slightly and not by shaking hands.
- Dress inappropriately in the temple. This may vary according to your culture and in your country but there is a dress code for visiting a temple. There is a list of inappropriate clothing you can find on the internet. Be very careful about this.
- Do things contrary to the law. Involvement in drugs has a very severe punishment as does littering or not having the correct documentation.
Thai culture is rather conservative and people in Thailand will not generally give a show of emotion.
They may not even tell you if they are offended at your behavior but it is better to just follow the rules and norms if you are going to have a peaceful stay in the country.