Thailand

Thailand, The Land of Smiles, is an incredible destination. With a long, rich heritage and abundant natural resources, from its mist-covered mountains to the verdant limestone islands of the Andaman Sea, Thailand is no doubt one of the most exotic destinations in Asia. Thai people are known for their tolerance and hospitality and the average tourist will have no difficulty in adjusting to local customs. Thais know that foreign visitors have their own customs and different ways of doing things, but if you are aware of some of the do’s and don’ts you can avoid offending people unintentionally and will earn respect from your Thai hosts.

Thailand responsible travel tips

Dos

  • Learn some Thais language and do not hesitate to practice them when you are here.
  • Thai people greet each other by doing ‘wai’. It is to join your hand together up near the chin and slightly bow to each other.
  • Do respect all Buddha images and people belief.
  • Do treat monks with the respect.
  • Dress neatly and show respect when entering religious grounds. Cover yourself from shoulders to knees, and take off hats and shoes when entering buildings.
  • Do remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody’s house and even some shops.
  • Do try and keep calm no matter what the problem or provocation may be.
  • Do eat with a spoon. Use the fork to load food on to the spoon.
  • Do lower your body slightly when passing between or in front of people.
  • Do smile a lot.
  • Be silent or if you have to, speak softly when in a temple. Even more so if monks are present worshipping!
  • When visiting temples, dress conservatively - women particularly should wear long skirts or trousers, have their shoulders covered, and should not wear sandals. 
  • When the national anthem is played, at 8.00 am and 6.00 pm everyday and at public events or in cinemas, for example, you are expected to stand. The best guide is to check what other people are doing and follow suit.

Don'ts

  • Do not say or act disrespectful in anyway towards the King or any member the Royal family. Negative remarks about the monarchy may be considered lese majesty, an offence carrying severe punishment in Thailand.
  • Don’t place your feet on the table while sitting. Do not point things with your feet, hold doors open with your feet, point your feet to the Buddha images, point at or touch people.
  • Don’t cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk. This applies whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair.
  • Do not physically display affection in public.
  • Don’t sunbathe nude. This is offensive to most Thai people although nobody is likely to say anything to you if you do so.
  • Don’t touch a Thai person’s head or ruffle their hair. Apologize if you accidentally touch somebody’s head.
  • Don’t raise your voice or lose your temper.
  • Do not call people with fingers up since it is considered very rude. Do with your palm down and fingers straight with an up and down movement. Never clap, snap your fingers, or whistle.
  • Buddhist monks are not allowed to touch or be touched by a woman or accept anything a woman might offer. If a woman wants to give something to a monk it must first be given to a man, or put on a piece of cloth. The monk will then drag the cloth to him before picking the item up. Likewise a monk will not shake a man’s hand, that type of contact is forbidden.
  • Do not smoke on the street nor drop litter.
  • In a Muslim mosque, men should wear hats and women should be well-covered with slacks or a long skirt, a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and a head-scarf.
  • When handing objects to people, use both hands or the right hand only. Do not slide or toss objects across the room. Get up and pass them in person, no matter how inconvenient this may seem. Throwing things before someone else is considered extremely rude. 
  • Do not eat rice with your fork, eat with a spoon instead. The fork is used to push the food into the spoon, and the spoon is used to eat. It is also considered impolite and disrespectful to leave some rice in the plate. So make sure you will finish it all.
  • Do not get involve in any thing illegal like prostitution, drug nor buy stuffs from wild animal, endangered species neither buy antique or other sacred items.
Thailand responsible travel tips