Thailand

Customs

 

GENERAL CUSTOMS

  • His Majesty The King of Thailand is revered around the country, so please pay respect always to the Royal family.
  • It is polite in greeting a local Thai to ‘Wai’ (press your palms together with fingers pointing outwards) and head slightly bowed (in prayer-like fashion) instead of shaking hands.
  • It is very impolite to use your feet to move or touch anything.
  • Do not point the soles of your feet toward a local.
  • Avoid patting anyone on the head, even children.
  • Women may not touch a monk or directly hand something to him
  • Please do not loose your temper with a Thai person as this is considered very rude.
  • It is impolite to show intimacy in public.
  • Generally, Thai women are conservative, so do not touch them without their consent.
  • Thailand is a Buddhist country which does not approve of nudity or topless bathing in public places. Please show consideration and respect for the wishes of the local people in this respect.
  • Possesion or use of illegal narcotic drugs will result in strong punishments in Thailand including long jail terms. Please do not become involved with ilegal substances while in Thailand.
  • Overstaying your visa can be punishable with a fine and / or a prison term. Your advised to depart Thailand before your visa expires.
  • It is recomended to cover your arms and legs in the evening when in the countryside as insects and mosquitos are prevalant. However mosquitos do not carry contagious diseases in tourist destinations. Insect repelants are widely available in Thailand.

VISITING TEMPLES

  • When visiting temples, remove your shoes and step over the raised threshold, not on it.
  • If you join the local Thais to sit in a temple, do not sit with your feet outstretched toward the alter.
  • Do not touch or lean against any religious object.
  • Despite the heat, men should wear long slacks and a short-sleeved shirt, Women should avoid “short” shorts and may feel more comfortable is a skirt or dress; women should also have their shoulders covered (i.e., no tank tops or sun dresses).