Thailand Travel Tips

Whilst many parts f Thailand are hectic, with the roads crazy and filled with motorbikes and large crowds of people going about their business, the Thai people are typically friendly, happy and helpful to foreign tourists. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to worry too much about learning the do’s and don’ts of travelling in Thailand and respecting the local culture. The Thai people understand 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 will earn respect from your Thai hosts.

Most importantly of all, pay particular attention to respecting Buddhism and the Thai Royal Family.

The following ‘DOs‘ are important to follow:

  • Respect all Buddha images. Buddha images are held sacred and sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors.
  • Dress appropriately and according to local signage and rules when visiting temples and sacred places
  • Remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody’s house and even some shops.
  • Treat monks with the highest respect.
  • Try and keep calm no matter what the problem or provocation may be
  • Eat with a spoon – use the fork to load food on to the spoon
  • Lower your body slightly when passing between or in front of people
  • Learn a few basic Thai phrases like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ – Thai people will apprecaite you trying to communicate with them in Thai, even in a very basic way
  • Smile a lot, be gracious and thankful

Before travelling to Thailand, we recommend that you obtain appropriate travel insurance.

‘DONTs’

  • Don’t show disrespect towards the Thai Royal Family
  • Don’t cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk
  • Don’t touch Thai women without consent – the majority of Thai women are conservative
  • Don’t be overly affectionate in public.
  • Don’t sunbathe nude. This is offensive to most Thai people
  • Don’t touch a Thai person’s head or ruffle their hair. Apologize if you accidentally touch somebody’s head.
  • Don’t place your feet on the table while sitting, don’t point to anything with your feet and don’t touch anybody with your feet
  • Don’t raise your voice or lose your temper
  • Don’t be offended by questions about age, marital status or what you do for a living. These are subjects that will often come up in small-talk.
  • Don’t take Buddha images out of the country. Strictly speaking it is against the law to take or send Buddha images out of the country unless special permission has been granted.
  • Don’t overstay your visa.