Thailand is a country of multiple contrasting facets starting from glorious beaches to forests and beautiful sceneries to finger-licking food that will make you want for more. However, it is a country with traditions and customs that you might not be familiar with. If you are planning a trip to Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai, make sure to read the things to know before visiting Thailand to save yourself from an embarrassing situation.
- Don’t touch monks in Thailand
Monks are one of the most highly respected people in Thailand, which is why you should make sure that your actions or words do not displease them. The things not to do in Thailand include making any form of physical contact with monks; especially if you are a woman, as monks are not allowed to touch women. If touched by a woman, monks are required to perform a lengthy cleansing process.
You might even see a few monks exiting an internet cafe or playing games on their phones. However, if a monk approaches you – do not panic! But take advantage of the conversation as this might be your chance to know about their daily life in a temple or anything else that interests you. Another rule in the list of things to avoid in Thailand as a tourist is taking too much interest in their personal lives as it might displease them. Moreover, you should not place yourself in a position above a monk’s. For instance, if a monk is seated, do not stand near them as it puts you in a higher position when you are standing up.
2. Don’t badmouth Thailand’s royal family
Everyone might have their personal opinions, be it about politics or the royal family. You should refrain from sharing your personal opinions in Thailand when it comes to the royal family. Anyone who defames or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent will be punished with a jail term of three to 15 years. Furthermore, even stomping on a Thai coin is considered impolite as coins display images of Thailand’s royal family members and their ancestors. Make sure to read the list of things not to do in Thailand as a tourist before booking your flight to Bangkok, Thailand from SFO, USA.
3. Don’t touch people’s heads in Thailand
Back in your country, you might be used to pat or touch someone’s head to show affection. But when it comes to knowing things to avoid in Thailand, one of the most important things to remember is that you refrain from touching anyone’s head as the head is considered the holiest part of the body. Just like the Thai people, the Chinese consider it disrespectful when you pat or touch their heads. You can learn more about such things to avoid in China.
4. Don’t point your finger or foot at anyone
The moment you land in Thailand from your flight to Phuket from the USA, or any other port of entry, the first and foremost thing you should remember is to not point your finger at anyone, even while calling for a taxi. Moreover, sitting with your foot pointed at someone is considered as disrespectful. It is because the Thai people consider the head as the holiest part of the body and the foot as the dirtiest part. The things not to do in Thailand with your foot also include stepping on the Thai currency and holding a door with your foot.
5. Don’t wear shoes or slippers everywhere
The Thai people have their own customs and traditions and you must know what not to do in Thailand as a tourist, to make sure that you don’t violate anything. Back in your country, you might be used to wearing slippers or shoes everywhere but most homes, temples, restaurants, and shops in Thailand consider it inappropriate. When you see pairs of slippers left outside the main entrance of place in Thailand, do make sure to remove yours before you step into the place.
6. Don’t be careless around Buddha statues
Before booking your flight to Chiang Mai or any other Thai destination, you should know that more than 90% of the people in Thailand practice Buddhism and they highly respect the Buddha in any form. Along with the other things not to do in Thailand, make sure you respect Buddha statues and follow the local customs. While taking pictures of any Buddha statue, people are not allowed to lean on the statue or imitate the pose as it is considered disrespectful.
7. Don’t overstay your visa in Thailand
One of the most obvious things to know before visiting Thailand is not to overstay the duration of your visa. However, if you do, you’ll be fined up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht and on failing to pay the fine, you could be jailed. In addition, Thai immigration can also ban you from entering Thailand for up to 10 years based on the number of days you’ve overstayed.