Thailand is always one of the world famous tourist destinations for all kinds of tourists. This is also a paradise for vacation and especially the service of Thai people is always great. However, Thailand has many differences in culture, in particular, when compared to the Westerns, in term of the customs and social norms. No one wants to make a behavioral mistake in a foreign country. Therefore, to avoid falling into the dilemma when wandering in Thailand, you should keep in mind some of the following.
Never talking about the King
Once you are in Thailand, you will soon realize that the people here are very respectful to the King. This is obviosly because his images are everywhere. Thai people are very sensitive to anything that shows disrespect to the King. To avoid this, you had better not mention the King in any way. Also, do not step on coins or notes because of the King image on the front of those and that action is considered an insult.
Do not touch the head
Never touch anyone’s head in Thailand (including children), even if you do not really intentionally do it. You should also know that the head is considered a sacred thing in Thailand. Similarly, try to avoid pointing your legs at others. This action is considered disrespectful, so if you sit opposite someone on public transport, try to adjust your feet slightly to one side.
Dress appropriately when visiting temple
Traveling to Thailand, when visiting any temple, monastery, pagodas, palace or any other religious place, the most important thing is dressing clothes that fall lower than your knees and cover your arms, for respect. Long sleeves and trousers are the safest attire to avoid being judged as culturally impaired. Also, when entering these locations you should check if other people have taken off their shoes if so, you should do the same.
Be careful with some massage services
In Thailand there are vast of affordable massage service, so do not hesitate to experience once (or many times) during your trip. But be careful with any massage parlor with a sign saying “Happy girls” or anything related to girls or women. This is may be a brothel.
Take off your shoes
When visiting someone’s home or visiting religious sites, you should consider whether or not you have to take off your shoes. If so, take off your shoes as showing respect. One more thing to notice is never to step right into the doorway because they believe it is where the souls of the deceased lives.
Wai is an important part of the Thai customs and habits used to express gratitude, apologize, greeting or goodbye … This is a gesture that consists of hands pressing lightly against each other like praying in front of the chest and lightly bowing or nod. There are many strict rules in using Wai so foreigner should avoid doing this even if someone greets you with a Wai. In most cases, a smile or nod is the safest way for visitors to greet. Foreigners using Wai in the wrong way can put Thai people in a difficult situation.
Eat with a spoon not a folk
This is something Western visitors need to get used to. Using a fork directly for food is considered rude in Thailand. You should always remember to eat with a spoon. If you do not want to get into dilemmas while you are eating, you should keep this in mind.
Monks in Thai
There are some rules when dealing with monks in Thailand. You will be very easy to meet the monks on the street and they are very open. Women should never touch monks or even their cloak, even outside the temple. If a woman touches, the monk will have to do an ablution ceremony. If a woman wants to give something to a monk, it is better to put it on the floor or give it to the other man so that they can hand it over to the monk.
Stop at 8 am and 6 pm in public
In Bangkok, the national anthem song is played daily at 8 am and 6 pm. If you are in public at that times, show respect by stopping what you are doing and standing still until the song ends. If you are sitting, stand up when the song resounds. Do not become the only one who continues to walk while all other Thai people stand strictly respectfully.
Thailand is called “country of smiles“. Thai people are very friendly and they will try to minimize collisions. People who express anger or initiate conflict, especially in public, will be considered ill-behaved. Always keep a calm, even when faced with serious situations.
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