Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Thailand donts:
  • Do not ask about the other’s family until a certain level of familiarity has been established.
  • Do not ask on Thai people income, the kind of house they live in, or questions of personal nature - Thai people are quite sensitive to being embarrassed.
  • Do not disrespect the Thai Royal Family (it is against the law-it can get you in  prison), religion  or monks, it is deeply offended.
  • Do not point an index finger at the person you speak to -  it is considered bad form.
  • Do not talk too loudly, it is impolite.
  • Do not hold your hand with fingers up, it is considered rude.
  • Do not clap, snap your fingers or a Thai this is the way you call for the attention of a dog, not a human.
  • Do not 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 point to things with your feet, hold doors open with your feet, point your feet to the Buddha images, point at or touch peoples' heads,  or under any circumstance, touch monks.
  • Do not throw things before someone else is considered extremely rude.
  • 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 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. However, this doesn't mean that stores won’t sell them to you. They will sell them to you, but won’t necessarily tell you about the regulations.
  • Do not participate in any form of gambling. Gambling is against the law in Thailand and penalties are very severe!
  • Do not get involved with anything or anyone about drugs. Do not take any packages through Thai customs for anybody! If you are caught carrying drugs, you risk the death penalty or life in prison. So be warned!
Thailand dos:
  • Do keep your hand horizontal, fingers facing down, when hailing taxis. Holding your hand with fingers up is considered rude. The same when you beckoning waiters or anyone.
  • Do wear long skirts or trousers, have shoulders covered, when visiting temples.
  • Do remove your shoes and hat when entering temples.
  • Do sit either cross-legged, or with your feet tucked behind you towards Buddha.  The feet are considered the lowest, dirtiest part of the body.
  • Do remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody’s house and even some shops.
  • Do bear in mind, it is common to see friends of same sex hold hands. It indicates close friendship and nothing sexual in nature.
  • Do eat with a spoon. Use the fork to load food on to the spoon.
  • Do bear in mind, that Thai people are generally not punctual nor do they pay a lot of attention to deadlines.
  • Do lower your body slightly when passing between or in front of people
  • Do be very careful about touching members of the opposite sex. That should be avoided unless it’s not possible to do so (on a bus...).
  • Do treat monks with the highest respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of a woman.
  • Do bear in  mind, that Thais consider saying "no" to a request a very uncomfortable thing to do and as such try to avoid doing so.  Instead of simply saying "no", they will tell you "Yes, but ...".
  • Do respect all Buddha images. Buddha images are held sacred and sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors.

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