Getting with Thailand
As when you are coming into any unfamiliar society, a visitor may find it helpful to be aware of certain do’s and don’ts and thus avoid giving accidental offense. Basically, most of these are simply a matter of common sense and good manners-not really all that different from the way one would behave in one’s own country but a few are special enough to be pointed out.
Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for their Royal Family, and a visitor should also be careful to show respect for the King and the Queen and the Royal Children. In a cinema, for example, all the audience is must stand up to show respect to the portrait of the King while is playing the national anthem.
- When visiting a religious place Dress neatly. Don’ t go shirtless, shorts or other unsuitable attire. Buddhist priests are forbidden to touch by a woman.
- Don’ t wear shoes inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept.
- All Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, are regarded as sacred object. Don’ t climb up on one to take a photograph.
- Thai social behavior are less clearly defined than those concerning the monarchy or religion. However, what is acceptable in Bangkok may be much less so in the countryside where the conservative still strong. There are a few things to keep in mind: ? Thais don’ t normally shake hand when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture calls a Wai.
- It’s considered rude to point your foot to show anything to anyone.
- Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, both literally, and figuratively. As a result they don’ t approve of patting anyone there, even in a friendly gesture. Thais usually call “Khun” (Mr.,Mrs.,or Miss………….) follow by the name instead of calling surname like western style.
DO respect Thai customs. While Thais are generally forgiving towards visitors disrepect towards images of Buddha or the Royal Family will not be tolerated.
DO remove your shoes when entering a Thai home. This is not only a religious custom but also has practical consequences. It is also rude to point your feet at anyone or use your feet to make any sort of indication.
DO show respect at all times for Buddhism and anything associated with the Buddhist religion. Shorts, sleeveless, and slippers are unacceptable when entering Buddhist temples.
DO ensure you have adequate travel insurance and that it covers both medical treatment and unexpected losses/expenses/theft.
DO follow common sense health precautions and check with your local doctor on current vaccination recommendations for travelling within Thailand.
DO take care of your valuables at all times and report any loss immediately to the nearest tourist police office.
DO be careful with your passport. Be on guard against pickpockets or inadvertent loss.
DO be careful when driving in Thailand. Only use car hire companies which offer full insurance coverage.
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DON’T do or say anything that may offend the Royal Family. The King and the Royal Family are held in highest regard by Thais. The same behaviour applies to any object – such as money bearing the King’s image.
DON’T export any Buddha images, works of art or antiques.
DON’T initiate a ‘wai’, only reply to one. Do not ‘wai’ servants and children. A ‘Wai’ is the traditional Thai greeting of placing the hands together.
DON’T drink the tap water. Bottled water is available everywhere.
DON’T carry anything through customs for anyone else unless you know the contents. Penalties for drug trafficking are severe.
DON’T buy gemstones or jewellery unless it is from a reputable dealer. Many sophisticated scams have sprung up over recent years. Whether the tout is dressed as a student, a monk or a policeman, identity card and all deal only with a registered gemstone dealer.
DON’T overstay. Fines are imposed for each day you stay in Thailand beyond the date of the visa expiry, currently Baht 200 per day.