One of the most desired destinations to explore from around the world, Thailand, has been on many people’s bucket lists, and without a doubt, we do not blame them.
Also known as the Land of Smiles, there are indeed a lot of amazing things to do in Thailand one can experience and enjoy. From temple-hopping to eating the best cuisine in the world, you will not run out of things to do.
In this post, however, we will be covering what not to do in Thailand when you visit. It might be noteworthy to keep these in mind before visiting this marvelous country!
Top 10 What NOT to do in Thailand When You Visit
Not reading about Thai culture first
It is only fair and useful to read a little bit about every country you’re planning to travel to before you go. Learning a little bit about Thai culture will give you a better understanding of how to act accordingly as a tourist without disrespecting the locals or anything they believe in.
There might be some things you won’t agree with, but this is the beauty of travel, you’ll always learn something new.
Point your feet at someone
The Thais believe that the feet are the dirtiest part of the body and find it rude if you come inside the house with your shoes on and as well considered ill-mannered if you point it at another person.
Make sure to avoid doing this purposely or accidentally. The same thing applies when you visit temples, do not point your feet or face the soles of your feet to any of the Buddha’s.
This goes without saying but sometimes the language barrier can cause distress, and this is to be expected at some point. Regardless of how bad it gets or whatever stressful situation you might be in unless you’re being harassed, there’s no need to create an argument that ends up you disrespecting the locals. This, of course, applies to any country you visit and not just Thailand.
Showing disrespect towards the King and the Royal Family
In Thailand, you can go to prison if you insult the King or the Royal Family. The longest recorded punishment for someone who posted six Facebook updates saying ill things towards the King was 30 years. There have been reports where foreigners were given ten years’ time in jail for publicly insulting the King and members of the Royal Family.
Driving a scooter without a proper license
If you are planning to rent a scooter or a motorcycle, it is by law that you not only need an international driver’s license but also a motorcycle license stamp on it (not just a normal car).
Not only it is important to have one before coming to Thailand to avoid unnecessary fees when you get caught, but a lot of travel insurance won’t cover your accident cost if you do not have the correct documents whilst riding a scooter without a license.
Also, there are a lot of police checkpoints all over the big cities, and the fee can go between 200 to 500 baht. That said, the standard fee is 200 baht and must be paid at the police station and not at the policemen on the checkpoints (that is a bribe otherwise).
Touching people’s head
The head, in Thailand, is considered the cleanest part of the body, and touching strangers’ heads is deemed rude, so avoid doing this.
Touch the Monks
In general, a Monk can’t touch ladies. If they do, they have to go through a long cleansing process, so if you’re a woman, make sure to be careful not to accidentally touch them. However, regardless of your gender, you should not touch a Monk if you see them walking around. It is rude to touch strangers without their permission anyway, and they are no exception.
Not wearing enough clothing at temples
It is important to cover your shoulders up to your knees if you plan to visit temples, and this rule applies to both men and women. A lot of famous temples will not let you in if you’re wearing a tank top and short shorts.
However, a lot of temples do offer sarongs to cover yourself up, but not a lot of them do, either. Make sure to bring either a scarf or a sarong with you if you plan to visit temples in Thailand.
Participating in animal tourism
There have been big protests against animal cruelty in Thailand, and this usually revolves around its use of Elephants and Tigers for tourism. We highly suggest to avoid unethical travel and do not participate in animal tourism.
Two of the main things a lot of tourists usually go to that we suggest not to take part in is elephant riding, fake elephant sanctuaries (you need thorough research, but we recommend Elephant Nature Park), and anything that has to do with Tiger showing such as the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai.
Bargaining is fun, but there is a limit to it. Yes, locals might inflate the prices if they see you’re a foreigner but usually not by much, and depending on the product or souvenirs you want to buy, these normally do not cost much in the first place even if the price is doubled. You can always try bargaining, but, honestly, you’ll be just wasting your time if the price is low after conversion.