Some notable customs that tourists should pay attention in Thailand.
Do not talk about the King
Once you have arrived in Thailand, you will soon realize that the people here are very respectful of the King. This is evident through his image everywhere. The Thai people are very sensitive to anything showing disrespect to the King. To avoid this, it is best not to mention the King in any way. Also, do not step on coin or money because it contains the image of the King, and that action is considered an insult.
Do not touch the head
Never touch anyone’s head in Thailand (including children), even if you did not intend to 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 of someone on public transport, try to adjust your feet slightly to the side.
Dressing polite when coming to temple
When you visit any temple, monastery, pagoda, palace or any religious place, it is important for you to wear a shirt with sleeves and cover your knee to show the respect. Long sleeves and trousers are the safest clothing to avoid being judged as culturally inadequate. Also, when entering these locations you should check if other people take off their shoes. If so, you should also follow.
Be careful with some massage services
In Thailand there is a wide range of massage services at affordable prices, 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 almost certain that the shop is a brothel.
Take off your shoes
When visiting someone’s home or visiting temples, religious sites, you should be aware of whether it is a good idea to take off your shoes. If so, then take your shoes off as a way of showing respect. Another thing to keep in mind is never to step into the threshold when you visit a home because they believe it is where the souls of the deceased life.
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 a lightly bow and hands are pressed against each other in the style of a prayer in front of the chest. There are many strict rules in using Wai so it is the best that the foreigners 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. The foreigners using Wai in the wrong way can put Thai people in a difficult situation.
Eat with spoon
This is something Western visitors need to get acquainted with. Direct usage of the fork in order to eat is considered rude in Thailand. Always remember to eat with a spoon, the fork is only used to put food in the spoon. If you do not want to get bypassers looking at you while you are eating, remember this.
Monks in Thailand
There are some rules when dealing with monks in Thailand. It will be very easy to meet monks in the street and they are very open. Women should never touch the monks or their robes, even outside of the temple. If a woman touches them, the monks will have to do a cleansing ceremony. If a woman wants to give something to a monk, it is best to put it on the floor or give it to a man so that they can hand it over to the monk.
Stop at 8 am and 6 pm
In Bangkok, the national anthem is played every day at 8 am and 6 pm. If you are in public at these two times, show respect by stopping things and standing still until the song ends. If you are sitting, stand up when the song resounds. Do not be the only one who continues to walk while all other Thai people stand still for reverence.
Keep a gentle attitude
Thailand is called “the land of smiles”, and it is not without reason. Thai people are very friendly and they will try to limit the collision to the lowest level. People who express anger or initiate conflict, especially in public, will be considered poorly-informed. Always keep a calm and gentle attitude, even when facing serious situations.
Hope enjoy your time in Thailand!
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