Every country differs from another by the language, culture, and people who live there. Considering all that, it isn’t so strange that the rules and customs aren’t always the same as we used them to be. Sometimes there are entirely reasonable but sometimes very unusual. In that honor, here are the twelve things you should know before you visit Thailand.
- Be careful what you do with your feet.
Legs are the dirtiest parts of the body for Thais; therefore it is very reckless as a tourist to lift or point your feet at them. Be very careful. You can end up in prison in some parts of the country for that mistake.
- Never throw their money or stand on it.
The pictures of the royal family are present on banknotes, and if you throw cash or step on it, you are showing disregard for something they value very much.
- Never touch the head of the Thai.
The man’s head is sacred in Thailand, and any touching or tapping on the head can easily be misunderstood. If you work with small children, be especially careful. The habit of people in the world to praise the child by touching him on the head means a hell of a trouble.
- Respect the monks.
If you want to ask them something, avoid personal questions. If you want to give them something, drop it in front of them without handing it directly. Under no circumstances touch them. This mainly applies to the female population, because they are strictly forbidden to come into contact with women. If you touch a monk or his clothes in any way, quickly swing your head and apologize because you do not offend only them, but also their faith.
- Be ready to pay more.
A commonly known fact in the world is that people over-charge foreigners at tourists places. However, in Thailand, they do not even hide it. Unlike the Thai people who do not pay the entrance to the temple, you will, and not so symbolic the price.
- Do not point your fingers over to people or buildings.
This pointing especially applies to temples. Both can be very rude. If you forget, you should immediately apologize.
- Cover your hands and feet when you visit the temples.
During the exploration of the city, you will probably encounter beautiful temples. Do not even try to get inside if you don’t have appropriate attire. It is a big insult to them, so be prepared by always carrying a lightweight shirt or scarf in your bag, which you can quickly put over your shoulders and hide your hands or legs above your knees.
- Always return ‘wai.’
‘Wai’ is a characteristic greeting for Thai people, and if someone greets you, it’s convenient to return the greeting. Putting your hands in the position of praying and slowly nod with your head. If you want to greet the monk, it would be nice to bow down to him, with hands in the same position.
- Traffic is hazardous.
Statistically, 80 people per day lose their lives in Thailand due to very poor traffic safety regulations. Drunk and unqualified tourists only add to that terrible figure, so, be very cautious.
- The food is delicious, but there are some dishes that you should avoid.
Food in Thailand will be more than what you have ever expected, but many restaurants do not have an adequate translation and photo in their menus, so you do not know what you are ordering. If you order ‘Kai Yiew Ma’ you will be served eggs marinated in horse urine, or ‘Goong Ten’ which is a salad with live shrimps. It isn’t shaming to aks.
- Alcohol is sold only at a specific time of day.
Yes, you heard that very well. If you want to buy alcohol in a store before 11 am or between 2 pm and 5 pm, that won’t happen. This does not mean that you can’t drink during these hours, you can in bars and restaurants, you just can’t buy in bulk.
- Girls in the bars are not always girls.
Be attentive if you want to follow a known rule ‘When I’m in Rome…’ Girls are not as they appear, and sometimes they aren’t even girls. Nothing is as it seems.