8 Do’s and Don’ts When Visiting Thailand

Thailand Travel, travel, do's and don'ts in Thailand,
Photo credit: @thelmakisela



Thailand is one of those gorgeous country in Asia, and also popular for many tourists worldwide. Lots of beaches, good food including those exotic delicacies (have you tried those fried crickets?), kindest people on Earth, and amazing natural resources. Yet, in spite of its mesmerizing beauty comes with some little contradictions.



As a guest, we must respect 110% the local laws, culture and traditions. Here are some of the few do’s and don’ts if you are going to Thailand for your next trip!

A post shared by T H A I L A N D V I S I T (@thailandvisit) on



When in Thailand, do –

1. Do learn something about Thai culture before you arrive.

2. Do respect all Buddha images, which are held sacred; sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment.

3. Do dress properly when visiting a temple.

4. Do remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody’s house, and even some shops.

5. Make a copy of your passport and keep it with you.

6. Do smile – Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles – and smiles mean many things. So try to smile as much as possible at Thai people and they will return in kind and be friendlier.

7. Do wai – this is Thai greeting made by putting your hands together at chest height and pointing your fingers to the sky, with a small bow of the head. If you are not physically able to do the wai then just do it as best you can, as Thai people will understand.

8. Do bring gifts – try to bring some small present if you are invited to a home, as the Thai people love to make presents to each other.




When in Thailand, don’t –

1. Don’t ever show disrespect towards the Thai Royal Family. Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal family (or else you can be imprisoned under the Draconian lese majeste law).

2. Don’t touch a Thai woman without content. Despite the image portrayed in some bars and clubs, the majority of Thai women are conservative.

3. Don’t touch a Thai person’s head or ruffle their hair. For Thai people it’s the most important part of their body.

4. Don’t place your feet on the table while sitting, don’t point to anything with your feet, and don’t touch anyone with your feet. Don’t step over someone’s legs or feet. In Thailand it is considered very impolite to step-over someone’s outstretched legs or feet.

5. PDA is a no no – Thai people in general do not kiss or make physical contact in public beyond holding hands.

6. Don’t lose your temper or make fun of another in public. Thai people like to save face.

7. Don’t go topless, if you are a woman on the beach. People will pretend not to notice, but some may be deeply offended.

8. Don’t gamble, as it is illegal in Thailand.




Thailand Travel, travel, do's and don'ts in Thailand,


Have you been to Thailand? Share us your stories and experiences on the comment below.


xoxo, Blair

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101 LOVES AND COMMENTS:

  1. I haven't been to Thailand yet but this is on my bucket list. Did you find any thing difficult to follow while you were in Thailand? Thanks for sharing the don'ts, I definitely done't want to offend anybody.

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    1. Not really, am sharing this guide just a reminder because sometimes guests tend to forget things.

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  2. I've been twice to Thailand but didn't know that gambling is illegal. I always smiled there though, so that's good! A nice little list for visiting Thailand.

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  3. Very Informative details of do's and don't in Thailand. Many of these are resembling with customs in India. Thanks for sharing these details and I will keep all in consideration when visiting Thailand.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting Yukti! Also, not all Thai people can speak English but they can understand, just try to speak more quietly and slowly, and use only simple English words.

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  4. Thank god I didnot do any of these mistakes while I was there. I also dont like to be touched on head and Also like to carry gifts while visiting somebody. I guess I have a some Thai DNAs. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha we Asians, somehow shares similar customs :D

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  5. I just returned from a trip to Thailand and totally agree with you. Thai people really respect their king and also their religion. Touching someone's head is a big no-no here in Vietnam as well as Thailand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it makes sense. Our head is very sensitive if we analyze it, one false move and we are dead. I love my head :D

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  6. Thanks. When I visited Thailand I was surprised. While the beach and coastal areas seem quite free, the capital and other interior areas are more conservative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, this country is quite a little complicated, but if you follow their guide and be very mindful you can enjoy Thailand the most. Many expats living in Thailand might have a different views as ours, but still they are not Thai, or even Asian to understand.

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  7. Thailand sounds very much like, especially the cultural sensibilities. I don't think Indians would have a problem with these guidelines since we ourselves follow them. Is the wai the same as the namaste in India?

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    Replies
    1. I think it is similar! people from India are very mindful. I have good friends from India, who moved to Manila to study and yes they are more respectful (than our locals).

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  8. This is immensely usefull. Always looking for cultural etiquette info when I go somewhere but it's not always easy to find.

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  9. Good to know the "rules" for Thailand. I haven't been there yet, but hope to do it next year. Currently concentrated on traveling Europe.

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  10. Great post! I miss Thailand so much, need to go back!

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  11. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Thailand! These are all great points. I remember the smiles and saving face very well. The Thai people are courteous and we should return the favor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Although many "non-Thai, foreigners" doesn't agree that most Thais do smile. I think these grumpy foreigners said so coz the environment doesn't suits them well.

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  12. Thank you for reminding us to be culturally sensible when traveling. I have family living there and know that they have so much respect for the royal family. They are also very religious, buddhist temples are everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. They are naturally friendly as well.

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  13. I wish I had read this before I visited Thailand. Though, I used my common sense and followed much of the Do’s and Don’ts listed here. I didn’t know that Thai people do not like being touched on head. Interesting! I had no idea that it’s a conservative society. I always thought otherwise. Many startling revelations in this blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for appreciating my blog! I will share many Thailand-related guide soon!

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  14. These are good points. I have been to Thailand twice and I loved this country, their culture and their food. Its very important to respect their culture, lifestyles and social manner , not only in Thailand but for any destination one travels too. Good read

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    Replies
    1. I agree. In Asia we shared similar cultures, traditions and values.

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  15. These are very helpful tips for anyone visiting Thailand. I recently visited this beautiful country and I can relate to all these points. Our guide told us a lot about Thai traditions and the do's and don'ts. It's always nice to know about the culture and traditions of a country beforehand.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. And also, it seems that Thailand isn't tolerable on some bad behaviors so it is better to be super mindful.

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  16. Ahh very good tips. I think this will be helpful to a lot of travelers going to Thailand. I haven’t been there yet except a transit in Bangkok, but will keep it in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have a weekend in Thailand. Having this reminder would help many to be mindful, and not dare on certain things especially when you are a visitor.

      Delete
  17. This is so useful! Thanks! I love reading up on etiquettes before visiting a country. It is always a good thing to be polite and respectful - will make for a more enjoyable trip for sure!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, and also a good way to avoid the embarrassing jail time (Thailand is quite strict on that).

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  18. I have never been Thailand. But it is in my list. Thank you for the wonderful points that I shall be taking care proactively.

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    Replies
    1. Hope you will soon. Thailand is one of the beautiful, safest and affordable place to visit :D

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  19. I travelled to Thailand two years ago (a friend of mine was working at the German consulate). It was such a beautiful country. We spent a few days in Chiang Mai. I wish we had spent more time there. It was incredible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thailand will always be there, waiting for your next arrival!

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  20. I feel Thailand is somewhat like India when it comes to customs and traditions. Only in don't list 6th point is little complicated.And in do list 4th point is basic in our country or maybe it is every country. Thanks for the list,pretty sure it is difficult to forget these customs as many of them are same.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, and above all have respect, and you will receive respect as well.

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  21. oooh God! I would love to visit Thailand. It would definitely be a dream come true for me! Your tips would be surely helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Christina! You can have your own Eat, Pray, Love in Thailand :D

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  22. I have never been to Thailand but I think it's common sense that you should respect the culture and religion of a country, no matter which one this is. It's so sweet to know that smiling is so important in Thailand. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah you can't helped it coz everyone smiles. Its a simple gestures that brightens your gloomy day.

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  23. A relative of mine is visiting Thailand next month, she would definitely love the post. Thailand is such a beautiful place to visit. Would love to go there someday.

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  24. I have never visited Thailand but your fact definetly educated me a little bit on the country's culture

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Natalia for appreciating! I will share more Thailand guide soon :D

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  25. I was not aware of all the Don'ts. Some of the DOs, I knew them though. But it is great to have tips on Thailand for when i'll go there! I don't want to offend anyone!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah learning these initial don'ts will save many from spending their holidays in jail :D

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  26. Some useful info there especially with the donts. Is the Thai greeting basically an Indian "Namaste" from what I figured?

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  27. I wouldn't mind going to Thailand one day. I know it's beautiful there. I'll keep your tips in mind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear, you're family will enjoy Thailand, especially the beach.

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  28. Great tips! I have no plans to visit Thailand right now but one day I would love to and it's great to know these things before hand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you do, you can bring your kiddos and they will love it.

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  29. Such a good idea for a post, most of the don't seem like common courtesy and it's sad that it needs to be said not to do these things.
    I'm curious about the gift thing, what would be an idea for the gift to bring when invited to someones home? I'd love to know what people give.

    - Jackie (Organised Mum Life)

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    Replies
    1. Usually for gifts, the best are the famous food from where you came from.

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  30. This is a wonderful list of suggestions for traveling to Thailand. While I have no plans to go in the near future, I will be mindful when I eventually go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning these will impress your Thai friends.

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  31. I agree. I have been to Thailand as it is a buddhist country I completely believe we need to respesct the culture. glad someone has pointed it out

    ReplyDelete
  32. Smiling and bringing gifts are easy things to do. And I'm glad about the PDA. Ha! Too much makes everyone uncomfortable for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thailand is a conservative country, and its not good to show PDA in public, and everyone literally will stares at you (or you might get a violation).

      Delete
  33. Thailand, I've only seen the beauty of thailand from the movies like Anna and the king. Well, it's time to see the thailand personally. Thanks for the heads up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you must visit! It is a totally different world!

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  34. You have great tips and yes, I still remember removing shoes before entering in most of the temples. I was actually quite worried someone would step on my new shoes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Removing shoes are always been practiced in many Asian countries. This is to give respect to the place for their tedious cleaning. In many Thai temples, they will let you borrow a plastic bag to hold your shoes, and return the bag after your visit.

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  35. Thanks for this amazing info. I was planning for a trip to Thailand, and this will surely help me avoid certain embarrassment in that country

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    Replies
    1. Hope you will enjoy Thailand, explore the city and the foods.

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  36. I have not been to Thailand yet, bit your post is quite informative whenever I plan to go. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. I just stumbled upon this blog today and not regretting spending even a minute of my reading time.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thailand would be so very beautiful to visit. This is some really great advice before you visit.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Becca. Hope you can visit Thailand soon.

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  39. This truly was a fascinating read. I knew about the deep respect Thai people have for their Royal family and think it is brilliant - however I didn't realise that gambling was illegal. I have certainly learned a lot from this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it is illegal, even those selling pleasurable toys in the streets.

      Delete
  40. Quite an informative post, thanks for the tips. Will surely keep this in mind if we ever visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thailand and Philippines almost shared similar various, but the Philippines have mixed of Westernized tradition, and Thailand still maintained their old culture

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  41. These are really useful tips as I'm keen to visit Thailand one year. I would definitely want to learn as much as the culture and traditions as possible x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I will share more helpful Thailand guide soon.

      Delete
  42. I went topless in Thailand without an issue...wait...you said for women haha.
    All jokes aside, you give some great pointers of do's and don'ts. I had no idea about how serious touching the top of someone's head is before I went, for example, so it's good to study up and know a bit before you go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha yeah, so beware on touching a Thai's head.

      Delete
  43. Even in some shops, they would ask you to remove shoes? Oh my. hahaha I am queasy. But okay, for the sake of exploring Thailand, will do. Maybe in a couple of years, I can bring the kids. We love to wander!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah there are shops that they would request you to remove your footwear, and will let you borrow a plastic bag. I think its cool.

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  44. Thanks for these tips. I will keep this in mind when I visit Thailand.

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  45. I have never thought of visiting Thailand before. It is way too far way from where I am. It does sound like a nice place to visit though.

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  46. I love Thailand. It's good that you are pointing out some of the no nos. By the way, I find that there is no reason to put your feet on a table anywhere in the world.... ;- ) Did not know that gambling is illegal in Thailand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some do it coz of feeling of too comfortable, but its a common sense - respect to those who tediously clean the chairs, tables, houses, etc.

      Delete
  47. This is very useful information! I must admit I wasn't aware of all the nuances of Thailand customs. Will not this down for my next trip to the amazing Thailand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are just the basics, but will share more specific guide of do's and don'ts soon!

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  48. I have heard so many great things about Thailand. I would love to go there one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bring your kids! Thailand is very family-friendly :D

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  49. I've been in Thailand like 3 yeas ago maybe and Thailand was really great! I agree if we must not show 'disrespect' to the royal family :))

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    Replies
    1. That is true. And if the guests have personal opinions against the royal family, it is wise to never ever say and write about it. Just keep it to themselves.

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  50. Wow thanks for all these tips! I was actually thinking of going to Thailand for my honeymoon so these are amazing tips.

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    Replies
    1. Oh you will feel more LOVE in Thailand. Don't forget to visit some temples and offer wishes for your love-life!

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  51. Having been to this wonderful country with my wife, I can confidently attest to all your tips. They sure dont like too many questions about the royal family either. Guess its a sign of respect! And PDA is definitely out of question at least near the temples!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed your recent trips to Thailand.

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