Thailand is a very culture rich country and still holds onto their cultural values and beliefs. Though it is not as strict as it used to be, there are still several points that you should try to avoid in order to show respect.
Here are some of the most common dos and don’ts in Thailand:
- Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. You may see westernized young Thai’s holding hands in public, but that is as far as it goes, in polite society.
- Topless bathing may be considered acceptable in your own country, but is inappropriate in Thailand.
- Thai’s consider the head as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively. As a result they don’t approve of touching anyone on the head, even as a friendly gesture.
- It is considered rude to point the sole of your foot at another person, so try to avoid doing so when sitting opposite someone, and following the concept that the foot is the lowest limb, don’t point your foot to show anything to anyone.
- Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman wants to give anything to a monk or novice, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it. In case the woman wants to present it with her hand, the monk or novice will spread out a piece of saffron robe, and the woman will lay down the gift on the material.
- It is alright to wear shoes whilst walking around the grounds of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the Buddha image is kept. Women should ensure that their legs and shoulders are covered before entering a Buddhist temple. Please do not wear shorts.
- Thai people have a deep traditional reverence for the Royal Family. The visitor should also show respect for the King and the Queen, and the Royal family. When attending a public event where a member of the Royal Family is present, the best guide on how to behave is to watch the crowd and do as it does.