Do’s and don’ts in Thailand

So you’re either in a new country for vacation or on a long journey. While enjoying your stay, adjusting to your environment will make you feel more comfortable and accepted. Thai are used to foreigners, especially on the known islands in the south. Health is also an important item during your trip. It’s good to know what you should and shouldn’t do before you go to make sure you will feel good in Thailand. So what are the things you should and shouldn’t do in Thailand?

1. Respect the monarchy

Due to tradition kings in Thailand are very respected. The Thai love their kings very much. Therefor it is wise to be careful about what you say about the king in presence of a Thai. When you go to the cinema, don’t let it surprise you that before the movie starts, the national anthem is presented together with a picture of the king. During the national anthem everybody needs to stand up. In the morning and evening the national anthem can also be heard in parks and similar public areas and must be respected by all.

2. Take your shoes off

In Thailand, feet are considered dirty; In a lot of places the shoes need to be taken off and the feet kept on the ground. When entering a house or some shops, you need to take your shoes off. Even in some hotels you might be asked to take take your shoes off before going in.

3. Dress properly

Mind what you wear when you visit a Thai temple. For both sexes the shoulders and knees should be covered. The more formal your dress, the better it is. Learn what to wear in Thailand, including easy and daily clothes before you go.

4. Always bargain

Don’t buy for the first mentioned prices. There is always a margin. However you shouldn’t be too persistent. A little bargaining won’t hurt anybody, as long as the buyer and seller are both happy.

5. Take your vaccine shots

Comparing to countries such as India, Thailand has a good hygiene level. Therefor the risk of diseases trough normal ways is low, but there is a greater risk by sexual intercourse. Especially during rainy seasons, in some parts of Thailand, there is a risk of getting malaria. You can buy tablets for it depending on your travel duration, after consulting your doctor. If your going to spend time in rural areas or plan to do camping like activities, it is wise to get shots for rabies in case of bites from wild animals. Don’t pet all dogs that look cute, they might bite.

6. Don’t take Durian and alcohol at the same time

On every corner in Thailand, you can find Durian. There are some things you need to know about this exotic fruit. Due to its remarkable smell, in some Asian countries, it is forbidden to take Durian in public transport or hotels. But the most important point is that it can be deadly to drink after or while eating Durian, as it makes it hard for the liver to handle the alcohol.

7. Don’t swim in waters with jellyfish

Even though it’s uncommon to get stung by jellyfish in Thailand, everybody who plans to swim or dive, especially in the south region, needs to be aware of jellyfish. If there is a warning sign, don’t swim there. If you still want to swim, check for the nearest first aid point. A box jellyfish can kill you in 90 minutes. If you accidentally get in touch with a jellyfish, stay calm, don’t move so that the venom doesn’t spread and ask for help. On some beaches you can find emergency points where a bottle of vinegar is kept. Vinegar decreases the toxic effect.

8. Don’t touch anybodies head

When you’re in Thailand don’t even touch the head of children. Thai see the head as the most important part of the body. It is not taken well if you touch their head.

9. Don’t point

You may use your hand, but never point your finger to a place or to somebody. This one can be hard for western people as it is very common to point.

10. Don’t lift your feet up

According to Thai etiquette, you cannot put your feet on a table or seat. You should keep your feet on the ground. If your sitting on the ground, keep your feet below or next to you. It is also rude to move something with your feet. As we mentioned earlier, feet are considered dirty.


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