If you are planning to go to Thailand to work or take a vacation, you have to learn about the country’s dos and don’ts. This will help you know the things to avoid. When you know what to do and what to avoid, you can easily adjust to Thailand’s culture, traditions, and environment. You won’t have to think about your actions because you are certain that such behavior is fine with the people in Thailand. Also, learning these things beforehand will help you set your expectations and adjust as early as now. This is good especially if you are thinking to stay in Thailand for the long-term.
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In this blog, we shared most of the general dos and don’ts to help you figure out the things to avoid and the things you can freely do in Thailand. This will help you regulate your behavior once you are in Thailand already. Also, this will serve as your guide so that by the time you fly to Thailand, you already armed yourself with the knowledge that you can use to interact with people in Thailand.
How to Behave when you visit Thailand?
To behave in Thailand, you should first know the dos and don’ts. These things will help you understand why people are not doing things. This will avoid misunderstanding between you and a Thai when you are engaged in a conversation. Also, knowing these things that affect your behavior can help you easily adapt to your new environment.
So, what are the dos and don’ts in Thailand?
Dos in Thailand
The dos in Thailand will help you become comfortable in Thailand. So, even if this is your first time going to this country, knowing these dos is a good way to start.
- Do remove your shoes before entering someone’s house or a temple. This is common in Asia. In Thailand, people also leave their shoes outside their houses or temples. There are also some restaurants and businesses that will ask you to remove your shoes when entering the premises. If you are unsure about this practice, you may look outside the house if there are shoes and slippers piled in front or in the corner. If you have a chance there’s a chance that you can wear simple shoes, do so.
- Do use your right hand in Thailand. In this country, your left hand usually entails toilet functions. This means that left hands are frequently regarded as dirty. So, when passing objects, do use your right hand. Also, use your right hand when paying.
- Do respect monks. Monks are considered highly religious people in Thailand. They represent like that of priests in Catholics. So, if you see a monk while you are in Thailand, show you respect but don’t expect that the monk will return your gesture. If you are a woman, you should never touch a monk or his robe. It’s also not a practice to hand something to a monk. You will see a lot of monks in Thailand, some use their smartphones and are inside cafes.
- Do return a wai. In Thailand, a wai is a prayer-like gesture where your hands are together in front and a slight bow is done. Returning a wai means respecting the religion or sacredness in the country. It’s considered impolite if you don’t do it. In Thailand, only the monks and the king are not required to return wais.
- Do eat with a spoon. It’s best practice in Thailand to eat with a spoon. It’s good for you to enjoy Thai food with your spoon on your right hand and on your left hand. Thais also use chopsticks to eat noodles and spring rolls.
- Do smile. Thais always smile whenever they can. If someone smiles at you, do return the smile as this is a gesture of friendship.
Don’ts in Thailand
Now, let’s go to the “don’ts” in Thailand. These don’ts are the things you should avoid.
- Don’t point your feet at someone. This is a basic etiquette in Thailand. The things you should avoid with your feet are raising them above someone’s head, putting your feet on a desk, and putting your feet on a chair. This kind of behavior is rude in the country.
- Don’t point at someone. It looks like pointing at someone, whether using your fingers or feet, is really rude in Thailand. So, when speaking to someone, avoid pointing your finger at him/her. Instead of using some of your fingers, use your palm to motion something to the person you are talking to. Use your entire hand, not just your fingers.
- Don’t disrespect the king. Whether it’s the king himself or his pictures, don’t disrespect the king. Always show your respect to him. You will see the king in Thai baht. If you tried to disrespect the king, it’s possible for you to get jailed for it.
- Don’t touch someone’s head or hair. If feet are considered the lowest points of the body, the head and hair are considered the highest. So, whether it’s the kid’s hair or someone is sleeping on the floor, avoid their hair and heads.
- Don’t lose your control over something. If you are angry, don’t lose your cool. You will be respected if you keep your emotions down during a heat in the conversation. Also, there are rules of saving face in countries in Asia like Thailand and Hong Kong. Make sure to read those rules before you go to Thailand.
- Don’t throw money. It’s rude to throw money in front of someone. Aside from money, avoid throwing objects as well. Hand over the objects or the money to properly give them to someone else.
Now that you have the dos and don’ts, put it all together and remember them before and after you have moved to Thailand. Relocation might be challenging and hard at first but once you know all the possible changes, the country’s culture, laws, and regulations. Use this blog as your guide so that whenever you are confused about what to do.