Thailand Do’s and Don’ts

Thailand Do's and Don't's


  • always be respectful about Buddhism. Dress correctly in Temples (wear sleeves, do not wear short pants etc.). Don’t sit on Buddha images if you want to be photographed. Sit before the image then. That is perfectly all right. You will insult Thai people deeply if you offend Buddhism in these ways.
  • always speak respectfully about HM The King and HM The Queen. They are respected deeply by the Thai people and not without reason! The King is the initiator of many programs to replace opium culture by vegetable culture and you find “Royal Projects” all over the Country (especially in the North) where you can see the results of this work.
  • always be respectful to the elderly, in every situation. If you are bargaining at the market with a seller who is obviously older than you, or if you are bargaining with a tuk-tuk driver who is older than you, do this in a polite way, with a smile on your face and don’t be rude. (Apart from being considered to be a polite person, as a bonus you will see the result in the price.
  • All wat’s (temples) require visitors to dress modestly, and most beaches are not nude (unless a large number of Europeans happen to be visiting). Do not use your left hand to pass things to another person. A “wai” is a greeting where you press your hands together. Be respectful of the country’s ecology in the mountains and on the beaches.

Do not:

  • point at people or things with your feet. This is considered as highly impolite, as the feet are considered as the most inferior parts of the human body. And do not sit on the floor of a Temple with your feet pointing at the Buddha Image!
    touch the heads of children, even if you may see this as a form of caressing. The head is considered as the most superior part of the body, and touching this part is not a privilege for foreigners!
  • be too familiar in public, even if you are married. So don’t kiss in public, don’t walk with your arms around each other. These things are considered very impolite in Thailand.
  • shout in public (to anybody). If you want to argue with your wife or with your children, do this in the privacy of your hotel room and not in public! You will loose much of your respect if you do things like this in public. You will -for the same reason- loose much of your respect if you find you should punish your children in public