Traveling to Thailand means visiting a country that highly venerates its monarchy and Buddhism. Some notes below will help you have a smooth and fortunate trip to this Southeast Asian nation.
Thailand captivates tourists not only with its famous landmarks, delicious cuisine, but also with its hospitality. Thai people are extremely friendly and hospitable, yet they have their own communication and cultural etiquette. Understanding these prohibitions while traveling in Thailand will be very beneficial for you.
1. Avoid touching someone’s head
Thai culture prohibits women from directly handing anything to monks. If you wish to give something to a monk, it should be passed through a man or the monk using a cloth to receive the object. Therefore, in crowded places, be cautious about touching the shoulders of monks. Moreover, it is considered disrespectful to touch someone’s head as Thais regard the head as the most sacred part of the body. Hence, refrain from patting or touching children’s heads or patting the shoulders or back of others, as these gestures can be perceived as offensive.
2. No topless in public areas
In Thailand, being topless in public is considered an illegal act and can lead to fines if caught without clothing on. Therefore, when traveling in Thailand, especially in hot weather, be mindful not to go shirtless in public areas.
3. Remove shoes before entering houses, temples, or royal palaces
Thais believe that the threshold of a house is where spirits reside, so avoid stepping on it and remove your shoes before entering a house or temple.
4. Do not point at people or objects with feet
One of the most prohibited actions when traveling in Thailand is never using feet to point at people or objects, especially avoiding sitting cross-legged while communicating. According to Thai belief, this is considered impolite as feet are considered the lowest part of the body. Therefore, be mindful not to position your feet towards Buddha statues when sitting indoors.
5. Be careful when talking about the Royal Family
Thais highly respect the Royal Family, so be cautious when talking about them. Thailand is a country with many temples and strict laws, especially regarding matters related to the Royal Family. Absolutely refrain from mocking or joking about the king or any members of the royal family, as it may result in severe penalties.
6. Do not use the left hand to pass items to others
Thais believe that the right hand is noble while the left hand is considered impure. Therefore, when presenting souvenirs to guests, use your right hand to show respect. Additionally, Thais are sensitive about pointing their feet towards others, considering it disrespectful.
7. Do not display affection in public
While in Thailand, avoid showing affection between men and women or attempting to court a Thai woman in public places, as it may lead to unintended consequences.
8. Avoid wearing short skirts in the Palace
You can freely visit temples or royal palaces when traveling in Thailand, but pay attention to the dress code, especially for women; avoid wearing short clothes or dresses when entering temples. Dress modestly, respectfully, and refrain from wearing flip-flops.
According to some studies, Thai prohibitions originate from the spiritual life of people and have a significant impact on their lives. Therefore, pay attention to these prohibitions while traveling in Thailand to avoid any inconvenience.
Source: Compiled from the Internet.