Things To Know Before Traveling To Thailand: DOs and DON’Ts List

Vacationing in Thailand offers an incredibly unique experience!   Thailand is a wondrous kingdom, featuring awe-inspiring ancient ruins and Buddhist Temples, breathtaking beaches and islands, exotic wildlife, exquisite Thai cuisine, and kind people who exemplify Thailand's reputation as the "Land of Smiles".           Monk Smile     Thai culture is incredibly warm and welcoming and typically, Thais will not show overt displeasure at someone violating their cultural norms, however they will appreciate you delving into their local customs and practices, so we've created a list of things you should know before traveling to Thailand.   DON'T show disrespect to the Thai Royal Family!  Thai people have a true and deep feeling of love and respect for their King, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).  Criticism of the king and royal family is against the law and any lack of respect towards any members of the royal family, past or present, is a punishable offence taken very seriously.   DO stop when you hear the Thai hymn.  The Thai hymn plays everyday at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.  To show respect, stop and stand still.   DO treat monks with the highest respect, and DON'T touch a monk!  That type of contact is forbidden.   DON'T cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk.   DO remove your shoes before entering a temple or if entering someone's home.     Shoes Off Please     DON’T dress inappropriately when entering a temple or religious shrine!  Be sure your shoulders are covered, wear below the knee length dresses or skirts, and no shorts are allowed.   DO respect all Buddha images.  Buddha images are sacred and sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment.   DON'T point your feet toward anyone when sitting.  Feet are considered the less sacred part of the body.  Sit cross-legged or on your knees, keeping your feet behind you or out of view.   DO lower your body slightly when passing in front or in between people.   DON'T touch a person's head!  Thais regard the head as the most sacred part of the body and cannot be touched!   DO wai.  The wai (pronounce like why) is the traditional gesture of greeting and thanking in Thailand.  It is done by joining both hands in front of the chest and slightly bowing your head forward.  You can wai to any one who wais to you first, except if this person is working for you or this person is a child, in those cases, just smile.  You can also wai as a way to apologize.     Wai & Smile     DON'T shout!  Keep calm no matter what the problem or provocation may be.  Thai people consider it to show lack of discipline and frown upon this type of behavior.   DON'T litter!  It is illegal and you will be fined!   DON'T smoke!  Smoking is also illegal and you will be fined!   DO smile a lot and enjoy yourself!  Thais like life to be sanuk (fun, striving to achieve satisfaction and pleasure from whatever you do).     fun; striving to achieve satisfaction and pleasure from whatever you do     DO try and learn a few basic phrases in Thai.  English is widely spoken in Thailand, but simple phrases like, "Hello" Sa-wat-dee Kraup (or Kah woman) and "Thank you" Kop Khun Kraup (or Kah for a woman) will be an effort greatly appreciated by the local Thai people.   Do you have any other DOs and DON'Ts you'd like to share with our readers?  Write them in the comments below!

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