Obviously, every country has their own culture, behavior and beliefs. When travelling anywhere, you should do your homework about your destination country before you go there. Now, here you are in Thailand, an attractive country in Southeast Asia which might have a different culture from your own. So here are six Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand that will guarantee you an impressive trip.
Don’t: Touch someone on the head or lift your feet up too high.
Even though the head and feet are part of your body and it doesn’t seem to matter if you put them on anything you want, they have a different value in Thai beliefs. For Thais, the head has been considered the highest and holiest part of the body since the Ayutthaya era. In those days, headdress accessories represented one’s dignity and the feet were considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body because in the old days, most Thais didn’t wear shoes so their bare feet would get dirty with dust, soil, mud and anything else on the ground. So you should be aware of where you put your feet.
Don’t: Disrespect anything to do with Buddhism and sacred things that Buddhists believe.
Wherever you’re from, you need to be mindful when you are in Buddhist temples or near Buddha images in Thailand. As we know, 95 per cent of Thai people are Buddhists, so it’s clear that Buddhism is a very big part of Thai culture.
A problem can arise if someone who is unfamiliar with Buddhism doesn’t understand cultural differences, especially in Thailand. For example, no one minds if you want to pose creatively and take photos beside a statue of an Olympus god or a statue of a character from the bible, but don’t do it with a Buddha statue in Thailand because any representation of Buddha is considered a sacred object that you should respect, so act properly in its presence.
There are many diverse beliefs in Thailand, so don’t be surprised if you see Thais worshipping a tree with multicoloured fabric or a statue of a boy with a top knot hairstyle. If you see something with joss sticks on it, you should behave respectfully.
Don’t: Be overly affectionate in public.
If you see younger Thai couples holding hands, it is a simple thing that can be seen in Thai society but you will never see any Thai couple kissing in the middle of the shopping mall or in a public area because expressing affection in public is an embarrassing thing in Thailand.
Do: These things before entering Thai Temple
- Dress properly: your clothes might cause trouble for you if you dress as you like and enter Thai temples in that way because it might be seen as inappropriate. Just be mindful before walking through the temple gate, check whether your clothes cover your shoulders and knees and if you’re a woman, make sure that they cover your breasts too.
- ● Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol
- ● Take off your shoes before entering buildings
- ● Avoid pointing at Buddha images.
- ● Do not let yourself be higher than the Buddha image and the monks.
Do: Respect elders and show respect.
One aspect of Thai culture you should know about is the importance of seniority; Thais are serious about this. If you meet a Thai and you are sure that he/she is older than you, you should be respectful in your speech, gestures and manner. Being polite in everything you do will make you beloved.
and don’t forget Do: Wear your face mask and wash your hands.