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Thailand is seen to many as a promised land. A country full of rich culture, fantastic food, bustling cities, a verdant north and island's that are like the paradise you'd imagined. Thailand get's the nickname as 'The Land of Smiles' and with it's warming and welcoming culture, it's not difficult to see why. But in any country, there are limitations, and some more than others. Whilst you're travelling Thailand, you'll no doubt experience the best attractions and places Thailand has to offer, it is important to familiarise yourself with what NOT to do in Thailand.
Remember, you're in another nations country, so it's important to respect what these religious, cultural and lawful practices stand for. You may be having too much fun to think about any restrictions, but if you really love Thailand then you should remember some of these things.
Using your feet
This is extremely impolite, as in Thai culture the feet are the dirtiest part of the body. No-one wants to see you pointing your feet at someone, putting them on the back seats of the bus or any other unorthodox position.
Wearing footwear indoors
You are not at home, you are in Thailand. You'll see everyone leaves there shoes outside, normally at the doormat. This should be automatic everytime you approach a door and you're about to enter.
Tap or touch your head
The cleanest and most holy part of the body, the head should be left alone. Unless you're really comfortable with someone, touching or patting the head is forbidden. Even if it is just a sign of congratulations or applauding, don't do it.
Monks are sacred to Thai culture and live a life a lot different from ours. Women are not allowed to touch monks at all, and men have to still keep their distance from monks. In Thailand, there is nothing higher positioned than monks and their devotion to Buddhism.
Make fun of religious relics or monuments
It goes without saying doesn't it? A big part of Thailand culture is the religion that goes with. Disrespecting any relics, statues or monuments is not something that will go down well with Thai culture.
Dress appropriately at temples
Covering your shoulders and knees is a must when entering some temples. If you don't adhere, you will be refused entry. Long pants or a top with sleeves is ideal.
Taking your clothes off because is hot is a no no
We know you think it is hot in Thailand and the most common thing you feel would be to take your top off. We assure you, it's a big no-no in Thai culture, especially if you're walking around lit up areas like villages, cities and towns. Keep your top on, and try to handle the heat.
Don't talk about the King
Talking about the King is like walking on egg shells. Try to refrain from any conversation about the King, even in a joking or good sense. This is huge disrespect to the monarch and Thai culture if you did. Right now, Thailand is still in mourning.
Do not damage anything that resembles Thai flag
This can be the case in any country, but do not decimate nor damage the Thai flag. Doing this, is disrespect to Thailand and you might be arrested for this. I mean, why would you want to do that anyway? If you don't like Thailand, don't come here!
Try not to raise your voice
Thai culture practices quiet, reasonable and gentle communication and talking. Keep your voice down in places that are authentically Thai.
Keep clean even if you are a seasoned traveller
You may have travelled for years, through hell and high-water, but it doesn't make a difference here. Keep clean and being dirty can be disrespectful to some Thai's.
Give money to street children selling gifts
Unfortunately as our instincts tell us it may be helping the child, but ultimately it keeps them being a slave of selling to tourists. The less sales they make overall will help prevent the market for local street children selling in the future.
Making out isn't common here!
Have a look around you, do you see many locals holding hands, kissing or even hugging? It isn't exactly the culture here so try to keep your hands off each other in public. I know there are temptations when travelling Thailand, but keep it behind closed doors please!