15 Things NOT to do in Thailand

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Headed to Thailand this holiday season? Be sure not to commit a Thai faux pas! Read on for our Thai Local Expert’s take on 15 things NOT to do in the Land of Smiles:

  1. Do not criticize the King – It’s not only considered impolite, it’s also a crime to disparage the King, the royal family or the institution of the monarchy.
  2. Don’t do drugs! – Avoid all drugs, unless you relish a long humiliating stint shackled up in a thai jail…or at least paying a massive bribe to the local police.

    Say No to Drugs in Thailand

    Say No to Drugs

  3. Don’t let a Tuk-tuk driver take you to a gem shop – You will be pressured into buying gems at highly inflated prices.
  4. Do not overstay your visa –  Fines are imposed for each day you stay in Thailand beyond the date of the visa expiry, currently 500 baht per day.
  5. Do not point your feet – Thais consider the feet to be dirty and it’s offensive to point them.
  6. Don’t ride a motorbike without a helmet, licence or whilst drunk – Thailand is not the place to learn to ride or try your skills whilst drunk.  You will see the battle scars (bandages) on those who try…and they’re the lucky ones.
  7. Don’t sunbathe topless – Although the ban on topless sunbathing is rarely enforced by the police, many locals in southern Thailand find it inappropriate.
  8. Don’t wear shoes inside – Whether you’re entering a temple or someone’s home, remove your shoes before you go inside.
  9. Don’t get overly amorous in public – Thai people do not show affection in public in the same way that westerners are accustomed to doing, so bear in mind that the Thai people around you will probably feel quite uncomfortable.
  10. Don’t have unprotected sex – There is a very high rate of HIV/AIDS in Thailand – be sensible.
  11. Don’t get angry or yell – Aggression and confrontational behavior are far less common in Thailand than in the West and will rarely produce any positive result.
  12. Don’t try to negotiate a taxi fare – All taxis in Thailand are required to have a meter and a negotiated fare will never be cheaper than the real fare.
  13. Don`t give up your passport – If hiring a bike never leave your passport.  Hand over a photocopy instead.
  14. Do not make contact with a Monk if you are female – Women must be careful not to touch monks as they are forbidden female contact.
  15. Do not litter – Smoking and dropping litter in the street is illegal and 2,000 Baht fine (esp Bangkok) awaits anyone who is caught.
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Updated: September 10, 2011 by admin

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