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Thailand travel advice

Thailand is well know for is tolerance and hospitality, and the average tourist will easily adjust to the local customs. For some the Thai culture might be unfamiliar but in most situations the use a common sense, good manners, polite behaviour and friendly attitude will be sufficient to have a good relation with Thais. Especially your smile will ensure a positive response. However it is worth to know the main points of a behaviour code in Thailand.

Thai social customs.

The don'ts of Thai social behaviour are less clearly defined than these concerning the monarchy or religion, especially in a city like Bangkok where western customs are better known and more widely accepted. However, what is acceptable in Bangkok may not be in the countryside where the old ways are still prevalent. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Shoes should be removed when entering private Thai homes

Thais do not normally shake hands when they greet one another, but insteadpress the Palms together in a prayerlike gesture called a wai. Generally, a younger person wais an elder, who returns it. Watch how the Thais do it, and you will soon learn.

It is considered rude to point your foot at a person, so try to avoid doing so when sitting opposite anyone, and following the conception that the foot is a low limb; do not point your foot to show anything to anyone, but use your finger instead.

Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body both literally and figuratively. As a result, they DO NOT approve of touching anyone on that part of the body, even in a friendly gesture. Similarly, if you watch Thai at a social gathering, you will notice that young people go to considerable lengths to keep their heads lower than those of the elder ones, to avoid giving the impression of "looking down" on them. This is not always possible, of course, but it is the effort the counts.

Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. You may see some very Westernized young Thai couples holding hands, but that is the extent of the displaying of affection in this polite society.

Losing your temper, especially in public, will more than likely get you nowhere, The Thais think such displays denote poor manners, and you are more apt to get what you want by keeping a cool head and concealing your emotions.

Do not be surprised if you are addressed by your first name; for instance, Mr. Bob of Miss Mary-instead of by you surname. This id because Thais refer to one another in this manner, usually whith the title "Khun" (Mr., Mrs., or Miss) in front. Follow the customs of the country as far as possible, and you'll make more friends during your stay. The more friends you make, the more you will want to return to Thailand.

The Thai Royal Family.

The Thai love and are proud of their royal family. You should not make any bad comments about the royal family as this will not be tolerated by all Thais.

You are not be allowed take photos or touch any royal exhibits when you will visit palaces or museums.

It's obligatory to stand when the King's anthem is played in the cinemas.

Religion

Visitors should dress neatly when going to religious shrines. They should never go shirtless, or in shorts.
It's all right to wear shoes while walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept. Don't worry dirt when you have to take them off; the floors of such places are usually clean.

Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as being sacred object. Never climb onto one to take photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.

When you sitting in a temple always ensure that your feet are not directed towards Buddha image.

Buddhist priests are forbidden to touch or to be touched by a woman or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk or novice, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it. Or in case of a woman who wants to present it with her hand, the monk or novice will spread out a piece of saffron robe or handkerchief in front of him, and the woman will lay down the material on the robe which is being held at one end by the monk or novice.

In a Muslim mosque, men should wear hats and women should be well-covered with slacks or long skirt, a longsleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and a scarf over the hair. All should remove their shoes before entering the mosque and should not be present if there is a religious gathering.

 

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