Much famed as the “land of smiles”, Thailand is indeed one amongst the popular destinations in the world for travelers. People from all over the world come to the country to experience its rich history and culture and enjoy all the pleasures that it has to offer. However, there are a few things to know before traveling to Thailand so that you do not get into trouble when you are supposed to be enjoying a well-deserved vacation.
What Not To Do In Thailand
If you are planning a trip to Thailand, you should know what you can and cannot do in the country. It is a country with traditions that you may not be familiar with. Knowing what you cannot or should not do can save you from an embarrassing situation in a strange country. Here is a look at things not to do in Thailand.
1. Do Not Touch People’s Heads
When it comes to things not to do in Thailand culture, one of the most important things to remember is not to touch people’s heads. in rare cases when the traveler is traveling with a child or is in a very close relationship with the other person, one should never try to touch or even put anything on people’s heads. In Thailand, the head is considered the most holy and cleanest part of the body, so when you touch someone’s head, you will essentially be disrespecting that person.
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2. Do Not Use Your Feet For Anything But Walking
It is considered extremely impolite to point at people, places or things with your toes or the bottom of your feet. You should also never have your feet facing towards temples, images of Buddha or monks. It is especially rude and unacceptable to do so. Kicking or stepping over something or shutting a door with your feet will also definitely get you chastised in Thailand.
3. Do Not Touch The Monks
In Thailand, monks are one of the most highly respected people, which is why standing over or being positioned higher than them is strictly forbidden. If you are a woman, remember never to touch a monk. Because they are not allowed to touch women, they often will not even hand them anything directly. In case they want to hand over something, they will place that item on the ground for women to pick it up themselves. Also, the monks are not supposed to to sit next to a woman in local transports either. If you are a woman, coming into contact with monks is one of the things to be careful of in Thailand.
4. Do Not Keep Your Shoes On All The Time
Keeping your shoes on when you enter homes, temples, and shops is one of the things not to do in Thailand – this rule even applies to some restaurants. This is why you will see people everywhere wearing lightweight sandals. If you see a pile of sandals outside someone’s house, a shop, etc., you should remove yours too before stepping inside.
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5. Do Not Take Photos With Captured Animals
Tourists are often offered photo ops with illegally procured wildlife in places like Pattaya, Phuket, Ao Nang, Ko Samui, and sometimes even in Bangkok. Animals like monkeys and gibbons as well as birds and snakes (some of the wildlife are endangered species) are captured from the wild and held captive for the sole purpose of making money for their “owners”. Because wild animals can be extremely dangerous, animals captured for photographs with tourists are often heavily drugged and their teeth and claws are also removed. Help put an end to this cruel practice and refuse to take photos with wildlife, no matter how adorable you think they are.
6. Do Not Get Involved With Illegal Drugs
Like any other popular tourist destination across the globe, Thailand has a seedy side where a lot of illegal activities occur. Due to its vibrant nightlife, illegal things in Thailand are aplenty and if you are out at night at a club or bar, chances are that you will be offered illegal drugs. Needless to say, you should avoid getting involved with such substances at all cost. Getting caught with even a tiny amount of an illegal drug can get you into big trouble, and you do not want that whatsoever.
7. Do Not Overstay Your Visa Period
One of the most obvious things to know before visiting Thailand is not overstaying your visa. If you do, you will need to pay a fine of 500 Baht per day. The maximum fine for overstaying is 20,000 Baht, and if you do not pay, you could end up in jail. Plus, Thai immigration will mark and note your passport. Your passport may be marked as “undesirable alien” for repeated violations of overstaying three times. Being marked as an “undesirable alien” would make it more difficult for you to travel internationally and you could also be barred from re-entering Thailand for up to 5 to 10 years. This is obviously one of the most important things not to do in Thailand.
There are many things to keep in mind before traveling to Thailand so that you enjoy every day of your stay there. Once you planning is in place, you can prepare yourself for an unforgettable holiday in Thailand that is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world!
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