Things you should not do in ThailandToday is about what you shouldn't do in Thailand because it is rude and what you shouldn't do in any way that is even prohibited by law. Many things are completely normal for us. So some things are done completely wrong by 90% of foreigners where a Thai has to think
"Do the foreigners have no manner..."
The greeting in Thailand is extremely hierarchical. One is always higher and the other lower. The Wai is the greeting where you put your palms together. This greeting is actually always made wrong by tourists. The lower one welcomes the higher one first. So a 20 year old should greet an older man first. But if you are 40 years old and greets a young waitress in a restaurant with a "wai", this is extremely disturbing for the Thai person.
It is in their eyes, as it is with us, for example, so we do not go to our boss as an employee and make a high five, but usually wait and you usually only shake hands when the boss specifically approaches you .
Always the lower hierarchy is the one who greets first. So the young waitress in the restaurant greets us first. Afterwards we don't make an exaggerated wai or even lean forward. The service would feel "fooled" because you know that the tourist is higher and would like to express your respect for the tourist (the higher) expression.
To put it bluntly, if you visit the grandparents and of course respect them and shake hands with them, you don't fall on your knees like in front of a king, that would be strange and the grandparents would just feel "fooled". Therefore, this should be reduced to simply lay the palms together, which means without additional bowing or kinking with the head forward. Place your palms together for a second, thumbs up and below your chin. Basically, the tourist is high, because he is regarded as a "rich" foreigner higher than a simple employee in the restaurant, especially if it is a female employee.
The king and then every monk is at the top of the hierarchy list.
The age and status come right after. Older or wealthy people are just as important as e.g. the mayor.
Men are fundamentally higher than women.
Therefore, a 20 year old Thai will always greet a 50 year old Thai man first. A 50 year old woman will greet a 50 year old man first. The other way around would be disturbing and would make no sense to the Thais. Older men are constantly seen as they are interested in a pretty Thai doing the "Wai", probably as a funny greeting. At this moment, however, every Thai person in view of what is going on gets a headache directly, often you can hear them whispering to themselves "I get headache..".
The Thais do not expect a "wai". If you do this, then probably wrong, but this will be forgiven as youare a tourist. A simple wai / the normal greeting would be to put your hands together and hold them under the chin. Do not bow and do not hold your hands up to your face. Hands up infront of your face is a wai from thais with a big respect e.g for a monk.
Recommendation: No Thai expects a wai from a foreigner. A normal greeting by raising or waving your hand is considered more normal. Since the wai is made out of respect and the foreigner is probably doing it for fun, it is always inappropriate to make a wai as a tourist.
What is a very sacred thing for the Thai people is their head. You should never touch a Thai on the head. For them, the head is the highest part of the body, where the spirit lives. Touching someone on the head is absolutely humiliation and insult. Even with children, if you brush them through the hair or pat them on the head, even they feel directly annoyed as if they had been spit on the head. Not even among friends.
The feet are the opposite of the head, the lowest part of the body and also the dirtiest and dirtiest part of the body. You also don't point anywhere with your foot. For example, on a beach lounger, you do not point your foot at someone or something in a conversation. For example, with your foot on the water bottle and says, please bring me the bottle of water that is there. That would be extremely humiliating for the Thai person.
Do not cross-leg or cross-leg with the sole of your foot facing another person. You will notice that a Thai person is sitting next to you and you have one foot up / cross-legged then they will get up and walk away. When the sole of the foot is shown, a Thai gets the "horror". It is common to always enter a house or temple without shoes.
Pointing at something is also rude. You point to something by stretching out your fingers or with your whole hand. This applies not only to people, even if you point to objects.
If you visit a temple, you can see the many shoes directly, this is common. But even if you go to a temple, whether woman or man, your shoulders should be covered (no muscle shirt, strap dress). Pants / dress must also cover the knees. Shorter is disrespectful. You will never see a Thai as he enters a temple with his shoulders free.
A naked torso in GANZ Thailand is considered completely rude. This is particularly common in tourist areas when men in swimming trunks and upper bodies leave the beach freely. A Thai even among friends will ask you beforehand whether he can take off his shirt, even if it is higher. It is even legally forbidden to drive a shirtless shirt. It is the same as driving a seat belt.
Throwing things at someone is disrespectful, like throwing something at a dog. So you put things in your hand and throw e.g. not the key.
The Thais often believe in ghosts, hence the small sacrificial temples with drinks and rice bowls that you can see everywhere in Thailand. If you whistle a song at night, many Thais are shocked.
"What an as**ole, summon evil spirits !"
Because with this "one calls the evil spirits". Buddhism and the previous belief in ghosts are mixed, so belief in ghosts is also part of the Thai religion.
Monks enjoy the highest respect. You should actually duck a little as you walk past. But that's not what tourists expect. It is about not placing yourself higher than the monk. That is also meant literally. You should not stand on a bench while a monk is sitting next to you.
You don't touch a monk. Certainly not women. A monk will never touch a woman. Even with a donation to the monk, he will hand over a small basket because he must not take anything directly from the woman's hand. Even sitting on the train next to a monk as a woman is inappropriate. The monk would then stand up in horror and look for another place.
Photos and souvenirs
Photos and souvenirs of the Buddha, the statue and the face of the Buddha are actually not permitted by law. Nobody will say anything about photos on the cell phone, the law is very old, even before the first smartphones. But taking a Buddha statue home at the airport for decoration is prohibited by law.
Buddha must not be used for decoration purposes, because religion is taken very seriously in Thailand and is not for entertainment or simple decoration.
E-cigarettes are generally prohibited. Smoking and even importing are prohibited
The king and the royal family
To show no respect to this is already an insult, a royal insult. Insult is punished by law with up to 15 years in prison.
Attention! The king's head is depicted on every coin and bill. If you drop this coin and step on it with your foot, you've theoretically earned yourself 15 years in prison. You will probably forgive the tourist, but you can definitely expect trouble. When a policeman stands nearby, especially. Likewise, a torn banknote is absolutely taboo. It is not possible to pay with this, acceptance is refused. You can stick it or exchange it in the bank. If a Thai or anyone else should speak badly about the king then stay out of it, don't confirm that either. When it comes to the king, you hold back and respect the country and the circumstances in which you are a guest.
Speaking loudly or even scolding is bad. This has to do with the facial loss that every Thai wants to avoid. If you lose your composure this is equivalent to a loss of face.
Destroying symbols of the king and country of Thailand can be punished with imprisonment. In addition to the banknotes and coins already mentioned, this also includes the Thai flag. These incidents have occurred multiple times, drunken tourists tear or tear a Thai flag or a picture or calendar with the photo of the king. Even if it was fun or inadvertent, this is prohibited. One can count on prison, at least pre-trial detention. A lifelong entry ban to the kingdom of Thailand is just as likely because it has already occurred.