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Published: July 2022
 Wetzkaz
Things you should not do in Thailand
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Things you should not do in Thailand

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Today were talking about what you shouldnt do in Thailand because its rude and what you shouldnt do at all that is even forbidden by law.

Many things are completely normal for us. Therefore, some things are done completely wrong by 90% of foreigners, where a Thai must think to himself,
"Dont foreigners have any manners at all?"
Things you should not do in Thailand
Things you should not do in Thailand
Things you should not do in Thailand
Welcome
Welcome
The greeting in Thailand is extremely hierarchy-based. One person is always higher and the other lower. The wai is the greeting where you put your palms together. This greeting is actually always done incorrectly by tourists. The lower person greets the higher person first. For example, a 20-year-old should greet an older man first. But if you are 40 years old and greet a young waitress in a restaurant with a "Wai", this is extremely disturbing for the Thai person.
In their eyes, its like it is with us, for example, we dont go up to our boss as an employee and do a high five, but wait as a rule and then usually only shake hands when the boss specifically approaches you.

It is always the one lower in the hierarchy who greets first. So the young waitress in the restaurant greets us first. Afterwards, however, we dont do an exaggerated wai or even bow. The waitress would feel "taken for a ride", because she knows that the tourist is higher up and wants to show her respect for the tourist (the higher up).

To put it bluntly, when you visit your grandparents and you naturally respect them and shake their hand, you dont fall on your knees like before a king, that would be strange and the grandparents would just feel "screwed". Therefore, you should reduce this to a simple placing of the palms together, meaning without any additional bow or curtsy with the head forward. Place the palms together for a second, thumbs up and below the chin. Basically, the tourist is held in high esteem, because as a "rich" foreigner he is held in higher esteem than a simple employee in a restaurant, even more so if it is a female employee.


The king and then any monk is at the top of the hierarchy.
Age and status come right after. Elderly or wealthy people are just as high up as mayors, for example.
Men are generally higher than women.


Therefore, a 20-year-old Thai woman will always greet a 50-year-old Thai man first. The other way around would be disturbing and would not make sense to the Thais. Older men are constantly seen doing the "Wai" when they are interested in a pretty Thai, probably as a funny greeting. At this moment, however, every Thai person with a view of what is happening gets a headache straight away, and you can often hear them whispering to themselves "Ill get a headache".

The Thais do not expect a "wai". If you do, you will probably do it wrong, but this is forgiven. A simple wai / the normal greeting would be to put your hands together and hold them below your chin. Do not bow and do not hold your hands at the level of your face.

Recommendation: No Thai expects a wai from a foreigner. A normal greeting by raising a hand or waving is considered more normal. Since the wai is done out of respect and the foreigner is probably doing it for fun, it is rather always inappropriate to do a wai as a tourist.
The head
What is a very sacred thing for the Thai is their head. You should never touch a Thai person on the head. For them, the head is the highest part of the body, where the spirit resides. Touching someone on the head is absolutely considered a humiliation and an insult. Even with children, if you brush them through the hair or pat them on the head, even they feel directly harassed as if you had spat on them. Not even among friends.
The feet
The feet are the opposite of the head, the lowest part of the body and also the dirtiest and filthiest part of the body. You also dont point your foot anywhere. For example, on the beach lounger, you dont point your foot at someone or something in a conversation. For example, pointing with your foot at the water bottle and saying, please bring me the bottle of water that is there. That would be extremely humiliating for the Thai person.
When sitting cross-legged or side-sitting, do not point the sole of your foot in the direction of another person. You will notice that if a Thai person is sitting next to you and you have one foot up/cross-legged, they will get up and walk away. When the sole of the foot is shown, a Thai person gets the "horror". It is customary to enter a house or temple without shoes.

Finger
Pointing at something with your finger is also rude. You point at something by stretching out all your fingers or with your whole hand. This applies not only to people but also to objects.
Temple
So when you go to a temple, you see a lot of shoes, thats common. But also when you go to a temple, whether you are a woman or a man, your shoulders should be covered (no muscle shirt, strap dress). Trousers/dress must also cover the knees. Shorter is disrespectful. A Thai person will never be seen entering a temple with their shoulders uncovered.
naked torso
A naked upper body in ALL of Thailand is considered completely rude. This is especially common in tourist areas when men leave the beach in swimming trunks and their torsos exposed. A Thai man even among friends will ask you beforehand if he can take off his shirt, even if he should be higher up. It is even forbidden by law to drive a car with a naked upper body. It is the same as not wearing a seat belt.
Throw things
Throwing things to someone is disrespectful, comparable to throwing something to a dog. Therefore, one gives things directly into the hand and does not throw the key, for example.

Spirits

Many Thais 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 get a shock.
"What an asshole, hes calling evil spirits to me here."
Because thats how you "summon the evil spirits". Buddhism and the previous belief in spirits are intermingled, so belief in spirits is just as much a part of Thai religion.

Monks

Monks enjoy the highest respect. Actually, one should duck a little when passing by. But tourists are not expected to do that. The point is not to place oneself 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 dont touch a monk. Especially not women. A monk will never touch a woman. Even when making a donation to the monk, he will hand a small basket because he is not allowed to take anything directly from the womans hand. Even sitting next to a monk on the train as a woman is inappropriate. The monk would then probably get up in horror and look for another seat.

Photos and souvenirs

Taking photos and souvenirs of Buddha, the statue, the Buddhas face are actually not allowed by law. No one will say anything about photos on mobile phones, the law is a very old one, even before the first smartphones. But taking a Buddha statue home at the airport for decoration purposes is forbidden by law.
Buddha may not be misappropriated for decorative purposes, because religion is taken very seriously in Thailand and is not used for entertainment or simple decoration.

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes are generally prohibited. Smoking and even importation are prohibited

The king and the royal family

Showing this no respect is already an insult, a royal insult. Defamation is punishable by law with up to 15 years in prison.
Attention. The head of the king is depicted on every coin and banknote. If you drop this coin and step on it with your foot, you have theoretically earned yourself 15 years in prison. The tourist will probably be forgiven, but you can definitely expect trouble. Even more so if a policeman is standing nearby. Likewise, a torn banknote is absolutely taboo. It is not possible to pay with it, it will not be accepted. You can stick it or exchange it at the bank. If a Thai or anyone else talks badly about the king, stay out of it, dont confirm it either. When it comes to the King, keep a low profile and respect the country and the circumstances in which you are a guest.

Be loud

Speaking loudly or even scolding is bad. This has to do with the loss of face that every Thai wants to avoid. Losing ones temper is equivalent to losing face.

Thai symbol

Destroying symbols of the King and the country of Thailand can be punished by imprisonment. This includes the Thai flag as well as the banknotes and coins already mentioned. There have been these incidents several times, drunken tourists tearing or ripping a Thai flag or a picture or calendar with the Kings photo. Even if it was fun or accidental, this is forbidden by law. You can expect imprisonment, at least pre-trial detention. A lifetime ban from entering the kings territory is also likely because it has happened before.
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Things you should not do in Thailand
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Things you should not do in Thailand
Things you should not do in Thailand
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