Thailand at a glance

Tips and Facts for Tourists

Customs
 

  • Thailand is a Buddhist country where Buddha images are held sacred. Sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors.
  • Thai people hold their King and Queen and the Royal Family in great reverence, and so won’t tolerate foreigners talking about them in disrespect.
  • Generally Thai women are conservative. So don’t touch them without their consent.
  • Dress properly when entering a Buddhist temple, Mini-skirts and shorts are not allowed. Take your shoes off before going inside the hall of worship. Ladies must not on any account touch a Buddhist monk, give things direct to him or receive things direct from him.
  • Intimacies between man and woman should not be shown in public. Sunbathing in the nude is prohibited.
  • Traditionally, Thais greet each other with a wai by pressing the palms together at the chest). If someone wais you, you should wai back (exept wai-ed by a child).
  • Call Thais their first names; use the title “Khun” for adults.
  • Thai people smile to express gladness and happiness, to thank for small services, to return the wai (a way of greeting) of children and inferior persons, and even to excuse small inconveniences.
  • Don’t touch a person’s head, nor ruffle his hair. The head is the noblest part of the body. A sincere apology should be offered immediately if you touch someone’s head unintentionally.
  • Avoid placing your feet on the table while sitting. Never use your foot to point things out or to touch any part of the body of anyone, which is considered rude.
  • Entering Thai Temple, mosque, and house, you’re expected to remove your shoes.
  • Beware not to take any food, drinks, or candies offered by a stranger or a taxi driver.
  • Beware not to accept any complimentary tour offered by a stranger. Reliable tourist information and safe tours should be provided by a tour agency who has a travel license.


Essential precautions for foreign tourists
 

  • Never believe street tours. Promised jewellery bargains are scams.
  • Never purchase jewellery with the unrealistic expectation of reselling it for two or three times the original purchase price.
  • Never mail precious stones home.
  • Always exercise common sense. If something appears “too good to be true” is probably is “too good to be true”
  • Please be aware the Thai government does not own, operate, subsidise or authorise any jewellery stores, except The Thailand Duty Free Shops.
  • Disregard all offers of shopping or sightseeing assistance from strangers. They invariably take a big commission on a high surcharged price.
  • Please avoid in any habit-forming drugs and avoid being induced into any form of gambling, since the penalties in Thailand are very severe.
  • Always select reliable Tour/Operators & Travel Agencies or Guides with official licenses issued by The Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • If you are not sure of any situations you are facing, please contact The Tourist Assistance Center in Thailand. Tel: 281-5051, 282-8129