5 things you shouldn't do in thailandTraveling 

5 things you should not do in Thailand [infographic]

If you’re about to come to Thailand for a few weeks of holiday, here’s a short infographic that will be helpful for to avoid the biggest problems one could face while traveling the land of smile.

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5 things you shouldn't do in thailand
5 things you shouldn’t do in thailand

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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  • Tanapa Pongpilasarn

    After reading this five things you should never do in Thailand, I totally agree with this article. As I am Thai, I think foreign travellers or even Thai people should understand about these significant factors while they’re living in Thailand. Most of Thai people respect in Buddhist, So behaving in unrighteously ways such as cutting the statue of Buddha or using Buddha as a decoration is forbidden in Thailand as it is sensitive for them. Moreover, do not criticize the monarchy is one of the laws in Thailand. People cannot judge or even give any negative opinions because it could lead them to the prison.
    Another four essential points are the common sense or cultural conduct for Thai people. I think Most of Thai people are already known that touching someone’s head, pointing others, putting the feels up and losing temper are inappropriate behavior. However, this infografic help the readers a lot easier reading this!

  • Thanks for your comment. It’s mainly focused on travelers so we hope an infographic like this will make it easier for them to behave appropriately.

  • Alice Chambon

    I completely agree with this article! I’m half Thai half French but since I grew up here in Bangkok I already knew about these things. On the other hand, my foreigner friends do not know these principles and don’t really understand the purpose of it. As I told them, it is not something that they have to understand but they have to accept it and respect the beliefs and the rules of another country no matter how different it is from their country of origin. I remember this one time, I went shopping with a Swiss friend, and he used his foot to point a T-shirt for the seller to pick it up. The seller was a bit shocked and I immediately told my friend that what he did was unacceptable for local people!

  • Thanks for your comment. I like your point of ‘you don’t need to understand it, but respect it’. Completely agree with that.

  • Eve Supmee

    This article is very useful for foreigners, as I do have foreign friends who plan to come to Thailand this year. This article will be one of an alternative advice for my friend to know some custom that they might not understand. Many of my foreign friends usually put their feet up on the table, which is acceptable from where they came from. Reading this will help them know to not do that behavior in Thailand. This article will not only help my friend, but all travelers who plan a trip to Thailand. If travelers behave properly in Thailand, there will be no conflict with the local. On the contrary, their trip will be full of all happiness and hospitality of local.

  • I hope your friends will have lots of fun here and maybe we got a few more articles on here that could help them in preparation to their trip! :)

  • Ben Benyapa

    From this article is very helpful for foreigners and some of Thai people who don’t know about it too. Such as touching people’s head cause some people think that it was joking but it doesn’t, they have to respect each other. When foreigners travel to other country i think they have to learn about the country that they go. Not only the top places to go but also have to check their culture too. For example of Thailand, the foreigners who want to visit Thailand this article is useful for them. Reading this will help them to know how to behave in Thailand. So both of Thai people and foreigners should respect buddha and each other like this article said.

  • Chanittha Jiraporncharas

    First thing when it’s come to be an infographic, I think it’s very easy and quick to understand. Moreover, people tend to give an attention to information that comes in picture form rather than in article way. About the information that you gave above, I extremely agree with all 5 things you’ve chosen and also the fact that foreigners should follow those actions. Because, in my opinion, when we’re travelling somewhere it’s like we’re a representative of our country. If we do not respect another country’s cultures, they don’t just get mad at you but your country and all of the populations. So, to know the rules or cultures of a country that we’re going to travel is the things that you need to remind too.

  • Pudd Pud

    I appreciate you as you are not a real Thai people but you know these things in Thailand. In my view, many Thai people forget about them. The world is change. So,the tradition change too. Many Thai people fade away from the old culture. I, as a Thai people, could think these are the small things. In addition, this article makes a good feeling for Thai people if they know that there are many foreigners respect about these rules. I feel ashamed for the Thai people to see the foreigners prepare and aware of our culture.

  • Pokpong Vetchakanjana

    I think this article is so important for foreigner or people who did not know about Thai culture, so they can know how to do or do not do in Thai.For example, in USA you might touch other people head in some case but in Thai you can not even you know them or not.So, this article is best for a kid and a foreigner who want to know more about Thai culture. I like to read your article because it make me know something I do not know and fullfill my knowledge too.

  • Jenny Chen

    After reading this article, I believe that it would be very helpful for foreigners. A lot of them don’t know Thai’s culture or Thai’s manner, they might think that it is okay to do some postures since they do it normally in their country. However, it is not always like this, Thailand is a Buddhist country, a lot of things will be called disrespectful because of the posture and things you say to strangers. Foreigners who are going to visit Thailand can take a look at this article and learn something back before coming to Thailand. They will not be scolded or looked weirdly. As a example, I have seen a lot of traveller or tourists buy Buddha’s head back to their country as a decor. I know that it is not their fault because Thai people are the one who sell Buddha’s head even though they know that they shouldn’t. They also know that their are laws about it. What we can do is to let those visitors know that it is illegal to buy Buddha’s head. In Thailand, people respect each other a lot, so they care a lot about other’s feelings. Doing such things as putting feet up and touching other’s people head are considered rude. Some countries may thing that touching people’s head mean caring about them but in this country the younger should not touch elder’s head. In conclusion, this article should be shared widely, so foreigners who are planning to visit Thailand can respect some invisible rules.

  • Warisa Yuktanantana

    As a Thai people, I would like to say that this is Thai culture that has been set for many thousands of years. I would respect foreigners if they didn’t know this thing before. I used to study in the United States four years ago, and I experience my classmate who sat next to me put his feet on the table right next to my face. I shocked a little bit at first, but then I thought to myself that I live in the different culture, so I have to understand and respect them. We all have to adapt ourselves when we live in another country and ry to understand and respect other people.

  • Thanks for your positive feedback. I agree that such things should be spread more widely simply to give travelers the chance to be prepared and to make their interaction with locals even more special.

  • Wise words. Adaption is important and therefore we need to know what’s appropriate in the country we travel to. I do think your classmate should not have done that anyways though ;)

  • Non Kasipat

    Couldn’t agree more with this article, I have seen a number of foreigners does kind of things like this article indicated. I have an experience with my friend who is Italian. He was like to touch friend’s head at first but after someone became so angry, he stopped doing what kind of thing and noticed that Thai people don’t like anyone to touch their heads. That’s why I agree with this article.

  • Thanks a lot for the good example!

  • Kana Matsushita

    It is just been a month since I got here, and there are much more things that you should not do in Thailand.
    I did not know that there is a low saying people should not post alcohol drinks on SNS..or something else.
    It is completely cultural thing and I felt I need to learn about it and the law to survive in Thailand.

  • Tanutcha Roongroj

    My foreign friends once asked me why can’t they discuss about the monarchy in public, i already explained that we have section 112 so that we couldn’t say bad things towards them. guess what? they then mentioned about the ‘freedom of speech’… i got no idea to answer.

  • Jamie Chowpradith

    1 Picture, covers it all! This is one of the example that some people are insensitive about cultures. As a Thai citizen, I have found that this post is so useful for tourists out there. To prevent conflicts between the visitors and the locals( PEACE ). In my point of view, this is not ridiculous at all because there are going to be some people that say “What? SO there are things that we aren’t allow to do in Thailand?” These people, they don’t understand about culture sensitivity. People get offended easily, that’s why we need something like this picture in this post in every country around he world, to make this place a better place. As a global citizen, I believe that we should be sensitive about one another’s culture, use our understanding and don’t hesitate to conform and be appropriate! Thank you ;-)

  • Peach Sawangcharoen

    First of all, I love the way you put these information into an info-graphic. It is easy to read and understand. As your article, yessss, absolutely. All of the information above that you mentioned is true in my country. In this case, for example, the king, we cannot use the king’s picture and print it as our t-shirt. We cannot print Thai flag as our flipflop like they did in the US. I know that it is hard to explain why? It is hard to give a reason. It is just a traditional. But once if you have been staying in Thailand for a while, you will understand why without nobody telling you the answer. Btw, I will totally share this article to my friends who are coming from the US, it is very useful for them.

  • Thx a lot! Like, share and subscribe! ;-) Appreciate your words!

  • Good point! hope you learned a lot by now :)

  • That’s always the knock out argument by americans….it’s difficult to make them understand that different countries have different rules.

  • Wise words! More people should think that way! :)

  • Thananopawan Rattanatrisri

    I completely agree with everything in this infographic! Every cultures are different. Something you can do in another country but in Thailand, it is really sensitive. For instance, When I was in the United States, I saw American teen put his feet on his father’s head and I was shock because if this happen in Thailand, it would be unacceptable. I’m glad that you provide these information in the form of infographic so everybody can understand.

  • Ananda Chuensomsong

    I’m pretty amazed that a foreigner would know most of the no-no actions in our country haha! As a personal opinion, I think you should write about the unusual things that tourists may encounter in Thailand which might scare them away. A little heads-up would always be appreciated,Cheers.

  • Unusual things? In Thailand? :D :P Good idea! ;)

  • Thanks for the comment. Feel free the share it! ;-)

  • Varinthorn Witwarakoon

    I am once an exchange student in Belgium. In almost Asian restaurant, they all use Buddha as a decoration. When I saw that, I told my host family that Buddha is not a decoration. But they seem didn’t understand it because they always thought that Buddha can use as a decoration.

  • Ryu Kangsachit

    POINT WITH FINGER! I just knew that is rude thanks for your information. By the way, I’ve heard about the “two-tier” thing from my foreign friend, but I’m not sure what exactly it is. What I know is that my friend said it is something about taking advantage from foreigners. For example, if you were Thai you paid 50 baht for taxi but if you were foreigner you paid more than that. I think it would be very helpful if you write about it to raise awareness!

  • Beam Alisa

    As Thailand have very sensitive culture. People are really serious with the small thing and about religious. because of the religious people become so sensitive with anything which some time I think it’s doesn’t make sense. But because I’m Thai, however I have to follow them. Moreover, my friend had visit Thailand, I have to explain many thing to them to make them understand what is right what is wrong. But after I found this article I think I can give them to read is article

  • Paytong Pharima

    I am totally agree of what you have said.As the word goes “When at Rome, do as Romans do.” Also, different countries have different cultures and norms that we should know.We can travel to any country you want but the more you can achieve is how you can respect and adapt yourself to those countries correctly.Plus, your blog is very beneficial, I will give your content as the suggestion to my foreigners who plan come to Thailand :)

  • Mix Nuttapol

    I strongly agree with this five thing when foreigners want to visit in our country. Each of country has different culture which Thailand give more important with this culture. Some parts or topics are sensitive to our country. To give an example,in case of criticize the monarchy, you have no right to defame or talk in negative aspects. If you do, go to the jail. Because the king seems like father of all of Thai people.