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Thailand travel tips: 10 taboos tourists should avoid

Thailand is a Buddhist country, so rules and rituals are respected. To have a great trip to this beautiful country, read Thailand travel tips below to know 10 taboos tourists should avoid. 

  1. Step on money

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, headed by the Royal. Thai residents have a reverence for the Royal family, so every action expressing the disrespect for the Royal is considered illegal.

Stepping on Thai currency is illegal | thailand travel tips
Stepping on Thai currency is illegal

Because the image of the King is printed on Thai baht (official currency of Thailand), stepping on paper money or coins is also regarded as the blasphemy. This action might even put you in jail within some days.

  1. Touch the head of other people

Thai people believe the head is the most precious human body part, so you shouldn’t touch or rub others’ head. Similarly, patting someone else on the back or shoulder is also considered an insult.

  1. Tread on monks’ shadow

More than 90% of Thai citizens pursue Buddhism. Therefore, people always show respect to monks. On sunny days, if you have to pass in front of monks, do avoid treading on their shadow.

Don't tread on monks’ shadow in Thailand | thailand travel tips
Don’t tread on monks’ shadow in Thailand

According to Buddhist teachings, the shadow of monks is also themselves. Treading on the shadow, therefore, is showing the lack of respect to those monks. Besides, Thai women aren’t allowed to give something to monks directly. Instead, if they want to do that, they will have to ask another man to give monks or monks have to use a towel to receive it.

  1. Point at other people or objects with your foot

Thais regard foot as the most inferior body part, so you mustn’t point objects or humans with your foot. This will make you become an impolite person in natives’ eyes.

Especially, when sitting in the temples, you mustn’t sit on the floor of temples with your foot pointing at Buddha or sacred objects.

  1. Wear inappropriate clothes in temples or palace

When visiting temples, pagodas or palace… you mustn’t wear short clothes, skirt or slippers.

Wearing inappropriate clothes in temples is a taboo in Thailand | thailand travel tips
Wearing inappropriate clothes in temples is a taboo in Thailand

Thai people consider these types of clothes inappropriate in sanctuaries. Guardians will not allow you to go through the gate if you put on such clothes.

  1. Show affection in public

One of Thailand travel tips you should remember is that don’t be affectionate in public or intend to flirt women. This is ridiculous since Thai natives always self-esteemed.

  1. Sign in red ink

Thai people never sign in red ink because red ink pens are only used to write the name of the deceased on the coffin lid.

Red ink pens are only used to write the name of the deceased on the coffin lid
Red ink pens are only used to write the name of the deceased on the coffin lid

Therefore, before signing on documents, you had better find another pen.

  1. Raise your finger to signal to waiters

This action is known as impoliteness in Thailand, so you should avoid doing that in restaurants. Instead, it’s better for you to fist or cup your hands when you call them.

Furthermore, pointing at another person with your forefinger is also a taboo since it implies “want to attack”.

  1. Take off your clothes in public

Taking off your clothes in public is illegal and you will be fined a large sum of money for this action.

Don't take off your shirt in Thailand or else you will be fined
Don’t take off your shirt in Thailand or else you will be fined

Hence, no matter how hot you feel, don’t take off your shirt in public.

  1. Use your left hand to give someone a gift

Don’t forget one of special Thailand travel tips: give someone an object with your right hand or both of hands. The right hand symbolizes grandeur while the other hand represents impurity. That’s the reason why you shouldn’t use the left hand to give another person a present.

Note those Thailand travel tips down and remember them to have a good trip!

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