Thailand is a wonderful country with wonderful people but there are some things to be careful of when travelling in Thailand.
Don’t put your feet on a table or chair or point your feet at someone. If you are sitting on the floor try to do so in a way that means you are not showing the bottom of your feet which are considered dirty. This is regarded as extremely rude. Remove your shoes before entering a temple, someone’s home and some shops and businesses.
In a similar way pointing with your fingers is seen as rude so try to avoid
Don’t Touch Anyone’s Head
The head is considered the most sacred part of the body, do not touch anyone’s head or hair.
Don’t Disrespect the King
Respect the King and his image, including those on currency. Disrespect, including on social media has resulted in prison sentences in the past
Respect Religious Customs
Be sure to follow accepted behaviour in temples, including required clothing and removal of footwear. Respect monks, women must never touch a monk.
Take a Tiger Selfie
There are a number of sites around Thailand especially in the north where you can visit a so called Tiger sanctuary, feed the Tigers and even have have your picture taken with a fully grown Tiger or cub.
Please do not visit. To find out for myself I visited one of these places and found it deeply upsetting. The Tigers are obviously drugged and kept in enclosures far too small for them.
Despite the claims that they are rescued many of the Tigers are bred purely for tourists
Visit an Elephant Show or Ride an Elephant
Riding an elephant seems like such a great idea and a show looks fun.
What you don’t see are the conditions that the elephants are kept in away from the tourists and how they are treated when being taught how to carry passengers of perform in the show.
Many elephants are bred or captured just for the tourist industry.
There are a number of ethical sanctuaries, which do not offer riding, where you can interact with elephants who have been rescued from the tourist or logging industries.
Avoid Illegal Drugs
It should be obvious really but many people have the mistaken idea that the drug laws are more lenient in Thailand than at home.
The laws are very strict however and serious sentences can be handed out for possession or transportation of drugs which could include a death penalty sentence.
A prison stay in Thailand will be a shock to the system for anyone and you will be charged and tried in Thai so will not know what is happening around you.
Keep out of trouble, enjoy Thailand without the drugs.
Don’t Smoke at The Beach
Smoking is banned on many beaches throughout Thailand and if you are caught smoking in a banned area you could be fined 100,000 baht.
All vaporisers such as e-cigarettes and their refills are banned throughout Thailand.
If you are caught with these they will be confiscated, you may also be fined or face up to 10 years in prison
Smoking in Public
On 27th March 2020 the Thai Department of Disease Control linked smoking with the impact of Coronavirus and banned smoking in public areas with a 5,000 baht fine if caught.
Don’t Eat Shark Fin or Birds Nest Soup
Both of these foods are causing issues with critically endangered species. Sharks in particular suffer as the fins are cut off while the shark is alive who is then thrown back into the sea to bleed to death.
They are mostly popular in Chinatown on Bangkok and other areas with a high Chinese population or tourists.
Avoid Turtle Products
Turtles are endangered and the sale and possession of turtle shells and turtle eggs is illegal in Thailand.
Also be careful if Turtles are laying eggs on beaches. Do not disturb the Turtles or their eggs.
Hire a Moped or Motorcycle
I am not saying don’t do this. Both are great ways of getting out and about especially outside of cities.
However the road accident and deaths rates on Thai roads is incredibly high especially for motorbikes/mopeds and tourists are especially at risk.
Roads can become lethal during a rainstorm which can strike with little if any warning.
Only hire one if you have a license, insurance and make sure that you wear a helmet – it’s the law and could save your life
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