If you plan on visiting Thailand, then you are likely in for a wonderful adventure. There are many different things to see like the Grand Palace, Khao Yai National Park and the historic city of Ayutthaya along with many great things to do like going elephant trekking, eating street food and getting a massage. While people living in Thailand are very hospitable, there are some things that you will want to make sure not to do.
1. Dress Immodestly
While you will see people who live in the country dressed in a variety of ways, you will want to dress conservatively while visiting Thailand. When you visit a temple, make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered. While you will see many locals fully clothed at the beaches, you can wear a swimsuit or trunks, but once you leave the beach, make sure to cover up. Dressing immodestly is considered a sign of disrespect.
2. Forgo the Tip
People working in Thailand expect to be tipped when they do a good job. At sit-down Thai restaurants, it is typical to tip 10 percent of the bill. After a Thai massage, it is customary to tip 15 percent of your total bill. Bell boys expect a few coins for each bag they handle, and hotel housekeepers expect to find coins under your pillow when cleaning your room. Do not be stingy with your tip.
3. Wear Shoes at All Times
It is considered impolite to wear your shoes into someone’s home. The Thai people think that shoes are dirty, and they should be left at the door. Some restaurants and other establishments follow this rule too, so make sure to see if there is a pile of shoes at the door. After all, you are a visitor and will want to respect their wishes.
4. Do Not Point
Pointing is considered impolite. It is also considered bad manners to motion someone to you. If you must talk with your hands, try to keep the palms facing down.
5. Not Return a Wai
You may be greeted with a wai in Thailand where the local person places their hands together about their chest and bows their head slightly. It is considered bad manners to not return a wai. Press your fingertips together and bow your head slightly. You are not, however, expected to return a wai to children, servers or street vendors.
6. Raise Your Voice
Make sure to not raise your voice when in Thailand as it is considered bad manners. Keep your voice soft even when having a friendly debate. You are a guest in the country, so never say anything negative about their king or you may face a six-month jail sentence.
7. Eat All the Food on Your Plate
Finishing all the food on your plate is an indication that you are still hungry. Instead, leave a few bites to show that you are full. Most meals in Thailand are eaten with a fork and spoon. If others are eating with their fingers, then make sure to use your right hand as your left hand is considered dirty.
Remember that you are a guest in the country. Show respect to those around you, and you will discover that Thailand is a very happy place where you will be warmly welcomed.