Thailand is one such country where everything runs in an atypical manner, often catching us off guard and causing us to commit mistakes. If you are somebody who is planning to visit Thailand or is on his way to this amazing country, then you must prepare yourself for things which may turn out to be incomprehensible to you.
In order to handle Thai culture and everything else about it smartly, you will need to carefully study this article so that when amid Thai people, you are able to mingle and stay clear of the lurking cultural traps.
So, without further ado, here are ten things you should certainly avoid in Thailand:
1. Fork is crude; spoon is good
Thailand is a strange place indeed, but it is dramatic and beautiful. If you want to avoid ugly encounters while doing the most common thing every tourist does (which is eating!), you must pay special attention to the use of fork and spoon.
In Thailand, it is considered crude to eat directly from a fork. If your fingers cannot do without a fork, we suggest you to use it push food onto the spoon. But, never use the fork directly!
2. Do not mind if people break the queue
If you come from countries where you must not break the queue, then you will have to adjust a little because Thai people do not care about this. So, if you are standing in a line and someone suddenly appears and gets ahead of you on the line, do not mind. In case you do, Thai people would not mind. So, either way, there is no way out.
One tip to keep in mind is that since there is no definite queue, there will be a crowd all around and you must stand your ground. You will have to fight your way inside—that is how you claim what you claim!
3. Do not dare talk about the King
It is an absolute NO to talk about the King of Thailand. The King of Thailand is the most respectable personality in the country and nobody dares to desecrate his position. It is natural for Thais to respect their King, and it is expected from a foreigner like you to not opine on matters you are alien to.
In case you mumble foul against the King, you will be the subject of public censure and prison!
4. Properly cover up your knees and elbows while visiting religious places
Thailand is a religious country, and it minds a great deal if you flout religious implements in force. Of many things you should keep in mind while visiting a religious place such as monasteries, palaces, temples, and wats, you must totally be considerate of what you wear.
The dress code is strictly enforced in religious sites, and the authorities will immediately evict you out if you are not dressed up as per the enforced standards.
Save yourself from embarrassment and dress up properly!
5. About Beer and Water!
This one is pretty interesting and certainly easy to remember! Well, in Thailand, beer manufacturing companies are also engaged in the manufacture of bottled water.
For example, if you simply ask for a “Singha”, the waiter might get confused and serve you a beer when you want water. Well, it would be quite inconvenient if something like that happens, and therefore, always suffix the brand name with “beer” or “water”.
You will save yourself from numerous weird looks and judgemental expressions which just totally make you feel like a stupid—you won’t want that to happen!
6. Be smart when it comes to taxi drivers!
Thailand taxi drivers try conning foreigners, thinking that the latter are not well-informed of the Thai world. As a consequence, they might hike transit fare or convey wrong information about the destination of yours—we will explain you the latter part in the following paragraph.
Many taxi drivers lie about destinations so that they can take tourists to other places from where they receive commissions. So, when told that a particular destination is closed for the day, do not readily believe in the information. Google about it or simply say thanks to that driver and find another one.
7. Do not belittle the public transportation
Many outsiders think that the Thai public transportation system is inefficient. Well, hate to break it to you, but the transportation system here is well-connected and reasonably efficient.
The MRT (Light Rail) and BTS services are among the cheapest services you will find in the country. These services are well-built, their token system is highly workable and simple, and the trains are maintained quite clean.
In order to save extra money, it is strongly recommended that you get a day pass—this will contribute to your mobility and compensate for the lack of knowledge on Thai transportation.
8. Do not expect flowery scents everywhere
Thailand is a land of smells. Every place smells—good and bad—but you will have to strike compromises over and over because the smell will not go away.
You walk down a street and you can smell strong Jasmine and flagrant sewage mixed together. It will take you back at first, but with the ubiquitous smell, you will shortly get used to it.
9. Do not forget hand sanitizer and tissues
Western toilets have become popular in Thailand, but you will encounter a fair number of squat toilets in the country, especially in public toilets. It will be bothersome to those travelers who come from western countries, but that is that and you cannot run away from toilets every time you see them.
Many times the public toilets might be a distressing experience, and hence, tissues and hand sanitizer.
10. Avoid certain massage parlors
Thailand hosts some of the cheapest massage services across the globe, and you should totally procure these benefits while you are there. However, you are advised to avoid parlors with signs reading “nice girls” or any other sign with sensual overtones.
Unless you are out there looking for a brothel, then you might as well want to check out these parlous—otherwise NO!