Bangkokians are generally very understanding and hospitable, but there are some important taboos and social conventions to be aware of.

  • Monarchy Never make any disparaging remarks about any member of Thailand's royal family. Treat objects depicting the king (such as money) with respect.
  • Temples Wear clothing that covers you to your knees and elbows. Remove your shoes when you enter a temple building. Sit with your feet tucked behind you to avoid pointing the bottom of your feet at Buddha images. Women should never touch a monk or a monk's belongings; step out of a monk's way on footpaths and don't sit next to a monk on public transport.
  • Save Face Never get into an argument with a Thai. It is better to smile through any social friction.