Thai people are generally very understanding and hospitable, but there are some important taboos and social conventions you need to understand.

  • Monarchy Never disrespect the royal family with disparaging remarks and always treat objects carrying the royal symbols and portraits with respect. Stand when the national and king's anthems are played.
  • Temples Wear clothing that reaches to your knees and elbows. Remove your shoes when entering a temple hall. Sit with your feet tucked behind you to avoid pointing the bottom of your feet at images of Buddha. Women should never touch a monk or a monk's belongings; step out of the way of monks on footpaths and don't sit next to them on public transport.
  • Modesty At the beach, avoid public nudity and topless sunbathing. Wear a cover-up to and from the beach.
  • Saving Face Never get into an argument with a Thai. It is better to smile through any conflict.