Do’s and Dont’s in Thai Culture

To many tourists visiting Thailand, the culture can be very different to what they are used to. It may seem strange but the are some simple rules to abide by and you start to integrate into the Thai Culture. Here’s a few Do’s and Dont’s to help you on your stay:

  • DO Respect the Buddha. Thailand is a Buddhist country and the Buddha is worshipped everywhere. You must respect the Buddha. It can be insulting to locals if you take photos with statues or monuments with silly expressions or faces. Respect their religion and they will respect you.
  • DO Respect the King. Thailand’s King is the most important person in Thailand and should also be treated with the utmost respect. Do not deface money and whenever the national anthem is played stop what you are doing and stand still until the anthem is over.
  • DO Use the Wai greeting. This is when you put both palms together facing upwards. This is very common in Thailand and is polite. People will be grateful if you try to abide by their traditions.
  • DO Try to speak a little Thai. No one will expect you to be an expert but they will appreciate the effort. Head over to out Thai Phrases¬†page for more.
  • DO Barter. Bartering is a way of life in Thailand so remember to barter fairly with the locals. For more on Bartering click here.
  • DO Remember to get a visa. Check with your embassy to find out if you need a visa and if so how to attain one.


  • DON’T Lose your temper. Thai people rarely lose their temper in public which means you shouldn’t either. Almost all Thais are friendly and polite to everyone they connect with so you should be the same. Remember to relax and try and keep your cool after all you are on holiday!
  • DON’T Wear Shoes inside. When entering a Thai home remember to take off your shoes before you go in. They regard shoes as dirty and want to keep their homes clean so this simple rule will keep you from insulting someone.
  • DON’T Touch people’s heads. Apologise if you accidentally do it but it is not the social norm in Thailand and people can be offended especially if they are older. Avoid touching the head to avoid embarrassment.
  • DON’T Dress inappropriately. Thailand is hot but be sure you wear enough not to offend anyone. T-shirt and shorts are fine but going out topless or in a bikini isn’t.
  • DON’T Rest your feet on tables. Like in many cultures, this is considered poor etiquette.