Do's and don'ts in Thailand

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Last edited: August 29, 2017 at 19:24:24

Without aiming to replicated basic info about what to do and what not to do, here's an entertaining summary made by the Tourist Authority Thailand (with some focus on Chinese tourists).

Useful Tips for a Happy Holiday in Thailand

(Presented by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) )


GREETINGS: In Thailand, a very polite and friendly way to greet each other is by saying Sawadee with a ‘wai’. To ‘wai’ is to put your palms together in front of your chest. This is the most common greeting practiced among Thai people.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

LITTERING: Do not litter anywhere, especially on the streets -- not even a small cigarette butt or toothpick. Offenders will be fined. Put rubbish into containers where it belongs.
乱丢垃圾 : 不要随手乱扔垃圾,尤其是在大街上--哪怕是小小的烟蒂或牙签。违反者将被罚款。将垃圾放入其应当归属的容器中。

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

SMOKING: Do not smoke anywhere except designated areas. Smoking is prohibited in all air-conditioned areas such as cinema theaters, indoor restaurants, hotel lobbies, etc. It is also banned in all temples, schools, public gardens, and parks. All international airports have designated smoking rooms.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

SPITTING: Spitting is unacceptable in Thai society and is considered despicable behaviour in Thailand. Use tissue paper or a handkerchief.

CONVERSING: Do not speak too loudly in public. Thai people are soft-spoken people, as the Thai spoken language has a very soft tone. Thais do not talk loudly in public and may be offended by anyone doing so.

EMOTION: Showing anger and confrontation in public is considered disgraceful. Try to resolve arguments or differences in an amicable way by compromising as Thai people normally do. Couples hugging and kissing in public are also considered quite impolite.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese


TABOO: Do not touch a Thai person’s head as it is it the resting place of one’s soul and commanding the highest respect.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

RELIGION: The majority of Thais are Buddhists. A woman is not allowed to touch any Buddhist monk. The appropriate behaviour is to show respect by clasping one’s hands to ‘wai’ or to greet.

DRESS CODE: Always wear proper clothing in all public areas, espcially when visiting temples, former palaces, and museums. Observe the dress code as stated at the entrances.

SHOES OFF: Remove all footwear before entering the viharn or sermon halls of temples, ancient palaces, most museums, and some private residences.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese


SMILE: Thailand is a country of smiling faces. Always wear a smile and you will win many more friends.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

GIVE WAY: In any public transport such as BTS, MRT, train or bus, it is advisable to give way to others or offer seats to the young and elderly.

QUEUE: As a courtesy to others, always fall in line or queue up whenever there is a queue in front of you.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

RESPECT: Respect historical places and ancient monuments during your visit. Do not climb up any Buddha images or damage any monuments or artifacts by defacing with graffiti, writing, inscribing names, or leaving any marks on them.

APOLOGIZE: To err is human and to forgive is divine. Apologizing and saying sorry will always be appreciated and acknowledged. In Thai, women say ‘kor thod ka’ and men say ‘kor thod krup’.
道歉:人都会犯错,但并不是每个人都具备原谅的美德。道歉并且说声对不起是值得肯定和宽恕的。在泰国,妇女道歉时说‘kor thod ka’ ,而男人则说‘kor thod krup’。


PROHIBITED GOODS: Do not bring in or take out any prohibited goods, including all drugs and narcotics, obscene objects and pornographic materials, Buddha images large than 12cm, goods with Thai flags or any fake official or royal seals, goods that infringe IPR or copyrights, counterfeit trademark items, ivory, and all protected species of plants and animals.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

SEXUAL OFFENCES: Sex with children under 18 years of age with or without consent is a crime punishable with imprisonment or a fine or both.

MONARCHY: Thai people revere and have the highest respect for the King and the Royal family. It is illegal to make any derogatory or negative comment concerning the King or any members of the Royal family; it is absolutely not tolerated.


  • Drive safely in Thailand and strictly follow all traffic regulations
  • Thailand adopts left-hand drive system. Always keep to the left lane when driving in Thaland.
  • Always beware of bicycles and motorbikes as there are many on the roads.
  • To prevent accidents, do not stop your car or vehicle abrubtly in the middle of the road for any reason.
  • Please study the directions before each journey to make sure you know your way.
  • Always stop at zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to cross the road first.

Do's and Don'ts in Thailand, especially for Chinese

The owner or driver bringing a vehicle into the Kingdom of Thailand must observe all laws and regulations and provide the following documents:

Submit Vehicular Form (TM. 2) together with the official documents:
1.1.1 The original Car Owner Handbook together with a copy
1.1.2 Owner or Driver Identificiation Card or passport with a copy.
1.2 Submit List of Passengers form (TM. 3)
1.3 Submit List of Vehicle Crew Members Form (TM. 4)

1.1.1 车主手册原件和副本
1.1.2 车主或驾驶员身份证或护照及副本
1.2 乘客表格提交清单(TM.3)
1.3 交通工具车组成员表格提交清单(TM.4)

The driver and each passenger / vehicle crew member must have a passport and border pass, and vehicle must pass inspection by authorized officers at border checkpoints.

The vehicle owner or driver must provide an official insurance policy complying with the “Victims Protection Act of 2535 BE” for all vehicles.
所有交通工具的车主或驾驶员必须提供符合“2535 BE受害人保护法案”的正式的保险单。

Source pictures and text: Tourist Authority Thailand

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