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Essential Thai customs you should know before you go

04 April 2019 08:21

Thailand is home to the world's most spectacular beaches

Thailand is home to the world's most spectacular beaches

With its white ribbon beaches, bustling cities and welcoming locals, Thailand is one of the most captivating destinations in the world. But as with any country, it's essential that you stay on the right side of Thailand's unique customs...

Revere the Royals

It's always a good idea to avoid any mention of a host country's politics when travelling. But it's even more important in Thailand. The kingdom's strict lèse majesté laws - some of the harshest in the world - mean any disrespect shown towards the Royal family, whether in social media posts or in person, could see you hit with a few years in a Thai prison.

Take off your shoes

As is customary in many Asian countries, it's always advisable to take off your shoes before entering temples, some shops, and especially if you're invited into a local's home. If you're ever in doubt, always take your shoes off to be on the safe side. You should also avoid putting any bags directly on the floor, too, as this is also frowned upon in Thai culture.

Cover up

Thailand might have some of the world's best beaches and unforgettable tropical islands, but that doesn't always mean beachwear is appropriate. To show proper respect to local culture, you should always err on the side of caution with your dress, wearing clothes that cover your shoulders and knees especially if travelling in rural areas.

Get your greeting right

You might be used to greeting people with handshakes, hugs or even two kisses on the cheek but you should avoid being overly familiar with strangers when travelling in Thailand. Instead, do as the locals do and greet people with the traditional wai. Press your palms together at chest level and bow your head slightly whenever you greet someone.

Respect religion

Around 95% of Thais are Buddhists and spectacular temples can be found in every corner of the country. However, if you want to experience this important part of local life, be sure to show the correct level of respect when entering these shrines. Dress conservatively, avoid taking inappropriate photos with a Buddha image and never climb on any statues or temples.

And don't check in without travel insurance...

If you're travelling to Thailand, it's essential you get the right cover for you. At World First, we offer dedicated travel insurance for holidays in Asia that'll give you peace of mind when exploring unforgettable Thailand.