an old and culturally rich country which has her own traditions,
perhaps similar to those of surrounding countries, yet spectacularly
different from the West. Perhaps the following tips will help you
appreciate her culture.
Monarchy: Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence
for the Royal Family, and a visitor should be careful to show respect
for the King, the Queen and the Royal Children.
Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should
never go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire.
It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound
of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal
Buddha image is kept. Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined
or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to
take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of
respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by
a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman
has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who
then presents it.
Norms: Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet
one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like
gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder,
who returns it.
Thais regard the head as the highest part of the
body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people
on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object.
It is considered very rude. Shoes should be removed when entering
a private Thai home. Public displays of affection between men and
women are frowned upon.
During the time that you will be there, it will be cool from October
through February. The average annual temperature is 28o C (83o F),
ranging from in Bangkok, for example, from 30 C in April to 25 C
To Wear: Light, loose cotton clothing is best. Nylon should
be avoided. Sweaters are needed during the cool season evenings
or if visiting mountainous areas or national parks. Jackets and
ties are required in a few restaurants and nightclubs. Neat clothes
are required for entering temples or palaces.
Thai is a tonal language belonging to the group of Ka-Tai languages,
the five tones are monotone, low, falling, high, and rising. This
can be a rather complicated language for the visitor; however, English
is quite widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is
almost the major commercial language.
Requirements for Thailand: There are no required vaccinations,
unless you are coming from an infected area. Yellow fever certificates
are required for those who are coming from an infected area. Please
check the latest regulations with your local health office.
Requirements: You should contact your local Thai Embassy
to ascertain requirements for your nationality.
Beware: The Tourism Authority of Thailand receives over
1,000 complaints a year about fake jewellery purchases. To avoid
becoming a statistic, you must stay alert to the warning signs of
a swindle at work.