carefully. DOs & DON’Ts 10 Dos 2. Do respect Thai Buddhism – although Thais are very tolerant of all religions, they are by and large Buddhist. Phrases such as “Buddhism is not a recognised religion where I come from” may be factually true, but they will not endear you to your hosts. 4. Do carry a copy of your passport with you at all times – it is a legal requirement and from time-to-time you will be asked to show it. 5. Do get an International Driver’s License if you want to drive in Thailand – if you want to hire a car, you will not be able to without one. . Do register with your local embassy when you arrive in Thailand – although not a legal requirement, it is both a good means of staying up-to-date with the latest developments in Thailand and of meeting people. 7. Do expect Thais to speak directly. Although Thais try to avoid confrontation, they also have a habit of speaking directly. For example, if you put on weight, expect Thais to comment on it! 8. Do try some of the local cuisine.
Although this may sound strange, it is now possible to exist in Thailand without having to eat Thai food and if you do not try it, you will have missed out on a very important part of Thai culture. 9. Do try and learn some of the local language (even if it is just the numbers). You’ll find Thailand a much more enjoyable place if you do. 10. Do enjoy your stay – Thailand is very much what you make it! 10 Don’ts 2. Don’t put your feet on anything (especially the table or a pillow). The feet are lowest part of the body and, as such, are seen as “dirty”.
This don’t should also include don’t walk in a house with your shoes on – although wearing shoes in the office is OK, entering another person’s house with your shoes on is very bad manners. For this reason, most Thais visiting your house will take their shoes off before they enter – so you need a designated place outside the house where you keep shoes! 3. Don’t show public displays of affection or drunkenness – Thais don’t like overt public displays of affection (such as kissing in the street), nor do they like public displays of drunkenness.
Although it is highly unlikely someone will say something to you – you will have lost their respect without even knowing it! 4. Don’t talk politics with Thais – first of all they are not interested in your political view, second of all they won’t want to put themselves in a situation where the conversation could turn controversial. 5. Don’t lose your temper. This is extremely important: losing your temper in Thailand is a sign of losing control and is frowned upon: to the extent where some Thais will go out of their way to make you even more upset once they realize you have lost control of your temper! . Don’t shout at Thais in English – because they don’t understand you doesn’t mean they are stupid and shouting at a Thai, even in English, is going to result in completely the opposite end to what you intended! 7. Don’t “wai” (the Thai greeting and show of respect, indicated by pressing your palms together near your chest and bowing) a child – although a Thai will not comment on it, it is considered extremely bad luck to wai children. 8. Don’t throw rubbish on the floor (it’s a $50 fine).
In major towns and cities, don’t jay-walk (also $50 fine). 9. Business Etiquette (Do’s and Don’ts) • DO wear business suites for meetings with trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and tie. Women should normally wear skirt and blouses, covering the shoulders and upper legs. • DO give general praise to your Thai colleagues but avoid giving too specific praise in regards to a Thai’s possessions as he or she may feel obligated to give you the item in question. • DO take off your shoes when invited into your Thai business colleague’s home. DON’T plan any meetings at the beginning and end of they day, these should be avoided due to difficulties with transport to the work place. • DON’T joke about or criticize the Thai King or Queen as these are to be treated with respect and it is illegal to say or write anything offensive to royalty. DON’T touch your Thai colleague’s head as it is considered sacred according to Buddhist tradition. Don’t touch any Thai on the head – the head is the highest part of the body and as such is revered. Don’t be surprised to find you are paying for dinner!
In Thailand, culture dictates that the most ‘senior’ person at the table at least offers to pay for dinner. This can be the case even where you were the one invited to dinner! 10. Don’t forget that it can take 20 or more years to get a Thai’s trust, but it can take 5 seconds to lose it if you say the wrong thing (usually something critical of Thailand)! It is, therefore, very important that you give careful consideration to what you are going to say before you say it – you can be sure that the Thais have considered their words