Don’t do this in Thailand
Thai culture is known for being one of the most courteous and friendly cultures in the world, but just like any culture, there are cultural etiquette norms that are appreciated among Thai people themselves, and for guests visiting their homes and homeland. Here are some of these customs and etiquette that you should know before visiting Thailand.
Here are just a few DON’T’s in Thailand
As with any culture, there are things in Thailand that you simply don’t do if you want to be courteous to your Thai hosts.
Don’t Touch People’s Heads
In Thailand, the head is considered to be sacred. It is also believed to be the cleanest body part and thus should never be touched. Just like in most countries around the world, it is considered rude to touch a stranger’s head. It is also disrespectful to touch the head of a statue, especially a statue of Buddha.
However, close friends and family members often touch each other’s heads or hair, which is not considered rude. If you accidentally forget and touch a stranger’s head/hair, politely beg his or her pardon. If you need to reach something above someone’s head, say ‘excuse me’ first.
Don’t Prop Your Feet On Tables or High Up
Because feet are the lowest part of the body and are by nature dirty, they should never be propped up on tables or other surfaces. In Thai culture, feet are considered the least important and most unclean part of the body.
If you are at a temple, do not stick your feet out in front of you, especially if your feet are pointing towards a monk or an image of Buddha. Other objects, like books, and food are considered high status in Thai culture, so don’t prop your feet on a coffee table or point your feet towards food. This is considered vulgar.
Avoid Being Overly Affectionate In Public
Though Thailand is a loving country and open to many expressions of love, they are modest when it comes to public displays of affection. Thus, it is best to not be overly affectionate in public places.
Do Not Collect Coral Fragments Or Shells From Their Natural Habitat
There are many practical reasons to not collect shells and coral fragments from their natural habitat. First and foremost it affects the ecology of the area. These pieces help create the pristine sand on Thailand’s famous beaches. They can also be used by native species for homes.
Due to global warming, the coral population in Thailand has been declining. This is why the country has increased its effort to protect corals in the past few years. If you take any corals or shells from the waters of Thailand, there will be a fine and you may get arrested.
Just like in many cultures, pointing is considered rude in Thailand. If you must gesture towards a person, it is recommended that you gesture by lifting your head and indicating with your chin. It is sometimes considered acceptable to point at objects and animals, however, it is preferred that if you must do this, you should use your whole hand to point, not just one finger.
Don’t Step On Thresholds
If you are walking through a doorway, it is customary to walk over the door threshold, and do not step on it directly, as it is believed that spirits live in the door threshold, and by stepping on these you are upsetting the spirit, who may then retaliate against the residents of the home and bring them bad luck.
Right now, for some Do’s which will help you when you are here in Thailand.
Do Remove Your Shoes
The first rule of etiquette for entering a Thai residence, temple, or palace is to remove your shoes. This is a courteous gesture made to protect the home or temple you are visiting from the dirt tracked in by your shoes.
It is disrespectful not to take shoes off before entering Thai homes and temples.
You may also be expected to remove your shoes at some cafes and restaurants. This is because some smaller establishments are set up in homes. To gauge whether or not you should remove your shoes, just look and see what others in the shop or restaurant are wearing on their feet and act accordingly.
Do Dress Properly
While Thailand is very open-minded and free, it is proper etiquette to dress modestly when entering a temple or palace. This is a sign of respect to the monks and residents of these historic landmarks. It is considered respectful to at a bare minimum have your knees and shoulders covered when entering a palace or temple.
For men, you may be able to get away with wearing shorts, but for women, the safest bet is to wear a long skirt or long pants. You should not wear tank tops, revealing sports attires, or t-shirts with inappropriate designs.
Always Return a Wai Greeting
A Wai greeting (pronounced “why”) is a traditional greeting in Thailand. It is usually accompanied by the phrase “Sawasdee” and is offered as a greeting, thank you, goodbye, and apology. While it is not expected that tourists offer Wai greetings to Thai people first, it is expected that they return a Wai greeting when one is presented.
Monks do not need to return Wai greetings, and Wai greetings do not need to be offered to those who are younger than you.
Do Respect the Monks And Do Not Touch Them
Monks are highly respected and revered in Thailand and are expected to be respected by visitors to Thailand as well. Please do not touch a Monk, especially if you are a woman. This is because Monks believe that a woman’s body goes against their Buddhist vows. Thus, many temples do not allow women in certain areas, and women should never touch a Monk.
When you meet a monk, you can bow or wai but don’t ask any overly-personal questions about them. It is important for Thai people to interact with them appropriately since monks are so well-respected. For example, people usually give up their seats for monks on the bus.
Do Be Mindful When Taking Pictures
When visiting a temple, taking a photo of the temple and Buddha are usually allowed in Thailand. However, be mindful and respectful of the people praying and in some worship areas. Before taking a photo, look for the temple’s rules written outside on notice boards or just ask locals.
Furthermore, show your gratitude for being allowed to take the photo by leaving a donation in the donation boxes. Donations from visitors help maintain the upkeep of the temples and palaces.
Thailand is known as “The Land of Smiles.” No wonder smiling is so important to Thai etiquette! When you are in Thailand, be happy and smile, and return smiles offered to you by others that cross paths with you on your journey.
You should also be aware, however, that smiling in Thailand does not always mean the person smiling is happy. A smile in Thailand can mean many things: embarrassment, frustration, apprehension, and much more. Returning a smile to someone who is smiling for a reason other than happiness could just be what they need to turn their mood around.
Like every destination, Thailand has its norms that are customary when it comes to common courtesy expected from visitors entering the country. While visitors are not expected to know all these cultural norms, learning them and practicing them while in Thailand is certainly the courteous thing to do.
Unveiling the Mystique of Phuket’s Giant Guardian!
When you head down the East coast of Phuket on the way to Phi Phi and you look up at the tropical green hills of Phuket, at one of the highest points you will see an awe-inspiring gleaming white marble statue of Buddha. Known simply as the Big Buddha
So, we sent Jay Leshark down to the Big Buddha and checked out the magnificence of this colossal guardian of Phuket.
Watch the video here – LINK TO VIDEO
Big Buddha Phuket
Perched high on the top of Nakkerd Hills is a gleaming white marble statue of Buddha. Known simply as the Big Buddha (its official name is Mingmongkol Buddha image), the statue has slowly become one of the most popular attractions on the island.
Right hold on, I need to do a history lesson:
Big Buddha Phuket: History
The idea for the statue came about when a group of friends discovered the spectacular views from what was to be the Big Buddha statue’s future location on Nakkerd Hills.
Instead of simply transforming this into a popular viewpoint like Laem Phromthep, the friends decided that they needed something much more significant for the people — an enormous statue of Buddha.
Construction for the Big Buddha began in 2004
The Big Buddha statue, which is 45 meters tall and spans 25 meters at the base, was built entirely with donations from locals and foreigners!
How to get to the Big Buddha?
Getting to the Big Buddha is fairly straightforward, but the road up to the Big Buddha statue is very steep so be careful.
Also If you are heading to the Big Buddha yourself, the signpost is rather small so you might miss it.
Here is the Google map location – https://goo.gl/maps/XAAcYusY4Jzmdn9u7
Would you like a few tips when visiting the Big Buddha?
Visit the Big Buddha early in the morning to beat the heat and crowd
More than a thousand visitors come here to pay respects to the Big Buddha daily and it can get crowded during the day.
If you are feeling peckish, you can stop at any of the restaurants on the way uphill or downhill.
Make sure you have your camera as not only will get epic pictures of the big Buddha BUT also from the top you get stunning views of Phuket Town, Chalong Bay, Rawai, Karon and more, alongside lush greenery and scenic beaches.
You can even see (on a clear day) Phi Phi and Phang Nga bay in the distance.
Check out our 5 Star Marine Phuket tours – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/
As this is a religious site, do dress appropriately. That means no tank tops and short shorts — this is not a Full Moon Party, so please cover up!
You can hire sarongs at the big Buddha if you don’t have anything to cover up.
So, there you go. The Big Buddha Phuket
It’s well worth the trip and something that you definitely need to see when you come to Phuket.
Koh Kradan Thailand – The world’s Best Beach 2023
Nestled in the embrace of the Andaman Sea, Koh Kradan Beach boasts a mesmerizing stretch of powdery white sand that meets the crystal-clear waters in a seamless union. The untouched natural beauty of the beach, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and breathtaking coral reefs, creates a visual feast that leaves visitors in awe.
The pure Unspoiled Natural Beauty of Kok Kradan is what makes it truly stunning.
Koh Kradan’s azure waters are a gateway to an underwater wonderland. The crystal-Clear Waters and Marine Diversity make Koh Kradan a snorkeler and diver’s haven. You will be treated to a kaleidoscope of vibrant coral formations, teeming marine life, and if you are very, lucky gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays.
Watch Jay Leshark our YouTube host at Koh Kradan – https://youtu.be/4BdfDIVRkSk?si=zCNaG7dcNS52JrLv&t=293
Unlike some of the more commercialized beach destinations, Koh Kradan Beach has managed to preserve its tranquil and secluded ambiance. Fingers and toes are crossed that this award will not change that, as the absence of large crowds is one of the reasons it is so beautiful.
Koh Kradan’s recognition as the best beach in the world is not just a testament to its natural allure but also to its commitment to sustainable tourism. The local authorities and businesses have taken measures to protect the fragile ecosystem, such as enforcing strict waste management and conservation efforts to safeguard the beach’s pristine state for generations to come. The Thailand authorities are also looking to manage the beach with closures at certain times like that have done with other popular beaches such as Maya Bay.
Maya Bay Closed – Read More – https://5starmarinephuket.com/2023/08/01/maya-bay-is-closed/
While Koh Kradan retains its unspoiled allure, it is not isolated from the wonders of its neighboring islands. Visitors can easily explore nearby attractions, such as snorkeling at the renowned Hin Muang and Hin Daeng dive sites, kayaking through hidden coves, or taking a boat trip to the iconic Emerald Cave on Koh Mook.
5 Star Marine Koh Mook tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/koh-ngai-koh-mook-koh-kradan/
Koh Kradan Beach’s recognition as the best beach in the world for 2023 is a testament to its untouched natural beauty, commitment to sustainable tourism, and the enriching experiences it offers to travelers. As we celebrate this pristine paradise, let it serve as a reminder that preserving the Earth’s most exquisite treasures is not just a responsibility, but a privilege that allows us to revel in the splendor of destinations like Koh Kradan for years to come.
The Koh Kradan tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/koh-ngai-koh-mook-koh-kradan/