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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 other members of the Royal Family. Being disrespectful to the Royal Family is considered a serious crime punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment.
Respect the local Buddhist religion and all Buddha statues or images. 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.
  • Show respect to monks. Women should never touch a monk, brush a monk's robes, or hand something to a monk.
  • Keep your cool no matter how frustrated you may get; always try to speak softly and control your anger.
  • Revealing clothes are frowned upon, so dress politely unless you’re at the beach.
  • Ask for a permission before taking photos of other people, especially monks or the elderly.
  • Do not point with your feet or fingers, as it is considered very rude. Keep your feet on the floor.
  • Always take off your shoes when entering a temple or a private home.
  • Don’t touch someone on the head.
  • Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon.
  • Return a wai: the wai is Thailand's prayer-like gesture with the hands together in front and head slightly bowed. To not return a wai is considered impolite.
  • Always return someone's smile.The "Thai smile" is famous, essential to Thailand etiquette, and Thais show it whenever they can. Smiles are used to say “Thank you”, in apology, during negotiations, to relax whenever something goes not as planned, and just in everyday life.
Thailand's drug laws are very strict. The authorities take a very hard line when it comes to narcotics. Drugs have ravaged working class communities in Thailand and destroyed lives. Therefore, anyone doing drugs inside Thailand is perceived as a threat to the stability of society. If you see anyone doing any type of drug, take yourself out of that environment immediately. Anyone caught in violation of the narcotics related laws shall be punished by imprisonment or death, depending on the circumstances as determined by the courts.