Basic Thailand Etiquette
Hello travel buddies! Before engaging in any kind of activities, it is definitely wiser to do a little research about it. Likewise, we make sure to know more about a country before exploring it. Every place usually has their own culture, and to prevent any kind of trouble we make sure to somewhat blend in with the locals. The following are what we learned over the internet for traveling Thailand (we also included some things that we experienced during our adventure):
- Respect the Royal Family – Do not do any disrespectful acts or say any ill words towards the king and the royal family, people of Thai endear their king and royal family so much. Any act considered to be disrespectful towards their king or royal family could subject anyone to severe penalties. During our visit, the whole Thailand is in a state of mourning for the recent demise of their king, so merry-making are lessened and Thai people and tourists are advised to wear black or white colored shirts.Note: Thai coins and banknotes have pictures of their king, stomping or stepping on it as it rolls or fly away is considered disrespectful.
- Temple Visiting – There are temples in Thailand where they ask for tourist fees for foreign visitors, it would usually cost around 20-50 Baht per person. Make sure to remove your shoes prior to entering, some temples provide you with plastic bags for your shoes, if they don’t just make sure to remember where you left them. We saw lots of tourists fussing around looking for their shoes, it is either they misplaced them or someone mistook it as theirs.Temples are their place of worship, there are a lot of people who pray and worship in it. Make sure to respect them by being courteous enough not to distract them with photographs and any kind of noise. There are sometimes monks in their temples, for the girls, don’t be mad if you want a picture with them and they don’t move close enough towards you for a better picture. They have their own religious beliefs, and skin contact towards the opposite sex are a no-no.
- Personal hygiene – Thailand is a tropical country, it is always hot and humid. Showering is very essential everyday, Thai people take their hygiene and appearance seriously. So, if you don’t want to be glanced at every now and then due to your smell and disheveled appearance, make sure to take a bath.
- Bargain all the way! – Lots of things in Thailand are bargain friendly. Public transportations such as taxi, tuktuks and tons of market goods are bargainable. Except for the goods with price tags on, such as in groceries. When choosing to go on a non-meter taxi ride, in order for us to know the normal rate of the taxi, we usually check the rate of Uber. Most taxi and tuktuk loves to overcharge tourists. From what we experience they usually charge an additional 100 Baht. They would usually give in to your last bargain, just act like your going away. Greenhills tactics is what we call it.
- Uber – When riding an uber, make sure to be near where they would pick you up. We had two incidents wherein the driver already started the trip even though we still weren’t inside his vehicle. When this unfortunate event happens, make sure to cancel the trip and to report it to Uber for a refund.
- Tipping – in terms of tipping, it is actually not necessary but they would gladly appreciate it. Most cab drivers (when on meter) would automatically round-up the total fare, which they consider as their tip. In restaurants, loose change would do but a higher amount would really make a long way for them. Services, such as private drivers (when hiring a private van) and masseuse rely mostly on tips for additional income. So, if you guys enjoy their service, make sure to give them some extra change.
- Car rental – Saw a post that renting a car requires either a Thai License or an International Driver’s License. Foreign Driver’s License that is in English or has a translated version of it is also possible. A credit card and passport is also a requirement. Note: Thailand is a right-hand drive, better be careful when not familiar with it.
- Tropical Country – Again, Thailand is a tropical country just like the Philippines, wear summer clothing as much as possible. Their mountain peek’s lowest temperature is just comparable to Baguio’s temperature. Errol was able to tolerate it just by wearing a shirt and a cargo shorts.
Our own experience and