What Not To Do In Thailand | Tea & Post

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

What Not To Do In Thailand

Thailand is definitely up there as one of my favourite destinations, it's a beautiful country filled with friendly people and interesting culture. However, it is a part of the world that is very different to ours and therefore has different customs and rules. I found out a lot of these whilst researching where I would be visiting before I left and also through my own experiences when I was in the country. If you're heading to Thailand it might be worth keeping these tips on what not to do there in mind.

Don't play Connect 4 in a bar unless you are prepared to part with some money.

The girls that come around with the game are crazily good at it and your chances at winning are extremely slim. The usual agreement is that if you win they will give you a drink on the house, if they win you must buy them a drink. I managed to avoid actually playing the lady who came trying to entice me into a game, however the guy next to me did play and ended up buying myself, a barmaid and the connect 4 girl shots.

Don't swat the bugs.

Thailand hosts some pretty mean flying critters, such as the giant Asian hornet, paper wasps and sand flies. The hornets are aggressive when provoked and can be massive so are best to avoid, as much as you may want to run away when these are buzzing round you it's best to sit still. With paper wasps,  I found out from first hand experience they cause a rather painful sting. Taking the appearance of flying ants, these little buggers will defend their nest if they think you are a threat and often come in packs. They can also sting multiple times so it's best to avoid swatting them. Unfortunately I didn't know this when I visited and ended up sprinting up a hill with a swarm chasing me, stinging my arms and legs as I tried to get away. Sand flies are pretty annoying, biting and causing small lumps to appear. They can also spread diseases so avoiding them is advisable, wearing a high DEET bug repellent should work.

Don't head out into the midday sun without wearing gallons of suncream

It seems pretty obvious but there were quite a few people at our resort who looked like they'd been lying in a frying pan for the afternoon rather than at the beach. Sun burn is painful, dangerous and can also ruin your holiday if you let it get really bad. Always wear a high factor and reapply several times a day.If possible completely avoid the midday sun, find some shade to avoid the strongest rays of the day and keep hydrated.

Don't pay the first price given to you.

Tuk-tuk drivers, stall owners and even your hotel may try to con you out of handing over more money than necessary. Be wary of the tuk-tuk you choose as they often have deals with tailor shops where they drop you off and expect you to buy something. They also like to charge you the first number that pops into their heads. Always negotiate a price before you get into the vehicle and haggle the price down, if successful you could find they halve it. The same goes for the stall owners in the marketplaces, always haggle! If you feel like your hotel is trying to overcharge you for transport or an excursion then shop around for better deals. You'll find there are various tourist shops dotted around offering the same services for lower prices.

Don't wear shoes that are difficult to remove.

This one is more for your convenience as you will have to remove your shoes when you enter a temple, some shops and also some people's homes. Having to sit down and unbuckle sandals or unlace your trainers and then doing them up again after can be cumbersome. Wearing flip flops means you can easily slip them off and the back on again later when you leave.

 Don't disrespect the royal family.

As you'll see when you're there by the images placed all over the country, the King of Thailand and his family are highly revered.  If anyone were to hear you being disrespectful about the monarchy you could find yourself facing a lengthy prison sentence as it's actually illegal to be rude about them.

 Don't ride a scooter without a helmet.

You will frequently see entire families of Thai people flying past you on one tiny scooter wearing no helmets and often no shoes. Don't follow their lead. If you are planning to rent one then make sure you have a helmet. Unlike them, you are not used to navigating the sometimes windy and often steep roads. All it takes is one mistake from you to go flying and without a helmet you could suffer serious head damage.

Don't get involved with any drugs.

The police in Thailand won't differentiate between an occasional drug user and a drug dealer. If they find you in possession of drugs you will end up in a very crowded and hot cell in dire living conditions.  From what I heard from other travellers I met out there, drugs are readily offered at full moon parties and also at some bars. Unless you want to end up sharing one toilet with forty people in 30 degree heat it's best to avoid them completely.

Don't dress inappropriately when visiting a temple

The dress code for temples is very strict. Whilst you can get away with wearing shorts, shorter skirts and dresses whilst wandering in most tourist areas, in temples you must cover up. If you turn up in something that doesn't cover your shoulders or your knees you will be asked to leave.


  1. These are really useful tips! I'm desperate to go to Thailand but have been a bit wary before so its nice to know some tips for when I eventually am lucky enough/brave enough to go! Thank you for sharing!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog - Travel, Lifestyle and Fashion xx

  2. I'm glad you found them useful, hope you have a brilliant time when you do go! It's such a lovely place to visit :)

  3. The first thing you say here about the games, that goes for any game the bar might have, the Thais are really good at it. However, if you can afford to buy someone a few drinks it is fun as well and it engages the people around you as well, very social and fun :) just prepare yourself for not winning :) Also when you go to temples carry with you a sarong and keep in mind that covering up your shoulders and knees are the best way to go about it, then you know 100% that you are doing it correctly. Some places you get in with bare shoulder and knees, but better safe than sorry. Also wearing a helmet on a motor bike doesn't prevent you from injuring yourself ( maybe badly) when you drive with only you swim shorts and nothing else :)

  4. Thanks for adding to it :) These are only what I picked up out there and from what I read before, I'm sure there's lots I've missed! We actually bought some sarongs from Chatuchak Market before heading to a temple and used them to cover our shoulders, they were pretty handy!

  5. I am headed to Thailand early next year, and found this post very helpful. Thanks for the fair warning on bugs, that is one part of SE Asia I am really not looking forward to at all.

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  7. I'm glad you found it helpful :) I honestly didn't give the bugs two thoughts before I went out there. Wish I'd read up about them before as I'dve saved myself being covered in red welts for most of the holiday!


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