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Laws of Thailand for tourists: rules of behavior, how to behave

Rules of conduct and laws of Thailand for tourists

His behavior in Thailand must be correlated with the laws and regulations established in this country. If the laws are generally consistent with the trends in the legislation of Western countries, the unwritten rules have a traditional cultural code that is intuitive for foreigners incomprehensible. In order not to look at least silly and absurd, and, moreover, not to conflict with the laws — questions about the rules of conduct, how to dress in Thailand, you need to take care in advance.


For many, Thailand is a territory of conditional freedom in which you can drive a car while intoxicated, have sex with local beauties or handsome men, use narcotic drugs. This is not true.

Bribe official

Thai laws are harsh. Although their severity is largely compensated by the election method of their execution. However, vacationers should have an idea of ​​what can not be done in this country. A tourist who violates local rules is always interesting for the police, above all, the opportunity to have money from him.

If we take into account that giving a bribe in Tae is one of the most serious crimes, then joining a government official into a corrupt contact places the tourist in a paradoxical reality with an uncertain scenario.

Use of sexual services

Thai reality is extremely ambivalent. Take, for example, the widely known fact that Thailand is the global center for sex tourism, providing a variety of recreational opportunities. However, prostitution is prohibited by law. For sex with a Thai or a Thai under the age of majority, imprisonment with a fine is provided. And this is by mutual agreement. In this case, visually determine the age of Asians in the group of 15-30 years is quite problematic.

With regard to drugs, Thailand is a typical Asian country. Perhaps more civilized than the surrounding neighbors, but, nevertheless, it is not Europe or the United States. Despite the fact that the region of residence of Thailand is one of the two traditional centers for growing opium poppy, and hallucinogenic fungi grow in the local jungle, all drugs, both of plant origin and of synthetic origin, are prohibited. For their use, the law establishes prison sentences. For transfer to someone — punishment is provided up to the death penalty.

At the same time, the above-mentioned duality of Thai reality is fully manifested in this plane. Drugs are sold on the streets almost freely and practically any, including purely western ones: amphetamine derivatives, cocaine and LSD. At the same time, everyone, including the police, is aware of what is happening.

The police are not on the side of the farang

Although this is not a law, the tacit rule is that in any situation that is disputable from the point of view of law, officials (police, judges) never take the side of an alien.

Respect for the king, his family and power

Disrespect for the king, expressed, including his image, to members of the royal family, to the power of the king is a criminal offense.

This law best emphasizes that, despite the constitution and parliament, Thailand is a modern Eastern despotism, and Thai values ​​are very far from the values ​​of Western democracies.

Respect for religion

The laws of Thailand require respect for religious objects and worshipers. There are certain restrictions on what can and can not be done in temples. For the commission of gross violations of ethical standards — insulting the statue of Buddha, other symbols, climbing on religious buildings and objects, vandalism — punished with a fine and / or prison.

The rules for customs in Thailand are identical to those in other countries.

However, there is some specificity in the work of Thai customs. For example, there is a restriction on the import of tobacco (200 cigarettes) and alcohol (1 l). Sampling checks are practiced. Traveling with pets must submit vaccination certificates.

Thai Customs does not allow the export of the following items and values:

  • Buddha images, incl. fragments;
  • gold bars, precious stones, platinum jewelry, antiques without a special permit (license);
  • works of art (not souvenirs), as well as copies thereof, require permission from the Department of Fine Arts.

A full list of prohibited items for export can be found in the article: What can not be exported from Thailand.

Rules of conduct in Thailand

The dominant qualities of Thais in interpersonal communication are restraint (maintaining calm) and goodwill (positivity). First of all, their religion teaches them this. The tourist should behave accordingly and observe the following rules of conduct in Thailand:

  • to call the Thais by name with a restrained smile;
  • when referring to adult Thais, it is customary to add “Khun”;
  • always give thanks for the help or service provided;
  • try to avoid touching the Thais with hands, hugs and other ways of expressing joy;
  • women cannot be touched without their consent;
  • children can not be stroked on the head (so you can «scare away» luck);
  • if you accidentally (for example, in transport) touched someone’s head, you should apologize, because so doing is extremely indecent;
  • with the public performance of the anthem in Thailand, it is customary to get up.

What not to do in public places:

  • make noise and scream;
  • express emotions violently;
  • to sit with legs thrown on the table;
  • demonstrate intimacy in a relationship (kissing, hugging, etc.);
  • completely naked on public beaches (there are special beaches for nudists).

What can not be done in religious places:

  • all that is not allowed in other public places (see above);
  • in temples and monasteries — held in shoes;
  • be with open shoulders, belly (should dress);
  • in monasteries — to be in shorts (you should at least wrap a towel);
  • be above the Buddha images — in some temples everything is very small, incl. and statues: in these cases, in order not to break the rule, you should bow or crouch;
  • point at something with your finger;
  • to sit down in temples and other places of religious purpose — there are rules in this regard, but, not to be confused, it is easier not to sit down at all.

Separately, it should be said about the Thai gesture of greeting / gratitude «wai» — hands folded to each other at chest, head or overhead level. The different levels of gesture correlate with the status and age of the person welcomed: the higher the arms are folded, the more respect the welcoming person shows.

For tourists it is acceptable to do without the greeting «wai», because it is often done incorrectly and out of place that looks ridiculous. Enough will be the usual bow head. If you want to conform to the Thai tradition, then follow the 3 rules:

  • never do wai first;
  • always answer “wai” on the same level at which they greeted you (with the exception of the monks — they should always be welcomed with hands raised high);
  • you should not mark “wai” on “wai” received from a child — in this case, the right answer is a smile.

Again: if the farang does not make «wai», then it will not be an insult, because everyone understands that a foreigner is a carrier of another cultural tradition.

How to dress in Thailand

For tourists, it is not necessary to follow the Thai canons of clothing. The main restrictions on the appearance are imposed when visiting religious sites (see above) including. as part of excursions.

Outside of the beach and beach establishments, an open-chested appearance is considered abnormal. However, this is a general rule that operates in all cities of the world and is not specifically Thai. Exceptionally local rule — the requirement to be driving in clothes that cover the upper part of the body. Otherwise, how to dress in Thailand is a matter of personal preference and weather conditions.

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