Thailand is often called the “land of smiles”, and the Thai people are known to be some of the most welcoming and hospitable people in the world. However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t be versed in some of the local customs and proper etiquette before visiting. There are a number of things NOT to do in Thailand to avoid disrespecting the local culture. Read on to become an informed and sensitive traveler.
1. Don’t Hug Monks
Monks are highly respected in Thailand and therefore it is forbidden to stand over or be positioned higher than a monk. Monks aren’t not even allowed to touch women. If a monk comes in contact with a woman, he often won’t even hand her something. Rather, he’ll place the item down for the woman to pick up for herself. Even on the bus monks are not allowed to sit directly next to a women. So, if you’re a female and see a seat open next to a monk, do not sit down and force him to stand. Men, however, are allowed to come in contact with monks, but most will still keep a respectful distance.