Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand (Updated)

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand (Updated)

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Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated) 595
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated) 597
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Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

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Reviewed By

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated) 595
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated) 597
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated) 599

Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

Thailand, also known as The Land of Smiles, is one of the most sought-after destinations for tourists across the globe. While being in Thailand is no doubt a vacation full of fun, there are certain things that every foreigner should know before planning their trip. And to help you with that, the World’s #1 Source of Research-Based Content, The Daily Top 10, has the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand!

The country has unlimited fun to offer its tourists, green parks, forests, beaches, wildlife, temples, and exhilarating nightlife! Thailand has every attraction that a tourist is looking for. But as we have all heard, while being in Rome, we must do as the Romans do. Similarly, while being in Thailand, do as the Thai people do.

Five Women Sitting On Tree Trunk
Image Source: Pexels

So, here are the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand! If you find this article to be up your alley, we have quite a broad range of others on our website such as the Top 10 Best Places for First-Time Travelers to Visit in Thailand, the Top 10 Best and Most Popular Places to Visit in France and the Top 10 Oldest and Most Popular Restaurants in Asia.

What is the Worst Thing That Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand?

Khao Sok National Park
Image Source: Tony Education

Thailand is a land of traditions. From Buddhism to their rich, exotic cuisine, bustling markets, and heart-warming hospitality. Let us also not forget about the traditional performances and the beautiful art. Classical Thai dance forms, such as Khon and Likay, beautifully convey tales from ancient mythology and history.

However, it is imperative that to enjoy the beauty and culture of this country, there are certain things you should know that are considered wrong or frowned upon in Thailand. To avoid any embarrassing situations for you, we have created a list of the Top 10 Things That Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand. 

We save the Worst Thing That Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand for last, so stick around and find out!


Illegal Drugs

Image Source: The Conversation

Thailand is known for its vibrant nightlife, and illegal activities and drugs are not really that uncommon or unheard of. The country has a lot of tourist destinations, which offer plenty of explicit and illegal activities which are pretty much available for all willing to pay for it. And as fun as this may seem for a couple of hours, is it worth it?

The answer, well, is no! It is not the safest activity outside a pub or disco, where brokers might come and offer you illegal drugs. Being a foreigner, we advise you to not step into such activities that can put you in hot waters. Remember, in Thailand, if you are caught with even a small amount of illegal drugs, you can get behind bars or you might be charged with a heavy fine as per an article on Ratchada Law Firm.


Keep Your Shoes on All the Time

Image Source: Responsible Thailand

According to a Thaizer article, Thailand has a fascinating cultural tradition in which visitors must take their shoes off before entering residences, temples, and even some eateries. The respect and admiration that Thai people have for their environment may be seen in this long-standing tradition, which is strongly ingrained in Thai culture.

To show respect for the Thai culture and people and fully immerse yourself in the experience, you should take off your shoes where required. While visiting the bustling full-of-life streets of Thailand and the tourist attractions of the nation, you should show respect for local norms and wear light footwear to improve both comfort and cultural immersion.


Use Your Feet for Unnecessary Things

Footwear And Ice
Image Source: Fun Buzz Time

An article on Ling App talks about how Thailand has a rather unique cultural concept about the value of following foot etiquette that cannot be ignored. Using your feet or the lower portion of your foot to point towards people or holy sites like temples and Buddha statues is frowned upon! The odd twist to this custom is that it is also improper to close doors with your legs or feet.

Thai culture emphasizes displaying respect and avoiding any behavior that can be construed as being disrespectful. It is deemed unpleasant and impolite to point with your feet. When visiting Thailand, it is important to respect these cultural traditions and to be careful with not only your body language but also your foot placement.


Spit on the Roads

Bustling Street In China Town
Image Source: Independent

The ban on spitting on the ground is one of the important features of hygiene control in Thailand. Not only is this behavior seen as extremely impolite, but it may also result in fines. That is how important this is to the Thai people, that they made a whole law against it! In addition, littering is severely discouraged and proper trash disposal is urged for both residents and visitors.

According to an informative piece on Fan Club Thailand, Thailand’s government and residents have been actively striving to preserve the country’s natural beauty. It is essential to follow these cleanliness standards if you want to appreciate Thailand’s beauty to the fullest and help keep it preserved. Tourists can actively contribute to preserving the nation’s appeal and guaranteeing a sustainable future for future generations by doing this.


Take Pictures with Caged Animals

Female Tourists
Image Source: Freepik

In Thailand, tourists are given the option to click photos of illegally procured wildlife in multiple places across the country. These are Pattaya, Phuket, Ao Nang, Ko Samui, and sometimes even Bangkok. Tourists take full advantage of this since these animals aren’t found in most parts of the world.

Most of these animals are endangered species like monkeys and gibbons as well as birds and snakes captured illegally from wildlife, according to South East Asia Backpacker. While clicking photos with them is fun, it is almost equal to encouraging this crime. These animals are given drugs, to make them playful or friendly for clicking photos. Stand against this crime and raise your voice by saying a big NO.


Touch People’s Heads

Nguyen Phan Linh
Image Source: Passports Symphony

We get it, it sounds rather funny and weird but it is one of the most important Not to do things in Thailand. You may find yourself thinking you don’t do this at all but a casual gesture like this isn’t that uncommon in our daily lives. In Thailand, the head is considered the holiest part of the human body, as per Bangkok Airport Train.

Hence, it is considered rude to touch it without taking their permission first. You must remember that when you are in public and see someone traveling with a loved one or a child, you must resist touching or even putting anything on their heads. This also includes your best friends and being careful while smacking the back of their heads amid jokes!


Show Romantic Gestures in Public

Happy Hipster
Image Source: Freepik

Thailand, among other Asian countries, is not as liberal as you would expect it to be if you’re visiting from Europe or America. They hold their traditional values close to their culture and are a bit on the conservative side. Hence, public display of affection isn’t that appreciated here, according to an article on Escape.

If you’re a traveler, it is imperative you keep your hands to yourself for the most part (if with a spouse), no matter how hard it may seem, sadly. This is not to say you cannot go on a romantic date or dine at a cozy restaurant with your special someone. Of course, you can, but it’s best to avoid making out or hugging. In Thailand, even a simple romantic gesture such as holding hands or kissing is rarely seen.


Going to a Ping Pong Show Can be Expensive

Soi Cowboy
Image Source: Love Travel Bug

Ping pong shows in Thailand should be approached with caution, according to a shocking post on Food Fun Travel. These shows can often involve fraudulent strategies and scams, despite how alluring and fascinating they mean seem initially. And of course, tourists mostly gravitate towards this.

The standard price for drinks makes it seem like a cheap place to be, the admission is seemingly advertised as free! Visitors might be shocked to hear that they are also responsible for covering the cost of the performers’ drinks. As per the article’s cautions, when it’s time to check out, a surprisingly high bill is waiting, leaving tourists feeling burdened.


Touch the Monks

Image Source: Responsible Thailand

It’s rather fun and interesting to interact with monks in Thailand, but it’s crucial to be conscious of the cultural norms that surround their presence. Monks are revered religious figures in Thai culture, and it is frowned upon for women to touch them. Furthermore, it is completely prohibited to cross a monk or stand above him as per an article on Culture Trip.

It is advised that female passengers on public transport avoid sitting next to monks. This is because it isn’t culturally acceptable and some might argue it is not permitted as well. It is essential to be aware of these rules and to respect the monks’ spiritual commitments to achieve a courteous meeting.


Overstay When the Visa Expires

Single Entry Tourist Visa For Thailand
Image Source: Thai Embassy

The Worst Thing on the Not to Do List in Thailand is Overstaying Your Visa. It’s important to be aware of the repercussions of overstaying your visa in Thailand, according to a post on Thai Solutions. The article emphasizes the daily fine of 500 Baht, the risk of jail for non-compliance, and the maximum sentence of 20,000 Baht.

Now that’s not easy money, especially for a tourist, is it? We must further emphasize that if you regularly break the visa regulations, Thai immigration authorities will mark and note your passport. The designation of an “undesirable alien” can have severe repercussions, such as making it more difficult to travel internationally and possibly preventing you from entering Thailand again for a period of five to ten years.

What are the Things That Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand?

Travel Together
Image Source: Freepik

Thailand is a land that has unlimited fun to offer tourists. From clean water beaches to the temples and the nightlife, the country has every attraction that a tourist is looking for. If you plan to go to Thailand this year, let’s have a quick look at our created list of the Top 10 Things That Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand.

The country’s rich history, culture, scenery, and multiple activities make it a favorite for all when it comes to international vacation destination lists.

Here is a list of the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Thailand:

  1. Stay When the Visa Expires
  2. Touch the Monks
  3. Going to a Ping Pong Show Can be Expensive
  4. Show Romantic Gestures in Public
  5. Touch People’s Heads
  6. Take Pictures With Caged Animals
  7. Spit on the Roads
  8. Use Your Feet for Unnecessary Things
  9. Keep Your Shoes on All the Time
  10. Illegal Drugs

Thailand offers a rich tapestry of magnificent scenery and colorful culture, from the busy streets of Bangkok to the peaceful beaches of Phuket. It has something to offer every traveler, whether they are looking for adventure in the luxuriant jungles of Chiang Mai or peace on the gorgeous islands of Krabi. The country has everything for every age group.

If you like reading this article, please visit our website, The Daily Top 10 for more articles like the Top 10 Reasons Why We Celebrate National Toast Day, the Top 10 Most Expensive Alcoholic Drinks in the World, and the Top 10 Traditional Foods to Serve During Isra and Mi Raj Night.


Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Thailand (Updated)


Saumya M.
Author: Saumya M.

Saumya M. is a passionate content writer known for her impeccable storytelling and research. She has covered topics ranging from travel and lifestyle to entertainment, community, and education. She helps people live their best lives and reach their full potential.

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