Leading from my last post, my research for the top 15 things to do in Thailand led me to the top 15 things to NOT do in the land of the Thai.
1) Don’t make fun of a lady boy
So apparently these ‘lady boys’ have tempers. Maybe it’s the imbalanced concoction of female hormone enhancers mixed with fluctuating testosterone levels or maybe they’re just relatives of Naomi Campbell, nonetheless they are known to explode when tormented. Explode in the form of violent handbag attacks, throwing things, wrestling and/or the breaking of glass bottles over one’s head. Don’t make jokes, laugh or insult them unless you’re willing to pay for them.
Hot dogs or legs? This joke won’t fly with ladyboys
2) Don’t make out with anyone publicly
Contrary to popular belief, Asian persuasion isn’t a real thing. Thai’s have an issue with tongues touching and in fact barely hold hands or even hug in public. A PDA couples worst nightmare.
3) Don’t fall victim to the ‘jewellery scam’.
Apparently this is most common when riding a tuk tuk (common mode of Thai transport). The taxi driver will inform you that your desired destination is unavailable due to renovations and will divert you to a dodgy area of town where your ‘new and similar destination’ awaits. This destination coincidentally happens to be in a jewellery store. Here you are either drugged or scammed into buying ‘cut price jewellery’ which turns out to be fake or both.
4) Don’t hug a Monk
This one is going to be tough for Shani as she finds them quite cute. Monks are forbidden to touch women and won’t even directly hand something to a woman. Men can be touched but need to keep a respectable distance. You are never allowed to be positioned higher then a Monk (the only time my vertically challenged growth will be advantageous)
I’d recommend hugging this Monk if you can’t resist. He seems quite keen
5) Don’t dress like a slut
Ironic considering the high frequency of lady boys, but dressing inappropriately will condemn you as an ‘alien’ by the Thai. You can wear shorts, but not inappropriate shorts, you can wear silk but not inappropriate silk; you just need to look tidy from your clothes to your hair. Bob Marley t-shirts are also frowned upon and border patrol won’t help you if you look like mess when trying to enter the country.
Sign at the Thai border post
6) Don’t take your clothes off
Despite being a tropical humid location, unless your on the beach, in a particular bar or in your own company, its best to keep your clothes on in Thailand. Girls need to cover their shoulders, knees and any cleavage when entering temples or sacred places.
7) Don’t get angry
Thai people are generally mild-mannered and don’t appreciate voices being raised. In fact, they are so quite that foreigners can be heard miles away. If ever faced with the reality of an argument, stay calm and do not raise your voice, this only worsens the problem.
8) Don’t whistle at night
The Thai people are very spiritual and believe it is bad luck to whistle at night as it is seen as an act of summoning spirits.
9) Don’t touch a head
Unless you are a child or have a child, don’t touch anyone’s head. Touching someone’s head is seen as disrespectful. The head is seen as the cleanest, holiest and most sacred part of the body so don’t touch it or put anything on it.
10) Don’t point with your feet
Notice the position of the feet
This is a big deal, Thai’s have a weird issue with feet. They are seen as the dirtiest part of the body so using them to facilitate daily life is not on. It is considered extremely impolite to point with your feet, I do this a lot on the beach when I’m lying down and want to point to something, a potentially problematic situation.
It’s also considered impolite to stand with your feet facing a temple or a monk, so basically if you’re a ballerina, your all good on this one. Other issues include using your feet to close something, keep a door open or kick something/someone.
11) Don’t get dirty
Ironic considering the humidity, constant heat and air pollution worthy of 8 million people running wild in Bangkok, however contrary to Christina Aguilera’s hit, being dirty and sweaty is really disrespectful. Cleanliness and appearance are key in Thai culture and even street workers and builders have clean uniforms at all time. Having long dirty hair is also not acceptable which makes me worry that they haven’t caught onto the baby powder trick yet? Also I can’t imagine myself looking particularly fresh after a day in the city followed by some flamboyant yoga…
Bangkok air pollution
12) Don’t feed street elephants
Having traveled some of parts of Europe and the United States, I’ve encounter many people who have a genuine misconception that I ride to school on elephants after feeding my pet cheetah breakfast in the morning. However, Thai’s really do ride around on elephants in the city. Whilst this is bizarre, its actually incredibly sad as the cruelty these animals are subjected to is utterly disgusting. Tourists are encouraged not to feed them as you are just facilitating their use in the city and doing them a gross disservice by saving their owners money, as they no longer have to feed them. If the elephant is too expensive to feed in the city, their owners will take them back to the rural areas. So don’t feed them!!!
13) Don’t enter an ‘upstairs’ bar
Upstairs bars are code for sex-bars-with-thugs-and-aggressive-‘girls’-who-want-your-money-and-are-willing-to-fight-you-for-it. They often have signs displaying free sex shows or free drinks and once they’ve enticed a naïve tourist like yourself looking for a good time, they slap you with a bill and ugly horrifying strippers attempt to get you to buy drinks all whilst some Thai thugs intimidate the shit out of you. Just don’t go!!
Maybe a little dramatic but you can’t take any chances
14) Don’t fight a thai man
Speaking of fighting, don’t fight Thai men either. Thai men are generally quite small and relaxed people willing to handle drunk and obnoxious tourists from all cultures. However, they are preachers of the safety in numbers call and one drunken argument with a little Thai man could rapidly escalate into a one on twenty fight club scenario, you being Jared Leto.
Jared Leto, not ideal.
15) DON’T DO DRUGS
Aside from the obvious side effects of drug abuse, the physical state you may or may not find yourself in compounded with the subsequent looming after effects, encroaching demons and inevitable loser complex, your primary concern is not whether you have a pulse but rather whether you are going to see more then the inside of a prison cell for the next 30 years. Getting arrested in Thailand is no joke. Thai police don’t give a shit whether you consciously took drugs or had drugs planted in your drink. In the end, you’re going to jail. Think Pollsmoor prison on steroids and human rights violations that make Yemen and Tibet look like Amnesty International.
Just your standard thai prison