How Not To Cause An International Incident While In Thailand

Thursday, June 4, 2009


With over 14 million visitors to Thailand in 2008 alone, there’s probably not a day that goes by where some sort of cultural transgression does not take place. Well, have no fear, before you end up causing your own international incident, bone up on Matador’s top 10 customs you should know before going. Here are a few of the most important.

This being a predominantly Buddhist country where the head is prized and feet are disdained, don’t point or raise your soulless (get it?) feet at someone else, and also remember to avoid touching someone else’s head.

Show a little respect for the royals by standing up for the anthem when it’s played; the opposite should be followed whenever an Abba song is heard.

Finally, and perhaps the most important and beguiling custom than any traveler should always become aware of before heading out into the world: bathroom etiquette. As the article points out, many toilets are flushed by pouring water into that fanciful hole you just squatted over, and you should remember to throw toilet paper away in the trash to avoid clogging the pipes. Sounds so romantic, doesn’t it?

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