I’ve seen tourists at a local Buddhist temple here that are completely clueless about what they’re doing. It’s bizarre to me that some tourists walk into Big C without a shirt like they’re in downtown Pattaya. It’s more bizarre to Thais who don’t know what to say to people that disregard their culture to such an extent as this. The phrase “do as the locals do” means nothing to many of the tourists I see in Krabi on an almost daily basis.
Here’s some help – not because you asked, but because you didn’t…
1. No Thai rides a motorbike without a shirt. You shouldn’t either. In Patong, Pattaya – there are enough visitors doing it that it’s almost become the norm. It shouldn’t have, but since most people visiting those spots are there for the prostitutes and beer, they don’t care all that much about how they act and do as they wish. It’s Thai culture not to say anything so as not to offend you or embarrass you. It doesn’t mean you should do it. Thais will think you’re key nok (bird shite).
2. No Thai EVER will go into a store without a shirt. Nor should you. I’ve seen about a dozen foreigners in Big C and Tesco without shirts. It’s offensive to Thais and it’s like putting a sign on your hairy back that you’re someone that could give a $h!t about the people’s culture you’re temporarily visiting.
3. Being at a Buddhist temple without your shirt is not OK. It’s sacrilege for god’s sake. Would you take your shirt off at the vatican?
4. Touching the Buddhist statues, standing on them, leaning on them, is not OK.
5. Sitting with your feet pointed at the Buddha statues – or at any Thai people is NOT OK. Read something about the culture before you visit.
6. Bikini tops and/or bottoms are not OK at the Buddhist temples or anywhere off the beach. Not in a store. Not on the motorbike.
7. Blowing your nose loudly is not OK.
8. Picking your teeth without covering your mouth with your other hand is not OK.
9. Holding hands, kissing, walking with your hand around your whore’s girl’s waist you just found in the bar after 10 minutes of talk and groping , is not OK.
10. Thais don’t bring their bargirls or barboys home to where they live. Never. They take them to short-time hotels that are usually hidden from the main streets and sometimes even have curtains to hide your vehicle when you pull in.