Here’s what I routinely see in Thailand… regarding tourists acting ignorantly about Thai culture
Watch the video above. This guy is stripped down to his sweaty underwear at a Buddhist temple – in front of Thai kids. If I was a Thai person, I’d have pushed this putz over the railing. Buddhists are generally non-violent, and, while it’s not my place to police the temples either – I had to shoot this video and get it out there.
Frequently tourist women climb the steps up this hill in their bikinis with just a t-shirt over them. Sometimes they wear their bikini tops! Many guys remove their shirts for the climb.
I have yet to see someone give a donation at the temple I’ve been going to for more than 5 years. There are donation boxes everywhere. There are some really amazing things to see at the temple – and thousands of photos are taken each day by tourists – and yet, nobody gives a damn to give 10 THB. Really, it’s quite unbelievable. The tourists that arrive at the Buddhist temples are there to take – and only to take. They give nothing.
I have seen dozens of people over the years walking with shoes on at the top of the mountain shrine. Can they not read the simple English and Thai sign that says – remove shoes? They’re just too lazy to do it. They see piles of shoes there on the steps, must be for someone else they think.
Thailand’s Buddhist temple visitors from outside the country don’t understand much – if anything, about Thai culture. Even in our town you routinely can see tourist guys riding their motorbikes around town with their shirts off. It never dawns on them that not one Thai person they’ll see that day – does the same. It’s not a wakeup call because they’re just not looking for the right thing to do. They just don’t care. They’re takers, and not givers.
Thai people, by nature are givers. If you haven’t experienced the amazing hospitality of Thais welcoming a visitor – complete strangers even – then I suggest you travel to Isaan and see it first-hand.
Don’t come to Thailand with your hand out. Don’t come with your brain shut-off. Research the culture and what not to do before you arrive. There’s a reason so many expats get their head kicked in… they raise their voices and get verbally aggressive with Thais. Other Thais standing around – won’t go for that, and put you in your place. Don’t get put in intensive care because you’re adamant about getting your 99 THB back for a CDROM that doesn’t work, that some streetside vendor sold to you. Post it online… tell other expats about it… and forget your 99 THB. It’s not worth a good ass-kicking. Is it?