- Peter Roodnat
11 weird things you probably don't know about Thailand
Anyone traveling to Thailand most likely knows about the strict regulations surrounding drugs in the Asian country. Years long prison sentences for very small amounts of drugs are no exception. Most travelers are familiar with the dress code when visiting temples and the Thai themselves, especially on Koh Samui are used to Tourists and other cultures. But which rules are less well known and even punishable? So if you are traveling to the beautiful "land of smiles" it might be wise to go through this list anyway.
#1 Going outside as a "commando" is forbidden.
For many, this expression is even unknown but it means going outside without underpants on. How free Thailand is in the area of sex wearing no underwear is prohibited. How this is controlled is unknown.
#2 Be careful where you drink alcohol.
Sun, sea, beach, food and drink. The combination for many for a successful vacation.
But be careful where you take your Chang or other alcoholic drink. In Temples, public government buildings, gas station, public parks, schools and hospitals it is forbidden to drink alcohol. This can even carry a 6-month jail sentence. Also, drinking and selling alcohol during religious holidays, the King and Queen's birthday and election days is prohibited.
#3 standing still two times a day
Thailand, the country with a very rich history, especially when it comes to governing the country. Thailand is a Monarchy and you cannot escape that as a tourist. Wherever you go you will come across portraits of the King and Queen of Thailand. The monarchy is very important in Thailand and insulting the monarchy can lead to very high prison sentences.
Twice a day Thailand comes to a halt. At 8am and at 6pm the national anthem is played and a tribute is paid to the Monarchy. This is also expected of tourists in Thailand.
#4 Wear a helmet and shirt
How nice it is to explore Koh Samui by scooter or moped, for example. The way to discover idyllic beaches where hardly any tourists come. In addition, renting one is cheaper than a ride with a Taxi. The average price for renting a scooter or moped on Koh Samui is around 150 bath per day, while a cab ride of about 15 minutes will cost you 400 bath.
If you decide to rent a scooter or moped please note that as a tourist you are required to wear a helmet. Even though you see many people not wearing a helmet, it is checked and fines are handed out. In addition, no matter how hot it is, it is strictly forbidden to ride a scooter or motorcycle without outerwear. This law also applies to driving a car by the way.
#5 playing cards?
Many tourists take playing cards with them on vacation. Often to play at night before going to bed. As a Backpacker, a game of playing cards can even make new friends. But be careful in Thailand with playing cards. By law, one may not carry more than 120 playing cards. Why, Gambling and the legislation on it. But rest assured a complete deck of cards has 52 cards and is therefore legal.
#6 Speak Thai
A strange law in Thailand is that anyone who is in Thailand must speak Thai in public. However, this law from 1950 is not enforced so rest assured you will not go to jail.
#7 Leave your national flag at home
You are proud of where you come from but it is better not to express this pride by bringing a flag of your country to Thailand. In Thailand it is forbidden to show flags of other countries than the Thai flag.
#8 Swallow your gum
Not as strict as Singapore, where chewing gum is only available with a doctor's prescription, thailand still has strict laws regarding the disposal of chewed gum.
Throwing your chewed gum on the street is prohibited and can get you a fine of about 20000 bath.
#9 Don't step on money
As mentioned with the number 3 in this list, the King's House is very important. High penalties are meted out for insulting the royal family. So don't deliberately put your feet on money. The King is printed on the money and it is therefore considered an insult when you stand on it.
#10 leave your nurse outfit in the bedroom.
A fancy dress party? you'd better leave your nurse costume at home. In Thailand it is forbidden to pretend to be a nurse in public if you do not practice this profession. With a 20 thousand dollar fine or 2 years in jail we recommend a different costume for a fancy dress party.
#11 Forbidden fruit
The fruit is not prohibited in Thailand itself, but many hotels prohibit bringing Durian into the hotel room. This because of the strong smelling odor of this fruit is not allowed.
Not only hotels but also public buildings prohibit bringing this fruit inside.