Thailand is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Asia. This destination is particularly appreciated by tourists for its heavenly beaches, its postcard landscapes and its incomparable gastronomy. Thailand is also endowed with great cultural and traditional wealth. The Thai people are also very attached to their values and their rituals. If you want to visit this country, it is therefore recommended to learn a little more about its habits and customs. Here is some information to make the most of your next vacation in Thailand.
Apply for your Thailand Pass before you travel
You cannot set foot on Thai soil without completing a number of formalities. Given the current health crisis, you will need, in addition to your visa, the Thailand Pass, regardless of the duration of your stay. The Thailand Pass is an electronic travel authorization, essential since the reopening of the borders. Its purpose is to allow the Thai authorities to check the traveller’s vaccination status. Note that for a stay of less than 30 days, you will only need the Thailand Pass. For a stay longer than 30 days, you will need a visa and the Thailand Pass.
What form does the Pass take?
The Thailand Pass comes in the form of a Nominative QR code. It contains some of your personal information such as your names, your date of arrival in Thailand and information on your vaccination against Covid. You can print it out on a sheet or just keep it in your phone to show off when you arrive.
How long is the Thailand Pass valid for?
The Thailand Pass can only be used to enter Thailand once by air. Its period of validity is 30 days from your date of arrival in Thailand.
The procedure for obtaining the Thailand Pass is carried out in several stages. To know more about the Thailand Pass, do not hesitate to contact agencies authorized to process visa applications or to inform you near the Thai consulate in France.
First gather the necessary documents for Thailand. These include a copy of your passport’s identity page, a SHA Extra approved hotel reservation, a PCR test payment receipt (on arrival) and a Covid vaccination certificate .
Then fill the application form. You must download and complete the document on the government site set up for this purpose or on a specialized site. Then you will upload your documents and submit your application. The processing time is between 7 and 15 days. If your application has been approved, you will receive the Thailand Pass in your email.
What are the Thai traditions to know before you go to Thailand?
Thais are a warm people. Understanding some of their traditions will allow you to better integrate.
The Waï: thai greeting
Once in Thailand, avoid shaking hands or initiating a hug with a Thai. These gestures are not correct and can be quite frowned upon. Just give the Wai greeting. The Wai consists of pressing the palms of the hands together (as in prayer) while tilting the head. This greeting serves both to say « hello », « I’m sorry », « thank you » and « goodbye ».
However, we advise you to do the Wai only when the situation is right. The Wai can be carried out in a somewhat different way depending on the status of the people. A person of a lower social rank must accentuate the bending of his head to greet someone of a higher rank. If both people have the same level, they will perform an equal level squat.
Respect for royalty and tradition is among the country’s most sacred customs. For this purpose, avoid criticizing the royal family or to utter an insult or a joke against the monarchy. Violating this law can have serious repercussions, including imprisonment.
Buddhism is the religion of the majority of Thais. You must show your respect not only to Buddha, but also to his religious precepts and monks. If you go in a temple, dress decently covering your shoulders and knees. Avoid touching sacred statues and take off your shoes before entering a sacred place. Women, on the other hand, are not allowed to touch the monks.
Be modest with Thai people
Thai people are very modest. Avoid wearing outfits that are too light or reveal your body a little too much. All forms of nudism are severely punished in Thailand. You should also avoid any exuberant display of feelings in public. The Thais are quite sensitive to it.
Never touch a person’s head
Did you know that Thai people consider the head to be the most sacred part of the human body? Indeed, the head represents the seat of the soul. You should therefore avoid touching anyone’s head, whether it is a child or an adult. Likewise, do not touch or carry a statuette of Buddha by the head.
Take off your shoes before entering a Thai
The Thais have the custom of always taking off their shoes before entering a house or sometimes even a store. This is because unlike the head, the feet are considered to be the most impure parts of the human body.
Avoid opening a present in front of the person who gave it to you
One of the best-known Thai customs is that of unopened gifts. If you visit a thai and you offer him a present, he will not open it in front of you. It will wait until you are gone before doing so. This is considered a mark of consideration.
Don’t point fingers
Pointing at a person is considered a rude gesture both in France and elsewhere. However, in Thailand, this caveat is not just about people. You should also avoid indexing things or animals. The ideal is to designate with your hand. During your trip, also avoid getting carried away in public and express yourself in a measured way.
Read also: Your next vacation destination: Canada!