Things Not to Do in Bangkok

If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok, you’re in for a treat. The vibrant city is filled with mouth-watering food, stunning temples, and bustling markets. But, there are certain things you should avoid doing to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. From cultural faux pas to safety hazards, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things not to do in Bangkok. Whether it’s respecting local customs or avoiding tourist traps, these tips will help you navigate the city like a pro. So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Bangkok – just make sure to keep these tips in mind before you go!

Don’t disrespect the monarchy

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, and the Thai people have great respect for their royal family. As a visitor to the country, it’s important to show the same level of respect. Any criticism of the monarchy is considered a serious offense and can result in a prison sentence. You should also avoid stepping on any currency, as Thai banknotes and coins have the image of the king or queen on them.

When visiting temples or other places associated with the royal family, be sure to dress conservatively and behave respectfully. This means no inappropriate language, gestures, or behavior. Keep in mind that even a simple mistake can cause offense and damage your reputation in the eyes of the locals.

Don’t touch someone’s head

In Thai culture, the head is considered the most sacred part of the body. Touching someone’s head, even in a friendly manner, is seen as disrespectful and should be avoided. This is especially important when interacting with monks or other religious figures, as they are held in high regard in Thai society.

Instead, you should greet people with a wai, which is a traditional Thai greeting. To do a wai, place your palms together in front of your chest and bow slightly. The higher your hands are placed, the more respect you are showing. This gesture is usually accompanied by the word “sawadee,” which means “hello” in Thai.

Don’t wear revealing clothes in temples

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, and many of its temples are considered sacred spaces. When visiting these temples, it’s important to dress appropriately. Revealing clothing, such as shorts, tank tops, and miniskirts, should be avoided. Instead, opt for long pants or skirts and shirts with sleeves.

In addition to dressing conservatively, you should also remove your shoes before entering a temple. This is a sign of respect and cleanliness, and is a common practice in many Asian countries. Socks are usually allowed, but be sure to check before entering.

Don’t forget to remove your shoes

bangkok things not to do
Image taken by Rémi Prévost

In addition to temples, many homes, restaurants, and other buildings in Thailand require visitors to remove their shoes before entering. This is a sign of respect and cleanliness, and is considered good etiquette in Thai culture.

When entering a home or restaurant, look for a rack or pile of shoes near the entrance. Take off your shoes and place them neatly in the designated area. If you’re not sure whether you should remove your shoes, look for clues such as a sign or other people removing their shoes.

Don’t drink tap water

Thailand’s tap water is not safe to drink, and you should avoid it at all costs. Instead, opt for bottled water, which is widely available throughout the country. You can also use bottled water to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth.

When purchasing bottled water, look for a seal on the cap to ensure that it hasn’t been tampered with. You should also avoid buying water from street vendors, as it may not be safe or sanitary.

Don’t underestimate the traffic

Bangkok is known for its traffic, and it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Rush hour in the city can last for several hours, and traffic jams are common. To avoid getting stuck in traffic, plan your routes in advance and avoid traveling during peak hours.

In addition to cars and trucks, Bangkok’s streets are also filled with motorcycles and tuk-tuks. These can be a fun and convenient way to get around the city, but be sure to wear a helmet and negotiate the price before getting in.

Don’t fall for scams

Like any major tourist destination, Bangkok has its fair share of scams and tourist traps. These can range from fake merchandise to overpriced taxis to fake police officers. To avoid falling for these scams, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of anyone who approaches you on the street or in a tourist area, as they may be trying to scam you. Stick to reputable businesses and attractions, and always negotiate prices before agreeing to anything.

Don’t forget to bargain

Bargaining is a common practice in Thailand, especially in markets and other tourist areas. When shopping, don’t be afraid to haggle over prices. Start by offering a price that is lower than what you’re willing to pay, and negotiate from there.

Keep in mind that bargaining is a cultural practice, and should be done respectfully. Don’t get angry or aggressive, and avoid insulting the seller. If you’re not comfortable bargaining, consider shopping at fixed-price stores or malls instead.

Don’t miss out on the street food

Bangkok is known for its delicious street food, and it’s an essential part of any visit to the city. From spicy curries to sweet desserts, there’s something for everyone in Bangkok’s street food scene.

When trying street food, look for vendors with long lines or local customers. This is a sign that the food is fresh and delicious. Be adventurous and try new things, but be sure to check the level of spiciness before ordering. And remember to bring a bottle of water to cool down your taste buds!


Bangkok is a fascinating city with a rich culture and history. By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip that respects local customs and traditions. From respecting the monarchy to bargaining for souvenirs, these tips will help you navigate the city like a pro. So, pack your bags, follow these guidelines, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Bangkok!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here