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10 Necessary Things When Travelling in Thailand

10 Necessary Things When Travelling in Thailand

With about 30 million international visitors in 2015, Thailand has become a popular destination for tourists. However, before visiting this beautiful country, you should take the time to learn some travel tips.

Thailand is considered a friendly and comfortable country with almost all tourists, including the Lesbian/Bisexual/Gay/Transgendered (LGBT) community. There are plenty of plazas, entertainment zones, and beautiful landscapes for all people to enjoy. These, along with the cheap travel costs, are just a few of the reasons why Thailand is a very attractive destination in the paradise of Southeast Asia.

Although there is plenty of openness, Thailand is still a Buddhist country. This is one more reason why you should learn the following customs and considerations before visiting the country.

1. Dress appropriately when visiting temples

Thailand is the world’s most heavily Buddhist country. Because of this, temples in Bangkok in particular and Thailand in general are the must-see places to visit. However, one of the most important things for tourists to know when visiting this temple country is to dress neatly and appropriately — especially women. The best way to do this is to wear a t-shirt and a pair of trousers.

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    2. Don’t touch or stand close to monks if you are a woman

    As a Buddhist country, women should limit conversations with and refrain from touching monks because this is considered taboo. Remain respectful of monks at all times.

    3. Do not defame royalty or the King of Thailand

    lltk
      Photo Credit: zenjournalist.com

      Thai people have reverence and admiration for the King and Queen of Thailand. You can see photos of the King and Queen everywhere in the country — at schools, on roads, at stations, and in airports. Therefore, be respectful and don’t defame or speak negatively of Thailand’s royals.

      4. Don’t play with Thailand’s flag

      Nobody wants to see their national flag be made into a joke, so, of course, this is also true for Thai people. If you have the idea that you’ll make the flag into a dress, you should definitely rethink this before visiting the country.

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        Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

        5. Do not rub the heads of others

        Rubbing someone’s head seems to be a kind act to show your love, but this act in Thailand does not have the same meaning. Thai people believe that the head is a noble part of the human body, so rubbing or touching other people’s heads is a no no.

        6. Don’t put your legs or feet on the table

        Contrary to the head, the legs and feet are said to be “lowly” parts of the human body. Therefore, Thai people refrain from putting their legs or feet up on the table. Furthermore, you should pay attention to your legs when sitting to avoid gestures that may offend other people.

        7. Be careful with taxis

        taxi_meter

          Photo Credit: globelink.co.uk

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          Using taxis for transportation is normally a good and safe idea for travelers, but you should be careful when taking taxis in Thailand — especially in Bangkok. This is because almost none of Bangkok’s taxis use meters and you are more likely to be overcharged. Some drivers will even refuse to use the meter if you make the request.

          8. Don’t whistle at night

          Thai people believed that whistling at night will bring bad luck, just as if you were calling to spirits. Whistling at night will not only bring bad luck upon you, but also upon your friends.

          9. Don’t speak loudly in public places

            Photo Credit: gentlemansgazette.com

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            Thai people are quite gentle and soft, even when speaking. You should not speak loudly in stores or restaurants in Thailand if you want to fit in with the Thai people.

            10. Don’t display intimate behavior in public places

            You can comfortably embrace your partner if you’re traveling in the US or European countries. However, try to be more conservative in Thailand. Thai people do not appreciate such blatant displays of affection, so keep the intimate behavior to a minimum.

            Featured photo credit: Mustang Joe via pixabay.com

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            Angella Copper

            Professor of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

            15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

            15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

            It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
            Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

            1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
            2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
            3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
            4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
            5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
            6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
            7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
            8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
            9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
            10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
            11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
            12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
            13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
            14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
            15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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