Many of Bangkoks most important "must sees" are wats. Wat is the Thai word for a Buddhist Temple. From Wat Arun to the Royal Palace Temple of the Emerald Buddha, these places are all wats. Here is my list of thingst thar are very important to know and consider when at any wat in Thailand.
1) Take off your shoes when entering a room where there is a Buddha image.
2) NEVER point the bottom of your feet at a Buddha image.
3) NEVER sit with your legs extended in front of you inside a wat building.
4) NEVER touch a Buddha image.
5) NEVER stand higher than a Buddha image.
6) Do not openly turn your back on a Buddha image.
7) Obey any rules that you are given about a place.
Bangkok is very different from more rural Thailand, but the culture is still basically the same. There are many things that are seen as not a big deal in the west that are extremely rude here. Here is a list of things to not do (in public) while in Bangkok, and the rest of Thailand for that matter:
1) Do not kiss in public
2) Do not scream in public
3) Do not appear nude in public, even on the beaches
4) Do not hit someone in public (common sense)
5) Do not appear dirty in public (common sense, Thai culture is very clean)
6) Do not disrespect holy sites
7) Do not show the bottom of your feet in public (do not point the bottom of your feet at anyone or anything holy)
Cleanliness and neatness are important. In tropical Thailand, never put off showering or doing your laundry. Most Thais keep themselves scrupulously clean and dress respectably. T-shirts, sandals and knee-length shorts are suitable for informal occasions, but visits to palaces, government offices and some temples usually require something more appropriate. Nudity is forbidden, and topless bathing can offend, even though it is tolerated on some tourist beaches.
I read of this social skills to do and not to do while in Thailand.
The Thais have a deep reverence for the royal family - show respect.
respect their religion - do not wear shorts, sleeveless outfits, short skirts etc to their temples.
Women do not touch or reach out to the monks
Thais address each other by first name, and call each khuns...so I am Khun Audrey
do not clamber on images for pictures
Thais prefer to WAI than to shake hands
Do not point foot at anyone or anything
Do not touch the head of anyone - it is disrespectful but elderly can touch yong ones out of affection
do not sit on pillows meant for head as it means touching the head!
do not sit on books etc - the source of knowledge
Public displays of affeciton such as kissing is not acceptable, nor is losing temper in lublic - it is ill mannered
Learn a few words of Thai if only "hello" and "thank you".
Thais appreciate it very much.
Be polite and respectful toward older people.
Sample the local food and try out some of Thailand's exotic fruits.
But not the food on the street since the food may be contaminated
and will give you a sickness.
Try and learn a little about local customs and culture.
Take off your shoes when entering a Thai home.
Smile a lot. When visiting a temple or palace, dress properly.
Don't attempt to touch monks, especially if you are a female.
1. Always greet people by saying sawat-dii khrap if you are a male say sawat-dii kha in case you are a female (Thai people always greet before starting any conversation...)and this is an all purpose greeting(and farewell)
2. Don't point your feet at people or at things
3. Don't touch a thai person on head
4. In temples go neatly dressed (no shorts or sleeveless shirts) and u'll have to take off your shoes to enter the temples
5. Budhha images are sacred objects , don't pose in front of them for pictures and definately don't touch them
6. Monks are not to toch and nor touched by females !!!
7.When in a temple keep your feet away from buddha's image or monks ( see how the monks are sitting in the photo u'll know)
Rememeber to bow and say 'Thank You' as a courtesy to people who serve you.
When eating Thai food use a fork in your left hand and a spoon in your right, it does make it easier.
Temple ettiquette -
Take off your shoes when entering the Temples also do not wear shorts (legs should be covered) and have your shoulders covered too, this especially applies to females who also should have their mid-drifts covered. Kneel down in temples and DO NOT point your FEET at the Buddha image as it is a mark of great disrespect to do so.
Give a donation and place an offering at the Temples Buddha for good luck in life.
There is a Buddha for every day of the week, each portrays an aspect of the person, find out yours it is remarkable how true it is.
People are friendly always give them your time and give polite conversation.
It is not the done thing to hold hands and show affection i.e. kissing in public.
Do not make any degrading or inflamotry remark about the King and the Royal Family as they are highly revered by the Thai people, in fact it is an offence to speak out about the King in public. This is the 9th King and he is regarded as a good King by the people as well as the 5th King of Thailand.
Females should not touch or talk to Buddhist monks.
Here are some social customs which I think will come in very handy when you are in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand. Remember, what is acceptable in Bangkok may not be in the countryside where the old ways are still prevalent and people are more conservative. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Thais do not normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press their palms together in a prayer like gesture called a 'wai'. Generally, a younger person wais an elder, who returns it. Watch how the Thais do it, and you will soon learn!
It is considered rude to point your foot at a person, so try to avoid doing so when sitting opposite anyone, and following the conception that the foot is a low limb; DO NOT point your foot to show anything to anyone but use your finger instead. And please AVOID placing your feet on the table while sitting.
Losing your temper, especially in public, will more than likely get you nowhere. The Thais (who are really a very mild mannered and gentle group of people) think that such displays denote poor manners, and you are more able to get what you want by keeping calm and concealing your emotions.
Do not be surprised if you are addressed by your first name: for instance, Mr. Tom or Miss Krystynn instead of by your surname. This is because Thais refer to one another in this manner, usually with the title 'Khun' (i.e. Mr, Mrs or Miss) in front. Follow the customs of the country as far as possible, and you will make more friends during your stay! :-)
When entering a Thai house, you're expected to remove your shoes. So please DON'T forget it.
Beckon waiters at any restaurants with a wave of a hand if you need to catch their attention. DO NOT clap, snap fingers, whistle or hiss at them! Such gungho behavior is considered terribly rude here in Thailand.
Photo Below: The ancient ruins of AYUTHAYA.
Thai Royal family is held in the highest esteem in Thailand. Negative remarks about the Monarchy are considered offensive and will land you in trouble.