Clients’ General Code of Conduct

These guidelines have been established in discussion with the local people. Because Thai culture avoids confrontation, local people will rarely tell you if you’re doing the wrong thing. By following these few simple pieces of advice, you can be assured to make a good impression on all the Thai people whom you meet.


Social Conduct

1.       Always try to communicate before taking photographs of people. Try not to think of monks, farmers, and children etc. as just ‘images.’ Remember that what seems strange or exotic to visitors is just daily life for local people.

2.       If you promise somebody that you will send him/her a picture or a letter, respect your word.

3.       Wear modest appropriate clothing, especially in sacred or rural areas. Loose and light-weight clothes covering the knees and shoulders are most appropriate.

4.       You should expect to take off your shoes before entering local houses.

5.       Thais believe that the feet are the ‘lowest’ part of the body. Avoid showing the soles of your feet, don’t rest your feet in high places, or move objects with your feet and NEVER point your feet at monks Buddha images in temples, shrines or spirit houses.

6.       The head is the ‘highest’ part of the body. Please don’t touch anyone on the head.

7.       Ladies - please don’t sit next to or hand anything directly to Buddhist monks.

8.       Lovers - be aware that kissing in public is culturally inappropriate.

9.       Refrain from giving gifts, money or sweets directly to children – this encourages begging, dependency, ‘idolising’ tourists and eventually cultural degeneration.

10.   Empower local people as ‘givers’ rather than ‘receivers’ by asking questions, and showing your enthusiasm to learn and share their way of life.

11.   Always speak respectfully about Buddhism and the revered Thai Royal Family.

12.   The Thai way of resolving conflict is to stay calm, so try not to lose your temper. You’ll go a long way in Thailand with ‘Jai Yen’ (a cool heart).

13.   Be observant and follow local customs – sit, eat and behave like your hosts.

14.   Support the local economy by purchasing your souvenirs from local handcraft centres and workshops.

15.   Patronise the local stores if you need to buy any personal items during your stay.

Environmental Conduct

  1. When trekking in the forest, swimming in the ocean, or walking around the village, try not to disturb animal and plant life. Animals and plants could be rare, fragile, sacred to the community, or harmful to your health.
  2. All non-biodegradable garbage like plastics or Styrofoam that you bring into the community must be brought back out by you at the end of the trip.
  3. Under no circumstances purchase souvenirs or any handicrafts made from any parts of wild animals or any protected species of flora
  4. Under no circumstances patronise restaurants where so-called “bush meat” is sold.

Ethical Conduct

  1. Under no circumstances engage in any interaction with local children, sexual or otherwise, that would be detrimental to their wellbeing.
  2. No sexual harassment of any kind will be tolerated

Note: See also our Code of Conduct relating to animals.

 


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