Tourists by locals in Bangkok: mad, bad, and dangerous to know

Pre-Covid-19 Bangkok was the most visited city in the world according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index.

The Land of Smiles’ capital city attracted about 23 million visitors, more than any of the globe’s favourite other destinations including Paris, London, and Singapore. But ever wondered what the locals think of millions of farangs who visit the metropolis?

The Latvian-based independent online platform, Insider, asked just that in a survey only last month. The findings may not be surprising but they are interesting all the same.

Foreign travellers to Bangkok do a lot of pointing at people or things, with their feet, locals observed.

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One Bangkok local, Mandy Itthikaiwan, revealed it is offensive to Thai people to signal or point at things with one’s feet.

“When you take public transportation, for example, you just don’t put your feet up. It’s common in the West but in Thailand, it’s a big no-no.”

Tourists by locals in Bangkok: mad, bad, and dangerous to know | News by Thaiger

Another observation trait is that tourists don’t care much for wearing clothes when visiting temples.

One local called Jee noted that foreigners don’t wear the appropriate clothing when visiting temples.

“Thais know that it’s really hot, and we know that tourists come to Bangkok to relax and enjoy their holidays. But tourists should try to follow customs and refrain from wearing shorts.”

Tourists by locals in Bangkok: mad, bad, and dangerous to know | News by Thaiger

Another foreigner stereotype is eating at expensive or popular restaurants instead of dining at places where locals go.

A Bangkok taxi driver, Nakhon Ratchapong, admitted locals prefer eating at roadside restaurants and eateries in malls.

“Locals love eating at shopping centers. The best food surprisingly comes from the food court. It’s also very cheap.”

Foreigners are rarely respectful of spirit houses. Spirit houses are common in many Asian cities and they are everywhere in Bangkok. Spirit houses look like miniature temples or houses and are usually decorated with several strings of flowers.

A Bangkok tour guide, Uma Puacksumran, believes tourists are ignorant of what they are.

“The spirit house is a sacred place. Sometimes foreigners don’t know, they sit next to it and some even use the shrine as a table to eat their meal.”

Another poor foreigner trait is entering sacred shrines with their shoes on.

Puacksumran revealed taking one’s shoes off when entering a Thai home is a local custom, and shrines are the same.

“I’ve seen tourists who are reluctant to go into shrines because they don’t know if they should remove their shoes.”

Puacksumran also added that tourists should also avoid stepping on the ledge as it’s considered bad luck.

Tourists by locals in Bangkok: mad, bad, and dangerous to know | News by Thaiger

The final popular observation made by locals is how foreigners underestimate how dangerous the roads are in Bangkok.

The Accident Data Center of Thailand revealed there are about 100,000 road accidents every year.

Puacksumran revealed Bangkok drivers aren’t conventional in regards to road safety and said tourists are far better getting the MRT or BTS to get around rather than using a motorbike taxi or tuk-tuk.

SOURCE: Insider

Bangkok News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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