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Thai people put a heavy emphasis on good social manners and politeness so it will help if you understand some of their customs, beliefs and values. Also, should you encounter a problem, remember a gentle smile, speaking softly and exercising patience will work things out in your favour more often than a scowl or raised voice will.
When entering a Thai home, or temple, it is customary to remove your shoes. This is not simply a religious custom but has practical cleanliness benefits too. Also, never point your feet at anyone, use it to indicate anything or purposely touch another person with them. Don't be surprised if smaller business establishments also pratice this custom. Some homes, businesses and temples will provide indoor slippers for use only inside their buildings. If offered, you will customarilly see them just outside the main entrance way. Walking in bare feet, socks/footies or indoor provided slippers is acceptable in home, business and temple situations.
It is NOT advisable to drink tap water or brush teeth with it. Bottled water is cheap and readily available. Most all restaurants cook and serve with properly treated water. If you are unsure, ask your server.
Traveling by Taxi you must:
1. Always insist on using the meter when you travel in the Bangkok Area, including trips to/from Suvanabhumi Airport, or else move on to another taxi. *Never agree to a flat rate or "charter" whether the trip is short or not. If the journey is within the Bangkok Area the meter must be used (by law).
2. Express Way Tolls, you have to pay these, it is not include in the fares.
3. With regard to fares, they will usually have a table of fare calculations by distance in Kilometers visible from the back seats. It will give you a general outline of your fare. Fare = Distance travelled + Idle time + 35฿ flag fall + any tolls. When LEAVING the airport there is also an additional 50฿ fee which must be added to the meter reading. As a rough guide, you can calculate the fare by distance in kilometres as: 5฿ per kilometre + 35 baht + any idle time. During the trip, do not nervously ask how much it's going to cost. Your acceptance of any amount the driver mentions could be construed as agreement to a flat rate. Occasionally drivers will refuse a fare with a "NO" or Mai Pai", becasue they are about to change shift. Daytime shifts usually end at around 1500 - 1700.
4. few other cities in Thailand employ a lawfully enforced taxi "meter" system.
5. Tuk-Tuks fares MUST be negotiated BEFORE setting off, and while unlikely to be cheaper than a taxi it is still a good experience to try them once.
6. Motorcycle-Taxi is also negotaible and a handy (if not entitrely safe) option during rush hour.
When beckoning or calling waiters and taxis, or anyone else, do so by waving palm facing down -like patting a dogs head. Never clap, snap your fingers, or whistle. These actions and noises are meant to call or summon dogs and animals, not people.
Now that you have a little extra knowledge, you will be quite safe and surely not offend any Thais while you are vacationing in Thailand.