5 Things You Must Avoid in Thailand

Photo of author
Written By ArmandoPeterson

We are driven by the belief that stories can bridge gaps, that narratives can weave cultures together, and that every journey, no matter how big or small, has a story worth sharing.





You are planning to visit Thailand because you have heard great things and have had many recommendations. From research and word of mouth, there clearly isn’t a shortage of things to do, but what about the things you shouldn’t do? To make sure you are traveling responsibly, it is very important to know both good and bad practices when you are there. Here are five things you should keep away from when you explore Thailand.

Tiger Selfies

In June 2016, Thailand’s Tiger Temple underwent operations to remove the tigers from the property. It was recently discovered that the tigers were sedated, the temple practiced irresponsible breeding, and it was involved in the illegal animal trade. Before this happened, the temple was extremely popular with tourists who wanted close-up pictures with the tigers. It’s obvious that the handling of these animals is cruel, so think twice regarding their welfare before looking into tiger encounters.

Unethical Hill Tribe Experiences

On the hills in the north of Chang Mai, tours that go up to the remote villages tend to exploit the residents. Tourism makes the communities little to no commission and they have little privacy. The lives of these people should be valued. The hill tribes can be visited in a responsible manner. There are a few eco-tourism companies that run private village tours. A percentage of the money made from these companies is sent directly to the villages.

Elephant Rides and Shows

The ill-treatment of elephants is Thailand’s main animal welfare issue. A lot of places will pose as a sanctuary when they actually aren’t. If you can ride the elephants or they perform tricks, then they have been treated badly. If you want to visit elephants, then go to an ethical elephant sanctuary Thailand. These centers allow the elephants to roam freely and visitors can intermingle with them through feeding and bathing.

Marine Hotspots

In Thailand’s admired diving sites, environmental issues have caused authorities to close down trips. Due to the large number of tourists, the ocean is seeing detrimental effects, particularly in coral beds. Noise, pollution, littering and marine life disturbance are also problems that can be witnessed. By avoiding popular routes when diving, you can enjoy the stunning marine life without the consequences.

Touching Coral Reefs

The ocean is a place people love to explore when going to Thailand. Tourists are often tempted to feel the beds or pick up a souvenir when they go snorkeling. Due to people messing with coral reefs, sources have claimed that around 80% of coral reefs have now degraded or been destroyed. So, avoiding treading on or bothering the coral reef as much as you can, speak up if the boat you’re in drops an anchor on or even near coral, and don’t buy coral from any shop, as this has most likely come from the ocean and will support the damaging trade.

Thailand has a great range of activities and attractions available to visitors. So, do your research and make sure you are supporting the right companies. It is very important to the locals and wildlife that you travel safely and responsibly.