·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

7 Unique and Strange Laws in Thailand

— October 13, 2021

While these laws may seem weird or strange, it is what makes Thailand a unique and wonderful vacation destination. 

Thailand is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. From luscious beaches to the bustling nightlife to pristine scenic views and of course, the delicious Thai cuisine, no wonder people across the globe are attracted to this beautiful country. 

When visiting this country, Thailand Nomads can help create the perfect itinerary that will give you an opportunity to explore the culture and traditions of the locals. 

However, if you end up disrespecting any of these traditions, you may fall on the wrong side of the law. Laws of every country are different and may even seem strange to the tourists visiting. 

No matter how unique, weird or odd they may seem, breaking these laws can lead to a hefty fine or even prison time. So if you ever travel to Thailand, be aware of the unique and strange laws of the country.

Do Not Go Commando

One of the strangest laws in the land is that it is illegal to go out in public without wearing underwear. There aren’t any stories of tourists or locals being arrested for this offense, but make sure you have enough underwear for your trip. 

Wear a Shirt While Driving 

Thailand’s temperature can be hot, humid, and dry which means many tourists tend to roam without a shirt. However, if you have rented a vehicle to explore different parts of Thailand, be sure you keep your clothes on so that you don’t get pulled over by the police. 

Don’t Step on Thai Currency

Image by Asian Development Bank, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Image by Asian Development Bank, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Well, this strange law is easy to avoid but being aware of your surroundings will help you avoid any fine. No matter where you are in Thailand, walking the beautiful night streets, pavements or even heading to the beach, watch where you step as it is a crime to step on Thai currency.

Respect the Monarchy 

Lese Majeste is one of the oldest laws in Thailand that was introduced in 1908. The law states that it is illegal to insult, defile or threaten the image of the royal family in Thailand. 

If you are caught disrespecting the monarchy, you can be jailed up to 15 years and sometimes even more. So make sure to avoid jokes or any type of criticism about the royal family when visiting Thailand. 

Do Not Litter

Littering is a serious crime in Thailand, whether at the beach, city, or walking on the pavement. Now this may not be a strange law, but the reason why this stands out is because people caught end up paying a hefty fine or a year of jail time. 

You can be fined up to 2,000 Baht if caught littering in the city by the members of the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA). Keep in mind that there are some scammers who claim to be BMA inspectors to extract more money from tourists. By simply asking for their ID can clear any confusion and avoid being cheated. 

Put the Microphone Down

Another strange and unique law in Thailand states that you can speak any language other than Thai using a sound amplifying device such as a microphone. 

So if you hear someone say “Mic test” or “Hello test”, you are witnessing a serious offense that is punishable up to a month in jail. Only religious ceremonies, stat event and concerts are exempt from this unique law.

Don’t Show Your Colors 

When visiting different places you probably like to carry your country’s flag with you. But do you know it’s illegal to fly the flags of other countries in public in Thailand? According to the 1979 Flag act, if you are caught waving or raising a foreign flag, you could be sent to prison. 

Only embassies and diplomatic residences are allowed to do so. Even if you show any kind of disrespect towards the Thai flag or any other foreign flag, you can face jail time up to 2-6 years.

Final Thoughts 

While these laws may seem weird or strange, it is what makes Thailand a unique and wonderful vacation destination. 

While you are exploring different areas of the country, make sure you are aware of these rules and abide by them. 

Since the pandemic has caused a lot of stir in travel restrictions and procedures, here are quick tips to travel safely during COVID-19.

Join the conversation!