Respect The Thai Royal Family


In many Western countries, it’s normal for people to make fun of, or criticize national figureheads, even royalty. Thailand, however, has extremely strict laws called lese-majeste, under which people can receive long prison sentences for insulting its monarchy.

Like the UK, Japan, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, to name a few, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. This means it has a government, but it’s head of State is a royal figure. In Thailand’s case, that is King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Lese-majeste complaints can be filed by anyone, against anyone, and are always investigated by the police.

While it is rare for tourists to be face lese-majeste charges, it can happen. So do not, in any circumstances, say anything negative about Thailand’s monarchy while you’re in the country. Also, do not write anything derogatory about the Thai Royal family online. It’s better to avoid mentioning them altogether.

There will also probably be times during your trip to Thailand that you’ll need to stand to attention as a mark of respect to the nation and, by extension, to its royal family. In urban areas, at 8am and 6pm every day, you’ll hear loud speakers playing the Thai national anthem. Follow the lead of locals, stop whatever you’re doing, and stand still and silent until the song finishes.