Strange Laws in Thailand

Filed in About Phuket, All posts, Articles, Lifestyle by on December 4, 2013

law in thailand phuketOne of the stranger laws in Thailand is that it is illegal to leave your house without wearing underwear. There doesn’t appear to be any reports of anyone actually being arrested or fined for this heinous offence, but any kilt wearing Scotsmen visiting Phuket might like to take note.

naked driver rawaiDriving without wearing a shirt is illegal in Thailand, as a Rawai driver found out recently (Phuket Gazette Issues & Answers). According to the Criminal Code BE 2499 (1956) Section 388, anyone “exhibiting his undressed person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 500 baht”.

It was reported last week that a security guard was arrested in Phuket Town having been found by local residents to be lurking around their housing area at night stealing women’s underwear from washing lines. He was charged with ‘night-time theft’. There is a distinction under Thai law, and thieving after sun-down carries a harsher penalty.

It may come as a surprise to some visiting the less salubrious areas of Phuket that prostitution is in fact illegal in Thailand, yet for all its openness it is very rare for any members of the oldest profession to be arrested or charged. On the odd occasions arrests are made it is normally linked to other nefarious activities such as theft, assault, gambling, drugs or generally displeasing the Men in Brown.

Not uncommonly, littering is also a fineable offence, especially in Bangkok around the popular tourist area of Sukhumvit. A cigarette butt, casually discarded on the street could land you with a fine of up to 2000 baht. Uniformed inspectors who are attached to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), known in Thai as the Thetsakij, (and by some as the ‘cigarette police’) issue on the spot fines to unsuspecting tourists.

And finally, treading on Thai currency is illegal. As, obviously, the King’s picture is on all monies it is considered very bad form to have one’s feet on the monarch’s image – so watch your step.

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About the Author ()

Huggy Bear is our man on the Phuket streets, with his ear to the ground (usually due to an excess of vodka) he will fill us in on what is hip, hop and happenin'....da word is that if Huggy doesn't know what da word is den da word aint worth knowing. A long term inmate of 'toon town his slightly twisted way of looking at Thailand should be informative, incisive and politically correct, we stress 'should be' as it rarely is any of the above.

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