Visiting a foreign place is both exciting and a bit challenging particularly if you are not familiar with local beliefs and customs. Avoid common tourist faux pas and glide your way through the local way of life by getting used to these popular Thai beliefs.

There’s power in amulets.

And apparently as far as these are concerned, size matters. Bigger is better. Locals believe that amulets can protect them from danger and prevent them from getting sick so don’t be surprised if you see some folks wearing necklaces with pendants of enormous sizes. Some of the many things an amulet are believed to protect you from are car collisions, fatal illness, bullets, and natural disasters.

A gecko or lizard gives no nonsense warning.

Thai people believe that if you hear the sound of a gecko or lizard just before you walk out of the door it means that it is giving you a warning to stay at home. It means that something tragic might happen to you outside and you can avoid it if you don’t go.

Never wear black for happy occasions like birthdays as well as when visiting a sick person.

In Koh Samui, it is better to avoid the color black if you can because it is the locals’ color of mourning. Not all Thais are that rooted to traditions and have adjusted well with the times but older generations still go by this. So if you are visiting a sick friend, don’t show up wearing black or risk rubbing someone the wrong way.

Don’t get a haircut on a Wednesday.

This is one of the most popular Thai beliefs you may come across when you visit Koh Samui. Some think that you will have bad luck if you visit the salon for a haircut if it is a Wednesday. Others say that this whole thing started because before, the Royal Family schedule their haircut on a Wednesday so a commoner should cut their hair any other day.

If you have big ears, you will have an easy and long life.

In many cultures, big ears are considered to be a good thing because they are thought of as a sign of longevity. In Thailand, this is also a popular tale. People with big ears are said to have good life and will live for many years. Also, they are said to have a lot of luck—be it with money or with love.

An expert advice can bring you luck.

Many locals consult a monk or a fortune teller before making a big decision or choosing a date for a special event. Thai people think that there is such a thing as a bad day and a good day to start a business and if you want to seal your luck and increase your chances of being successful, choose the lucky dates. Actually, Thais have high regard to whatever a monk has to say and they seek their opinion before getting married, buying a new car, starting a new business, or building a new house. A fortune teller can also help you find a suitable mate in terms of compatibility. If you are planning to get married in Koh Samui or perhaps want to embark on an investment on the island, go to a temple and speak to a monk. Hey, it can’t hurt.

Caution: Never say out loud that the baby is cute.

Even if it is. If you see an adorable looking baby, don’t get excited and exclaim “how cute!” even if it is true. The locals may not likely appreciate it because many think that if you compliment a baby, a ghost might take it away. So the next time you are walking around and you see a little one that is too sweet looking for words, just smile and say nothing.

Round food is supposed to be good.

If you visit a Thai household in Koh Samui, don’t be surprised to see plenty of round food like eggs and oranges. Apparently, these can bring you luck and happiness. Of course, they are yummy too. So if you are planning to stay a little while on the island, stock up on these. Not only do they make nice centerpieces in the kitchen and bring happiness, they will also ensure that you won’t get hungry.

A certain plant can help you know whether a business endeavor will be successful or is bound to fail.

If you are thinking of starting a business or investing in something, plant an aloe vera. If it grows and grows, your business will be successful and will bring you wealth. If it does not grow or it dies after a while, the business endeavor might not be your best idea.

Do the cleaning in the morning.

Of the floor anyway. Sweeping at night is a no no as it is thought to be a way to drive away your good fortune and day’s earnings. Sweeping at night is also said to be likened to throwing your luck out of the door.

A pure lady (a virgin) can stop the rain.

This is a very bizarre belief and kind of a weird way to test if a woman is still pure. It is said that if it is raining and a virgin lady cuts a lemongrass plant, the rain will stop. If the rain continues, then the opposite is true. This might be a popular saying in Thailand but don’t try it to amuse yourself.The lady might know what you are up to and scratch your eyes out. In all seriousness, some might find this “test” offensive.

There is a feet etiquette.

When entering a temple or someone’s home, you are expected to take off your shoes as a sign of respect. When you sit, make sure you neatly tuck your feet and not expose them—this is considered rude and a show of lack of manners. If you are in a place and are unsure whether to take your shoes off or not, observe what others are doing. If you see a pile of shoes in the doorway, that’s a definite sign to go barefoot.