As some have indicated, there are some things that Bhikkhus tend to do, or not do, in different countries, that are additional to the Vinaya. However, one of my (American) teachers (who trained mostly in Thailand) sometimes said that his mother was the only woman he was
allowed to touch, so perhaps such customs also vary across Thailand, or the Siff-Upper-Lip Bhikkhu is just making it up to suit himself. As for monks not shaking hands, that would seem to me to be be a particularly odd thing. Touching (of men) by Thai, American, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi monks seems very common in my experience.