Southeast Asia forum

Dressing in South-East Asia

  • flipflip

    Joined Travelfish
    19th March, 2011
    Posts: 2

    I am travelling to South-East Asia for 6 weeks in April/May. I will be going to Borneo & Vietnam with some friends and then doing a GAP short tour through Cambodia & Laos (solo).

    Just a little confused about the dress code and what I should be packing - I do not want to offend or look out of place for "showing too much leg" etc. I am planning to pack a few pairs of shorts (mid-thigh), a pair of 3/4 pants (for temples etc), a pair of jeans and a variety of tshirts/tank tops.

    Is this acceptable? Can I wear the mid-thigh shorts most places without a hassle?

    #1 Posted: 20/3/2011 - 11:03

  • Advertisement

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    I take 2 shorts, one long pants with plenty zip pockets-that's the main consideration to keep your wallet etc safe.4 t-shirts and some underwear.It's always been enough as there are so many laundries over there and you can rinse out a t-shirt in the night and it's dry in the morning.
    As far as Wats etc are concerned -wear the longs with a t-shirt though I see plenty locals wearing shorts in Wats these days

    #2 Posted: 20/3/2011 - 17:23

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2142
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    I wouldn't bother with the jeans - too hot and too heavy in the pack. They also take a long to dry when you wash them, which could be a problem if you're on the move regularly.

    Basically, when you are in the main touristy areas, the shorts and strappy tops are more acceptable. The more remote you get, visting local villages, and other areas that don't see a large number of tourists, the more uncomfortable you will feel if you are wearing skimpier clothing. And yes, it can be disrespectful. If I'm visiting a family in their home and going to visit less-touristy temples, I wear the longer shorts or 3/4 length trousers, and a Tshirt (not a strappy top). Some girls wear the skimpier tops but have a light scarf over their shoulders when needed.

    At Angkor, they ask visitors to dress respectably but many don't. Many also clamber all over the crumbling temple walls to get their photo opps - also disrespectful in my books.

    It's always hard - I really feel the heat, and hate wearing Tshirts and tops that cover my shoulders. I prefer singlet/tank tops/strappy tops - but sometimes have to sacrifice that to ensure I can visit villages, etc without feeling uncomfortable due to stares, etc.

    #3 Posted: 20/3/2011 - 17:33

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
South East Asia-going alone?? ... By bbtomlin on 29 Aug 2014 8 2012 8 Nov 2014
South East Asia - Dec & Jan ... By Greatlookinguy on 3 Nov 2012 5 1692 11 Nov 2012
4 Minutes In South East Asia ... By worldlynomads on 9 Sep 2012 0 2863 9 Sep 2012
Xmas in South East Asia ... By simon1984 on 16 Sep 2011 4 4860 4 Dec 2011
South East Asia Itinerary ... By amringro on 17 Nov 2013 1 903 19 Nov 2013
3 weeks in south east asia ... By raquelmiddl13 on 16 Nov 2013 18 1490 26 Nov 2013
Video: The best of South East Asia ... By BUDHAdventures on 27 Jul 2013 3 2010 11 Aug 2013
traveling south east asia alone ... By unphazedd on 16 Feb 2008 13 13227 11 Jun 2013
South East Asia Jan/Feb 2011 ... By sawersy on 30 Jun 2010 9 3499 20 Sep 2010
6 months in south east asia ... By walshie89 on 6 Sep 2010 5 8685 17 May 2011