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Thailand forum

Wearing Dresses in Thailand

Posted by rpblica54 on 8/12/2011 at 09:52

Are dresses considered immodest in Thailand? I generally prefer wearing them to pants, and they are always knee-length or longer with a tank top underneath so as not to show too much cleavage. Are these permissible in the temples, or do your calves need to be completely covered?

Thanks!

#1 rpblica54 has been a member since 8/12/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by MADMAC on 8/12/2011 at 10:45

For temples, knee length or longer and a shirt...

Otherwise, wear whatever you want. No one here cares and Thai women are hardly modest in their dress. Not the young ones anyway.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by exacto on 8/12/2011 at 11:04

I've got a female Australian friend who has travelled with me several times in Thailand. She always wears dresses as well and doesn't draw any undue attention as a result. As MADMAC says, knee-length or longer in the temples but otherwise won't matter much. Ta.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by altmtl on 8/12/2011 at 12:53

I second on the dresses :)

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Posted by guava_girl on 9/12/2011 at 20:30

This depends on where you are going. Dresses below the knee are perfectly acceptable but if you are going to non-tourist destinations you will want to have your shoulders covered as well.

#5 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252

Posted by MADMAC on 9/12/2011 at 20:41

Guava
Maybe down south, but that is definitely NOT TRUE in Issan. I live in a non-tourist area and off the lots of young women wear clothing that exposes cleavage and bare shoulders. There is virtually no difference in dress codes here in Issan with western Europe or the US except concerning swimwear.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by morse96 on 14/12/2011 at 13:16

wouldnt worry about it too much . i went away with 2 girls who wore dresses all the time and there wasnt even a bad look from anyone.

#7 morse96 has been a member since 11/12/2011. Posts: 27

Posted by morse96 on 14/12/2011 at 13:16

wouldnt worry about it too much . i went away with 2 girls who wore dresses all the time and there wasnt even a bad look from anyone.

#8 morse96 has been a member since 11/12/2011. Posts: 27

Posted by inspiredbykrissi on 18/12/2011 at 06:42

From my experience you can get away with alot in Thailand. The only thing you have to worry about is when you enter temples or places that expect a respectable dress code such as immigrations etc. Also, one of my pet peeves are men that prance around cities with no top on. I guess, the general rule is to follow the locals.

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Posted by MADMAC on 20/12/2011 at 09:51

In villages men prance around all the time without any shirts on... but I don't see it much in the cities either. My general rule is dress cool so that my wife likes the way I look. I think that's a good rule to follow. Of course, my wife is a "local".

#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by altmtl on 20/12/2011 at 10:38

Sometimes you'll see signs saying - "no shirt, no service", but even in beach towns, some girls are walking around shopping in their bikinis... I think that's a bit much. A sarong please - lol.

#11 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by JohnnieWalker on 20/12/2011 at 13:53

You'll also see caucasian women topless on the beach and occasionally around swimming pools. This is highly disrespectful to the Thais.

Dresses are fine anywhere.

#12 JohnnieWalker has been a member since 20/12/2011. Posts: 19

Posted by altmtl on 20/12/2011 at 14:06

I think they are pretty used to it in Haad Rin & Phuket - :)

I find that less offensive then parading around on the streets shirtless and barefoot!

#13 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by MADMAC on 20/12/2011 at 21:27

"You'll also see caucasian women topless on the beach and occasionally around swimming pools. This is highly disrespectful to the Thais."

Yeah, the Thai men hate it when women do that! I hear them complaining about it all the time. They find it so disrespectful!

Johnny, unless they are Muslim or gay, the rest of us like checking out a decent rack if the woman in question wants to display it. This is a pretty international thing. But just to be sure, I asked a friend of mine (a Thai guy) if that would be offensive here. His response "Not to me". It might get you some unwanted police attention in certain parts, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a red blooded Thai guy who was offended. My wife says Thai guys love it when western women prance around in skimpy outfits. They think it's great!

#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by MADMAC on 21/12/2011 at 01:32

Oh, they also think it's great when Thai women do it... But try finding a Thai woman to sunbathe topless around here - mission impossible.

#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by JohnnieWalker on 21/12/2011 at 04:16

Oh, they also think it's great when Thai women do it... But try finding a Thai woman to sunbathe topless around here - mission impossible.

I'm so glad you added that bit MM. Says it all really.

#16 JohnnieWalker has been a member since 20/12/2011. Posts: 19

Posted by altmtl on 21/12/2011 at 13:14

https://www.travelfish.org/blogs/bangkok/2011/12/20/faux-pas-and-proper-etiquette-in-bangkok/

#17 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by MADMAC on 21/12/2011 at 20:59

You got to love the woman going into the Wat in a bikini. I mean seriously, WTF? What was she thinking? Well, obviously she wasn't thinking; maybe thinking isn't her strong suit.

Johnnie
As for topless sunbathing, except for the deep south I doubt you'll find many people here who really care if you are in Phuket or Pattaya or the like. My sister in law says it's legal (or tolerated) though. But outside of those areas you might get unwanted attention from the police.
But I wouldn't put it in the category of wearing your shoes into a temple or pointing at something with your foot. Those things would be very disrespectful. Out of curiousity I asked several people on my street and they all told me at tourist places for the most part Thais consider it OK. My sister in law, who was working at a hotel in Phuket until recently, told me she occassionally saw Thai women doing it when they were in the company of Farang's, but otherwise not.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Saphir on 29/12/2011 at 00:12

But please - no old women in brief clothing! I am one, so I know what I'm talking about!

#19 Saphir has been a member since 19/5/2009. Posts: 74
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Posted by sayadian on 30/12/2011 at 06:40

My girlfriend got hissed at by the local women for wearing a BACKLESS dress in Cambodia.Sometimes I despair of this place it can have attitudes to women which are positively medieval.Then what would you expect of women whose dress sense is to wear orange pyjama tops with teddy bears on them and red and black striped pants.This is typical here.If anybody out there is in the fashion industry please come and save Cambodia.

#20 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by MADMAC on 31/12/2011 at 00:09

And stop donating your old bell bottom pants to Goodwill.

"Hissed at" huh? Must be some sort of peculiar Cambodian thing.

Saphir
In my wifes village, a lot of the old women go topless sitting on their "porches", chewing beetlenut. It figures that the young, hot women don't do that.

#21 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Saphir on 10/1/2012 at 23:25

Well, it's currently 36 degrees here in Brisbane today..........this evening I might just take my top off and sit on my front steps. I'm all out of betel nut, though.

#22 Saphir has been a member since 19/5/2009. Posts: 74
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Posted by rpblica54 on 27/3/2012 at 11:11

Hello, all!

I'm arriving in Bangkok in June, and will spend about a week making my way up to Chiang Mai, where I plan to spend around 3 weeks. Extensive internet searches have led me to seemingly great reviews at the Junior Guest House, but I'm hoping someone here may have some personal experience with the place that they would be willing to share...I'm a bit wary of internet reviews by now. My hope is to book somewhere for the first week and then move on or extend my stay as necessary.

Thanks so much for any replies!

#23 rpblica54 has been a member since 8/12/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by rpblica54 on 27/3/2012 at 11:11

Hello, all!

I'm arriving in Bangkok in June, and will spend about a week making my way up to Chiang Mai, where I plan to spend around 3 weeks. Extensive internet searches have led me to seemingly great reviews at the Junior Guest House, but I'm hoping someone here may have some personal experience with the place that they would be willing to share...I'm a bit wary of internet reviews by now. My hope is to book somewhere for the first week and then move on or extend my stay as necessary.

Thanks so much for any replies!

#24 rpblica54 has been a member since 8/12/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by rpblica54 on 27/3/2012 at 11:12

Hello, all!

I'm arriving in Bangkok in June, and will spend about a week making my way up to Chiang Mai, where I plan to spend around 3 weeks. Extensive internet searches have led me to seemingly great reviews at the Junior Guest House, but I'm hoping someone here may have some personal experience with the place that they would be willing to share...I'm a bit wary of internet reviews by now. My hope is to book somewhere for the first week and then move on or extend my stay as necessary.

Thanks so much for any replies!

#25 rpblica54 has been a member since 8/12/2011. Posts: 5


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