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Thailand forum

Wearing Red in Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam

Posted by SoloGirls on 15/2/2014 at 21:31

So I'm packing for my trip and it has come to my attention that I have a lot of red clothing. Most of which I can easily avoid bringing. But I'm looking to bring a longer pair of shorts for temples and whatnot and I only have 2 pairs that are longer. One are so bulky and heavy, I just don't want to bring them. They would take up so much space and be really hot. The other are red board shorts. So they are really light. But they are most definitely red.

Is this a concern? I won't be going to Bangkok, but instead staying in southern Thailand. Phuket, Krabi, Trang.

As well, is red a problem in neighboring countries? Cambodia, Vietnam?

Thoughts?

#1 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by Arikara1985 on 15/2/2014 at 22:00

I wore red all throughout Thailand and Cambodia back in September without issue (2 red tshirts and my hat which was the Canada Day Blue Jay's ball cap). In Chiang Mai I had a tuk tuk driver mention it, he said wearing red in some places can be dangerous but Chiang Mai is red so you're OK here.

Unless you look somewhat like a local or hanging around demonstrations I don't see it being much of an issue.

#2 Arikara1985 has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 32


Posted by SoloGirls on 15/2/2014 at 22:56

Well I definitely won't look like a local (light brown hair - green eyes), but I guess I'm wondering if they feel it's disrespectful and then things go sideways. I also just realized my backpack, while orange to most, probably would look red to many. Especially all the color blind males out there. ;) No offense. haha.

#3 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by eastwest on 16/2/2014 at 02:56

I can't really comment on Thai politics but I'm quite certain that if you're "white" you won't be mistaken for an activist.


As for the other countries: in many asian/budhist countries red is considered the color of luck. Especially when worn on a sunday. I've lived 5 years in Cambodia now and the only comment I heard (from my staff) was why I wasn't wearing my red t-shirt on sunday.

#4 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by SoloGirls on 16/2/2014 at 03:09

Thanks eastwest. Yes, I'm white. Well, I get very dark, so maybe not literally, but very obviously a westerner. I think most of my red shorts wearing would actually take place in Cambodia and Vietnam actually. So that's good to hear.

I had heard of some tourists who were attacked a while ago for wearing red. Though I don't have any memory of where or when I read that. So I don't know how reliable it is. I just thought better safe than sorry.

#5 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by MADMAC on 16/2/2014 at 03:24

I doubt any tourists were attacked for wearing Red. The color alone is not a sufficient indicator of political orientation. There was probably more to the story. And unless you were at a demo, it would be very unlikely you would be attacked anyway. You might be asked about it. This time around there hasn't been a lot of violence at all concerning the demos. Could change, but it's been pretty low key. A small time bombing or two, a few shootings and some scuffles. That's about it.

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

Posted by SoloGirls on 16/2/2014 at 03:26

Great thanks. I figured it probably wasn't as big of a concern as some are claiming, but I just thought I'd ask anyway. I love my comfy red board shorts! :)

#7 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by MADMAC on 16/2/2014 at 03:45

For some strange reason people like the idea of the hidden cultural trap. In my 7 years of living here I have found all of that nonsense is grossly overblown. Where you point your feet, how to dress, touching the head... yes, there are elements of truth in all of that, but guide books will make it sound like they're big deals where you will have serious trouble if you cross the line. Intent is hugely important in all cases. And a "sorry" almost always is a get out of jail free card here.

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

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/2/2014 at 04:51

Need long pants for temples. Any red tshirt is fine.

#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/2/2014 at 04:53

Yes touching a stranger on the head is rude in any country. You shouldnt touch buddha images on the head.though.

#10 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SoloGirls on 16/2/2014 at 05:00

I was told long shorts are fine. I've seen pictures of all sorts of attire at Angkor Wat!

Not that I have any intention of being disrespectful, but only so much fits in a 40L bag. Long pants aren't really making the cut.

#11 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/2/2014 at 05:03

Cambodia isnt Thailand. Grand Palace and select others u need long pants and covered shoulders.

Long cotton pants and tshirt with arms is fine. Can buy long pants over there for 150 baht or so.

#12 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SoloGirls on 16/2/2014 at 05:05

I see. As I mentioned, I'm only going to southern thailand. So no Grand Palace or any temples in my plans.

#13 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/2/2014 at 05:08

How can u be solo.if its girls?

#14 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SoloGirls on 16/2/2014 at 05:10

There are many of us.

#15 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45

Posted by DLuek on 16/2/2014 at 06:26 TF writer

"I had a tuk tuk driver mention it, he said wearing red in some places can be dangerous but Chiang Mai is red so you're OK here."

The tuk tuk driver must have been messing around. The idea of foreigners being harassed for wearing a red shirt anywhere in Thailand is absurd, even in the middle of anti-government protest sites. It would never happen unless the foreigner were an obviously hostile / out-spoken government supporter, in which case their clothing wouldn't matter anyway.

I run almost every night in Lumpini Park, which is now filled with camping anti-government protesters. Even there, I regularly see Thais wearing red shirts as they walk or run in the park. Yes, they're probably wearing red as a way to show which side they're on, but I've never seen anyone mess with them for it. After all, it's just a shirt. And Suthep (anti-government leader) wore red all through the Chinese new years.

By the way, Leonard is right about the Grand Palace but that's one of very few places that requires long pants or skirts. At Wat Pho and others they provide sarongs for people wearing shorts. I don't think there are any temples in the places you're going where long shorts won't be fine. Just cover the shoulders and knees. Then again, I once saw a very moronic young lady stroll into a temple in a bikini -- happens plenty on Phuket, but obviously not recommended.

#16 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,176
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Posted by MADMAC on 16/2/2014 at 09:31

"Long pants aren't really making the cut."

Funny, it's the only thing I wear. I hate shorts and never wear them. Don't even own any.

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

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/2/2014 at 19:38

People used to say dont wear army cargo shorts in Cambodia and Burma. Is that still the case?

#18 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 16/2/2014 at 21:31 TF writer

There's certainly plenty of camoflage trousers for sale on stalls in Cambodia - even arctic coloured ones! Don't think it's a problem here. Some visitors like to avoid wearing army gear - I've heard the same for Africa too - but it's unlikely that a tourist is going to be mistaken for a soldier!

#19 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 179
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Posted by MADMAC on 16/2/2014 at 22:18

.... or a member of the now defunct KR.

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

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 17/2/2014 at 00:52

Thats what i thought.

#21 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by buttonbridge on 17/2/2014 at 08:12

When I visited the Grand Palace In BKK a couple of years ago I was told that they would 'provide' long pants for this in shorts, and shoulder cover for the ladies.

A few people I know went for this as the very baggy and outrageous colour pants were a 'laugh' to them.

However, the joke was on them as they queued for ages to get their clothing.

#22 buttonbridge has been a member since 21/11/2010. Posts: 32

Posted by MADMAC on 17/2/2014 at 09:57

Why you wouldn't just wear proper attire in the first place I just don't know.

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

Posted by buttonbridge on 17/2/2014 at 14:50

I agree MADMAC, but you know how some people can be? And as I said they got their comeuppance

#24 buttonbridge has been a member since 21/11/2010. Posts: 32


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