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Thailand forum

convention of clothes?

Posted by matthias on 13/2/2008 at 21:17


I will leave in about 10 days for Thailand and I am wondering about the clothing conventions in Thailand. I read somewhere that even for men the knees should be covered. Are the restrictions really that strict?

Besides that, I will follow these rules: no orange clothes, never topless, taking off shoes before entering a temple. Is this enough or are there other important rules?

Thanks for an answer,


#1 matthias has been a member since 10/2/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by lindsayjb on 13/2/2008 at 23:02

Hi matthias - Just saw your post and can offer some advice. I live in bangkok and have found that the clothing conventions are not as strict as you may read in a guidebook. It is appropriate for women to dress modestly, such as tops that cover shoulders and don't reveal too much. Singlet tops are also ok, as long as they aren't too revealing. Shorts and skirts can be above the knee, as long as they're not hot-pants style! Shorts for men (i'm thinking boardshorts style, not king-gee style!) are fine.

If you are visiting temples though, this is when you should pay most attention to wearing modest clothes. Pants or skirts below the knee and tops with sleeves (t-shirt is fine) and no scooped necklines. Same idea for men - longer pants and a tshirt or shirt. If its a really hot day and you can't bear the thought of wearing long sleeves all day, just carry a scarf or wrap etc with you to wear inside the temple. The dress code when visiting the Grand Palace is also strict.

You will see some tourists getting around town, particularly in Bangkok, dressed in really skimpy stuff. You can get away with this but I think it demonstrates a lack of respect for the culture. At some very popular temples, I've seen tourists allowed to enter in really skimpy attire - I think this is particularly disrespectful on the part of the foreigners. Keep the hotpants and strappy tops for the beach! (where it is much more acceptable to wear that sort of stuff)

Hope this helps!

#2 lindsayjb has been a member since 13/2/2008. Posts: 2

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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 13/2/2008 at 23:27

Yeah, bassically whats been said ^

You can wear shorts and vest tops/t-shirts etc.. any where but if you go to the main temples like Wat Pra Keo and the grand palace you will need to wear Long trousers. I have worn shorts in pleanty of smaller temples in Thailand.

#3 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by sirhalberd on 16/2/2008 at 11:58

Shorts and T-shirts okay for men - no problem in regular places and walking around town. Never heard the knee thing for men, been wearing shorts around there for a long time!

Temples and palace are exceptions.

Some expensive clubs may have a dress code, so I have heard - I never go to those places!

Every now and then I notice some women tourists looking a lot like hookers walking around town! Not exactly the right clothes (or lack of clothes) to wear!

Figure that you could probably get by with just about the same thing you would wear around you home town and not feel funny doing it.

Have fun.

#4 sirhalberd has been a member since 30/12/2007. Posts: 295
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Posted by ChangFai on 17/2/2008 at 11:58

Just to add to the above , if you do turn up at the grand palace , temples etc. , and are not properly attired , you will not be turned away , they will lend you a garment to cover you up .

Which is fine , apart from it will spoil your holiday snaps ;-)

#5 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by khunwilko on 18/2/2008 at 14:45

Yep more or less as above.......

Thais are actually pretty clothes conscious AND conventional. Whereas you CAN wear just about what you like, you will also be judged on what you wear.

If you look at people in Bkk most will be wearing long trousers and both shirt and trousers will be clean and ironed. If you wear the same shirt 2 days in a row, it WILL be noticed.

If you go out in a sleeveless t-shirt or singlet in the evening it WILL be noticed (with disgust) and you may fine your service isn't quite as good as the person's next to you.

Pattaya is on the beach but when away from the beach you will notice that people wear shorts rather than speedos and shirts ro t-shirts rather than singlets.

Basically just look around you.

"Traditional Thai clothes, tend to be "working class" so farangs wearing this sort of stuff is just looked on as one of those quirky things farang do........(Why dress to look poorer than you are - you might lose face)

Another thing to bear in mind is what you wear at night....apart from looking like a sloven or slattern in short sleeves or strapless you are providing a feast for mosquitoes - so wherever you are try wearing light-weight long -sleeved tops and long legged pants.

#6 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

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