Dress codes are enforced at all Temples in Thailand with rules imposed for both Men and Women. To visit a temple in Thailand you must be wearing clean and respectful clothing which completely covers your shoulders and your knees. Temples are a place of worship and wearing sleeveless shirts, short skirts or shorts or swimwear is deeply offensive and insulting for the local people. Read on to find out exactly what clothing is and isn’t acceptable to wear at a Thai Temple.
For first time travellers, you might have have been told that temples have a dress code, and you’ve found yourself asking, “What should I wear to visit temples in Thailand”.
Here are three easy rules for both men and women to help you dress appropriately to visit temples in Thailand.
- Ensuring that your knees, shoulders and for women; you’re cleavage is covered it the most important rule.
- Wear lightweight loose and comfortable clothing made from linen or a linen/cotton blend.
- Be respectful in a place of worship.
If you stick to these three simple rules, you’ll get by just fine. There are many other customs at Thai temples, which you’ll become more familiar with after you’ve seen some temples for yourself. And if you’re are nervous about the expectations at Thai temples then you can always take a local tour guide to accompany you. But this information below should clear up any questions you might have about what to wear to a Thai Temple. And if you have any question that I have not answered in the post, leave a comment so I can help out.
What You Should Wear To A Thai Temple
- Long Pants – Knees must remain covered up when visiting temples in Thailand. A pair of long fishermen pants is a comfortable loose fitting and respectful item of clothing.
- Shirts – Men are expected to wear a long sleeve conservative collared shirt, buttoned up without exposing any skin. Tee shirts are also acceptable.
- Long Skirts – Your knees must be covered up when visiting a Thai Temple. For women, a long length skirt is a comfortable and respectful choice.
- Tee Shirts – Closed neck t-shirts can be worn to a Thai temple for both men and women. But must completely cover your shoulders and cleavage.
- Trousers -It’s best to stick with something lightweight, it gets hot, quick in jeans. But any trousers that cover your knees will be allowed.
If you are wearing anything other than what’s listed above, chances are you won’t be allowed into any temples. Stick to this dress code and you’ll be just fine.
What NOT To Wear To A Thai Temple
These items of clothing will no be permitted to be word inside a Thai Temple.
- Short Dresses
- Leggings or Tight-fitting Pants
- Ripped or Torn Clothing
- Tank Tops or Vests
- 3/4 Length Shorts
- Any clothing that exposes cleavage
- See-Through Clothing
- Sleeveless Tops or Rolled Up Sleeves
Wearing any of these to visit a Thai Temple will see you turned away and not allowed to enter. It can also cause offence to the local and Buddhist people. You will be allowed to wear hats and sunglasses to the temples, but you must remove them before you enter.
Some Temples Are Stricter Than Others
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is often most travellers first experience in visiting temples. And this temple holds one of the strictest dress codes in Thailand. Dress codes are so strict at the Grand Palace because the grounds are still used to this day by the Thai Royal Family on ceremonial occasions.
At some temples you will get away with wearing a sleeveless top or a vest and bringing a scarf to cover your shoulders. But that isn’t going to be an option at a Royal Temple.
And although some temples will have more relaxed dress codes, they are still sacred places. Be mindful of where you are and you should always be respectful and follow the rules imposed by the temple.
What If You Don’t Have Any Suitable Clothing
So you know what to wear to a Thai Temple, but perhaps you didn’t pack any clothing that will meet the guidelines to enter a temple. We’ll don’t stress it too much, if you realise you’ve forgotten something, chances are you’ll be able to buy suitable clothing at the temple itself.
At popular temples like the Grand Palace, you can buy and change into fishermen pants on site. And they are sold for a few hundred baht a pair. You’ll often find stall and market traders nearby to temples knowing that travellers often come unprepared.
What Footwear To Wear When Visiting Thai Temples
You must remove socks shoes before you enter a Temple, so something which is easily removed will be the best. Sandals or flip-flops are perfect to slide on and off when you visit a Thai Temple.
Sneakers will be just fine, but it will be a little more hassle to lace them on and off. You’ll need to remove your socks as well.
Now you know how what to wear to a Thai Temple, you’ll want to find the best temples in the country to visit. Check out my guide of The Most Kickass Things To Do In Thailand, which showcases some of my favourite temples.