Posted by: adventuressetravels | April 10, 2012

Dress to Impress

For a country known for its seedy sex-trade Thailand is surprisingly conservative.  Sleeveless shirts, sandals, short shorts, and summer clothes Western women wear without a second thought are frowned upon and not even allowed in some places.

There is a strict dress code required to enter the Grand Palace in Bangkok as well as many temples in Thailand.

The list of prohibited clothing includes:

–          Sleeveless shirts

–          Cut-offs

–          Torn shirts

–          Short blouses

–          Spaghetti strap blouses

–          See-through clothes

–          Skin-tight pants

–          Shorts

–          Three-quarter length pants

borrowing clothes at the Reclining Buddha

I generally like to follow cultural norms as much as possible when traveling, and try to dress modestly.  It is more respectful to the country and its people as well as being safer, especially for women.  But when temperatures soar over 100 degrees wearing anything heaver than a tank-top and skirt feels oppressively hot.

borrowed clothes outside of the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Many temples grudgingly allow tourists to enter but others may refuse entry.  Larger temples may have clothes for visitors to borrow.  But wearing the same clothes that countless visitors have borrowed may not be your cup of tea.

The Grand Palace has many vendors renting clothing for a fee, but again, you’re probably not the first tourist who has worn that shirt or pants that day.

I find it is handy for a woman to carry a sarong or scarf in her purse, just in case she needs to wrap a shawl around her shoulders or cover her head.   Men don’t have quite so many restrictions, but a man can never go wrong wearing a loose light-cotton pair of pants.

Do not cheat yourself from seeing some phenomenally beautiful temples just to make a statement or to stay cool.  And above all… don’t trust wily strangers


  1. Are wily strangers a special hazard at this place? Are they out to make off with your illegal clothes?

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