Culturally correct clothing...
how hot it is, don't wear sleeveless tops or short shorts when
in public areas. The Thai's look on this as disrespectful and
besides it certainly singles you out as a tourist. Neat, clean
clothing makes you look good and is the best bet for good respect
from the Thais'.
Wear shoes that can be easily removed because you cannot wear
shoes in the Buddhist temples. Socks are considered poor form
and tacky. Capri pants are fine because the young women have discovered
western fashion. Shorts are not appreciated anywhere. Showing
cleavage is also a bad idea and is thought to be in bad taste.
The Thais are kind and tolerant of foreigners, but the only time
you will really offend them is if you wear shoes in the presence
of a statue of Buddha at a shrine, even if it is not a temple.
I was in a shop where they were making Buddha statutes and I was
told in a cold tone to take my shoes off in the shop. It was embarrassing.
If you are a woman over forty travelling to Thailand, please
take a skirt or dresses along. It is incorrect to wear pants after
40. I wasn't told before I left so I only had one skirt and had
to wear my slacks day after day. Also take something that you
can wash out by hand that can be hung to dry quickly.
I went to school in Southern Thailand. My comrades and I spent
many a weekend trip lecturing females who wore short-shorts, no
bra's, strappy tank tops, etc. Local newspapers often contained
articles about women tourists getting into trouble. Southern Thailand
is not a tourist mecca and the population is primarily Muslim.
Cover up or expect to be propositioned, followed around by men
and/or put in potential danger. Save western dress codes for westernized
resorts and beaches.
some blue nylon long pants that my mom gave me years ago. They
are very thin and feel like a parachute. But I can handwash them
with shampoo and they are dry enough to wear in 30 minutes. They
were great in Thailand in 95 degree weather. I also bought some
Thai nylon trousers that are put on like a diaper. These and the
wrapped Thai skirt are decent enough and cool for hot weather.
It is important to dress decently so that the locals and/or families
are not hesitant to approach you. I traveled alone in Thailand
for a month and never felt threatened.
If you are going to visit any temples wear shirts or blouses
with sleeves and carry a sarong or wear a skirt. Also remember
that you will have to take off your shoes.
Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
After escaping the Alaskan winter, I couldn't wait to strip down
to spaghetti straps and backless dresses in the tropical paradise
of southern Thailand. However, I found that it is very uncool
to do so anywhere off of the beach. The Thais are quite modest
dressers and it's an integral part of their culture, not a fashion
statement. In the south, where much of the population is Muslim,
scantily clad foreign women are especially offensive to the residents.
So, my advice is that if you go to Thailand, dress modestly. Another
safe bet is to buy a nifty long sarong and light cotton long sleeve
or at least half armed-shirt and bring them with you in your bag
everywhere, so that if you're out gallivanting in shorts and a
tank top and you suddenly feel out of place, you can put them
on. This is critical if you might visit a Wat (Buddhist temple)
because wearing shorts or tank tops in the temples is really a
big no-no. Ditto for topless sunbathing. Anywhere.
I traveled in Thailand. To prevent bug bites, my advice is to
wear long cotton pants and a sleeveless t-shirt under a thin cotton
long-sleeved shirt. Leave the shorts at home. It is culturally
insulting to the Thais to have bare legs exhibited.
Newport Beach, USA
When travelling in Thailand, conservative clothes, like pants
and a shirt are a must when going to the temples.
the Thai people will never say anything about the way you are
dressed (except when entering a temple) it is good manners to
cover the top of your arms and not to wear very short skirts or
shorts. An everyday T-Shirt is fine and long shorts are fine.
I traveled in Thailand. My advice is to wear a bra under t-shirts
or any other thin fabrics.
I traveled in Thailand. Going to the royal palace in Bangkok,
many people were turned back because of their clothing - shorts
were not acceptable, nor halter tops, nor were Teva or Thong sandals.
I was wearing long pants, a plain t-shirt, and Rockport-type sandals,
and had no problem. In general, light-weight long pants seem far
more acceptable in Thailand than shorts.
Rhode Island, USA
When travelling in Thailand always carry a couple of sarongs.
You can use them as a sheet, a skirt, to bath in public, and they're
also good for carrying your laundry.
When travelling in southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore
and the Philippines), wearing a long full skirt (cotton ) with
a hip length top is cooler, more comfortable and much more culturally
correct than pants.
San Diego, USA