shoes & clothes in Thailand

May 26th, 2004, 05:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7
shoes & clothes in Thailand

I have a couple of questions regarding the types of shoes and clothes I will need while in Thailand. I am 30 and am going with 2 other girlfriends. We will be in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket (3 nights each).

I have read conflicting things about shoes. Some people say wear sandals that you can remove easily when going into temples and others say you must wear closed toe shoes. What is my best bet? Sandals, Tennis shoes, flip flops?

Also, I know when going into temples they say you have to cover your arms. Do t-shirts work or do we need to have on long sleeve shirts? Is it ever appropriate to wear a tank top (not necessarily the strappy kind)?? How about skirts that cover your knees?

Thanks so much for your help! We are leaving this weekend and I am freaking out about packing!

JenniferAM is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
It is improper/disrespectful to wear shoes in a Buddhist temple. At the major temples in Bangkok, guards will enforce this rule. You also must have your knees and shoulders covered.

It is also highly insulting to show the soles of your feet to the Buddha. If you sit or kneel, make sure the soles of your feet do not face the Buddha.

You may also want to purchase flowers to take with you to make an offering to the Buddha.

Cheers, John G.
ThinGorjus is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 34
I live in BKK so I will try to answer some of your specific worries.

Your best bet for shoes are sandals that have a closed front (if possibe). otherwise other sandals are fine. Just take them off when you walk into the temple. Tennis shoes are also versatile.

Tank tops are worn in malls and other places. You can just carry a light cotton cardigan or zip up sweat shirt so that you can cover up when needed. Also, everything is air conditioned here and really chilled so you will always need that extra layer indoors.
Also T shirts work fine. Long sleeve is not necessary. Skirts that cover the knees are worn by most women here.

And don't worry too much if you leave something behind. Everything is cheap and readily available. You will probably enjoy the experience and excuse of having to buy what you did not bring. Also, people are very tolerant here, so even if you make a mistake they will politely show you what to do. If you are not wearing the right lenght skirt at a temple you will find vendors standing with sarongs for about $2-$3 that will do the job and be a nice souvernier, beach wear or gift for later.
Relax, you will have a great time no matter what you bring.
nislam is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 03:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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What about shorts for women in cities -- Bangkok, Chang Mai, Chang Rai? I assume shorts are fine in beach/resort areas.
CFW is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Jennifer, you will have a great time in Thailand! I've made five trips so far, and number 6 is now scheduled for June 21 to July 7. I can't wait!

I've always worn comfortable sandals with open toes that slip on and off without having to stoop and tie/untie. As far as shorts go, I have yet to wear them in BKK. I did wear them in Phuket and Samui, but in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, no. I wore comfy capris and a cotton t-shirt with short sleeves.

I'm from the midwest, where we have a long winter season, so I relish the heat in Thailand. I've never felt chilled in air conditioned buildings or felt as if I needed to cover up. If the temp gets below 80 degrees, you will see the Thai girls wearing sweaters and such. But that's because they are used to 80-90+ all the time!

You should pack light and have a BLAST shopping for things you need! You won't find shopping like Bangkok anywhere else. I save my shopping for BKK now!

Have fun!
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 444
I agree with Carol re what to wear. The next time we go to Bangkok I am going to pack the minimum and buy, buy , buy!!
fiona is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 28
For the shorts issue, as in most of Asia, locals don't really wear shorts in the city. Its usually the tourists. Its silly since its always around 90 degrees and humid, but some Thais even wear blue jeans. I think this has to do more with it being the city. ALot of locals are dressed for work. Same goes for Hong Kong and Singapore. Some women wear shorts, but you'll see its mostly tourists. As far as acceptability, its perfectly fine to wear shorts in cities like Bangkok, just understand that it will be mostly you and other tourist women.

ANd I've worn Teva sandals, with pants, to temples in Bangkok most times. No one seems to care about covered toes. They are pretty convenient to take on and off everytime you enter a building too.
dko3tgk is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
nislam is correct. where basicaly what you want and buy the rest. it just the the best answere..

And by the way thousend of thais in bkk wear shorts.. hell many of the poor people go around wearing boxers.

If you really want too dress like local thai lady wear a skirt. with sexy shoes. or jeans. thailand is as laid back a country as it gets.
orgy7 is offline  

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