Topless in Thailand

Jan 9th, 2004, 02:28 PM
  #1  
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Topless in Thailand

I just returned from a month in Thailand. Please, please consider the fact that topless sunbathing is illegal in Thailand. Although a Thai person is not likely to comment due to embarrassment, tourists should ALWAYS respect local customs. I was appalled to see women topless around the pool deck, let alone the beach. I think it's ignorant and arrogant to disregard local custom. It just makes all tourists look bad.
Leslie11 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Yes, topless sunbathing is only for men in Thailand. But in fact the wearing of shorts is unusual too - it denotes membership of the lower class, and you only see them on tuk-tuk drivers and the like.

Thai women behave extremely modestly in all social situations. In private, they can do the opposite, thanks goodness.

Another word of warning regarding etiquette: do not touch a Thai person on the head e.g. pat a young child on the top of the head.

Harzer
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Jan 9th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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Quote: "But in fact the wearing of shorts is unusual too". Do you mean men or women? Like you must be kidding!!! The weather is hot in Thailand. Are tourists expected to wear long slacks all the time? What gives?
Simmer is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 05:14 PM
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Shorts are for beaches. Yes, Thais typically wear long pants (or skirts for women). You'll be viewed as more respectful and more deserving of respect if you likewise dress respectfully.
Kathie is online now  
Jan 10th, 2004, 01:33 AM
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So the Thai businessmen at our Country Club are low class?

Come on guys, there is nothing wrong with wearing shorts, when you travel the people you see remember are mostly 'working' and hence wearing such attire, when we go away for weekends with my brother-in-law and his family (Thai ) he like me wears shorts from Saturday a.m till late Sunday night. If we visit friends in the eveneings very often they are wearing shorts, it is no big deal nor is it any judgement of social class, rubbish.

JamesA is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 03:54 AM
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James, why don't those businessmen wear shorts to work????
harzer is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 04:10 AM
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The same reason the huge majority of businessmen in other countries do not, it is established. They wear suits just the same, after work and casual time they make their choice.

The point is that to say that Thai people do 'not' wear shorts is simply incorrect and to say that it reflects a low class is also totally 'incorrect.
JamesA is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 04:30 AM
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customs are changing quickly in thailand especialy in bangkok.. you can see upperclass men walking in shorts all the time.. of course the shorts will have an aligator or Mizzuno emblem on it.. if you watch TV (a good indicator of culture) you'll see many actors depicting high classes wearing modern western atire that can be considered skimpy too tradition folk especially from the villages..

If your in the county long enough you'll reolize the thailand is not the "land of smiles" you are led too believe or originaly believed it was..

orgy7 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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Going back to the orinal point, if you are traveling on holiday/vacation and wear clean smart clothes you will get treated with the same respect regardless of the length of your trousers! Palace/Temple visit another issue. Topless another issue altogether. When some Hong Kong Visitors were told they could not wear shorts in the Lobby of the OPriental in made the press!

Common courtesy and politeness is what matters. When it comes to dirty clothed people in scraggy vests and torn shorts I think the same applies as it would 'anywhere'. But a smart short/blouse, nice clean shorts and sports shoes is not a problem.

'Camel' shorts are also acceptable!!
JamesA is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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James, I think the original point of this post was to encourage people to dress respectfully. Certainly, shorts are inappropriate for visiting temples and the palace, and they have long been forbidden from the lobby of the Oriental.

Western travelers are renowned for dressing too casually all over the world. My point is that if you dress more respectfully, you'll be treated with more respect as well. If you're off playing golf, or at the beach, wear shorts if you like. In Bangkok, dress as the locals in Bangkok do.
Kathie is online now  
Jan 12th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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the funny part is that many Thais consider sun bathing an odd activity. since dark skin is associated too Isan farm workers and the low class. and I guess they would be too embarrassed too tell you "put on that top. shirt, pants and go sit under an unbrala you freak"
orgy7 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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It's very interesting, but Asians have this perception that having lighter skin is better (denotes better family background and breeding -since upper class did not work the fields therefore they were not exposed to the sun. Lighter skinned Asians are also considered better looking).
I know Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, Filipino, Chinese, etc who think this way.

This seems to be true in Latin cultures as well!
I have Costa Rican friends and they are very snobbish towards the Nicaraguans, Hondurans, El Salvadoreans etc. They say you can always tell them apart: they are darker!

I think it's another cultural stereotype that Westerners do not essentially embrace. After all, we're always wanting that beautiful tan...
mistik321 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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You mean that beautiful deadly tan...
Marilyn is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Actually it is not just Thailand where long pants are preferred. We were in Barcelona one summer(meant to indicate it was pretty warm) and there most people wore long pants. In fact the selection of shorts in stores was pretty limited.
jacketwatch is online now  
Jan 13th, 2004, 03:28 PM
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I wear cargo shorts and black jeans. My wife is a light skinned Puerto Rican and I am a white boy. Does that make us royalty-just kidding.Are black jeans okay?
citiboy50 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Jeans are really ( really ) uncomfortable in tropical climates. Stick to cotton trousers or those with a good cotton mix. Jeans in the heat..ahhhhhh.
JamesA is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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I have to agree with James. You'll absolutely roast in jeans in Thailand!
Kathie is online now  
Jan 13th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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And if you plan on being in direct sunlight much, be sure to wear light to medium colors. The darker the color, the more it absorbs the full spectrum of light and thus retains more heat. Given the choice of one material and two different colors, the clothing made of the light color will always be much cooler in direct sunlight.

Considering that jeans in any color are hot and that black is the color that retains the most heat, black jeans are probably the worst thing to wear in hot, humid weather.
MikeBuckley is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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am i the only one curious about where these topless women are? will be in bkk in may, so i may have some free time to go have a singha beer at the pool.
kuranosuke is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 02:18 PM
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To my utter surprise....
I once witnessed a young skinhead german in nazi clothes waving a huge nazi flag in a McDonalds in Thailand.
Noone seemed to care.
They were probably thinking..."that guy sure must be hot in that uniform!"
artisland is offline  

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