Local Customs in Bangkok: Dress Codes
Thailand has a rich cultural tradition. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when traveling to here to not stand out as a tourist or rude.
Politeness is Key
The Thai people, especially our parents generation, really put a lot of stock into politeness as a virtue. That said, you can expect this desire for modesty to translates over into wardrobe. It isn’t really that you have to dress modest and respectful, it’s that you will in general be treated much nicer and not become a target for tourist traps. Sometimes standing out in a culturally obnoxious way can make you a target for non-desirable people.
Especially when visiting a temple or holy place, it is important to not wear shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops. Jeans are acceptable but it is so hot you are better off wearing loose fitting clothing. At the temples sarongs are provided for free to tourists to show respect to the monks. Be prepared to have to wear them to enter unless you are already properly dressed.
Shoes and clothes should be simple and nice, shirt tucked in, pressed pants, matching socks. For women, spaghetti straps or gaping cleavage will only attract the wrong kind of attention. People in Thailand are generally well groomed, hair combed and back. Attitudes are changing, but people only dress sexy when going out on the town for serious partying, and even then, it is done with class. Of course there are exceptions to every generalization.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Dress codes in Bangkok and other local customs.