Dress codes, Bangkok
When visiting temples or any holy area, please do NOT wear shorts. If you do, they would make you put on some sarong thing and then you will have to walk around in it all the time you are at the place. :)
The picture here shows the old ayuthia ruins. Shorts is ok here, but at the site there is also a functioning beautiful temple. You cant use shorts in there.
Show some respect towards the Thai people. They are serious about Buddhism and you do dress accordingly when visiting pagodas.
Likewise you take their Royal Family serious or you can get into trouble.
If only I had known or had someone forewarn me, I wouldn't be in such a big dilemma.
Because Bangkok is perpetually HOT (read: steamy hot!), most female Caucasian tourists and yours truly turned up at the gates of the GRAND PALACE dressed comfortably in our sleeveless tank tops, shorts or mini skirts and slippers to keep ourselves cool..... And we were promptly told by the Palace guards that this kind of dressing is not to be tolerated. Huh??
So, they led us inside a small crammy room to choose (from a pile of looooong angle-length ugly-looking skirts that would have made Jane Austen real proud) and some equally ugly looking MANLY shirts to wear with our looooong skirts.
I took one look at the combination and told myself
- NO WAY AM I GONNA WEAR SUCH CLOTHES! NOT EVEN IN MY NEXT LIFE!!! (Not that I believe in reincarnation to begin with....).
So, we went across the street and bought a complete Thai looking outfit (that was all they sold!) that costs us (thankfully) only 220 Bahts after a session of intensed bargaining.
Photo above: That's me in the pic dressed in my new dark blue Thai silk outfit that I bought at the last minute.....
So, do remember: If you're heading to the Grand Palace, dress CONSERVATIVELY i.e. shirts/ dresses with sleeves, loooong skirts and shoes (with straps, please). Sandals are also NOT allowed here!
Always dress neatly in all religious shrines.
Shorts, hot pants, and sleeveless shirts are considered inappropriate.
When visiting Wat Pho, please dress accordingly. You'd be surprised at how many people turn up in shorts and a vest, being totally disrespectful to the monks who are too polite to complain.