What to Pack?

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Steven Schwartz, Dec 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks for all the help this last year in planning our trip. We leave for Thailand two weeks from Monday. We'll spend the first night at the airport and fly early the next morning to Chiang Mai for four nights. Fly back to BKK and motor to Hua HIn for three nights and then Bangkok for four nights. We'll spend three nights in Hong Kong on the way home.

    I've read a lot of reports that seem to indicate that dress is very modest in Thailand and that there are strict rules about attire when visiting temples. So are there any go-to guides about what to pack and what to wear? Traveling in Europe and the US in hot weather, I pretty much get by with nice perspiration-wicking polo shirts and Bermuda length shorts. Also wear jeans a lot and have some microfiber slacks for dressier evenings out. Yet the sense I get it that I should ditch the shorts and that I may actually need to wear long sleeve shirts when touring! We're flying Cathay First Class so amount of luggage is not a financial issue but with the shlepping around the country, I would like to pack lighter than we usually do.

    I would greatly appreciate any insight. I do imagine I might need a dressier outfit for our nights in Hong Kong but my main concern is for the 12 nights in Thailand for me and my wife. Many thanks.
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    polo & Shorts are fine.
     
  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    For males: long pants, collared shirts, no hats, for temple visits.
     
  4. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Thai people dress modestly especially outside large urban areas and around/inside temples. Just use common sense and stay on the conservative side, play it safe. Despite of its reputation as a sex-tourism destination, Thailand is very conservative Buddhist nation. And as in every culture, they do have all kinds of personalities, but most Thais are relatively shy and soft-spoken. Having said all that, on the other hand, I have seen grown men with only towel wrapped around their mid-section wandering about nonchalantly, or the occasional hoser urinating in public at mid day.

    Undershirts, tank tops, shorts and the like are considered inappropriate everywhere except at the beach. Sandals are fine except at formal occasions. Going topless or nude anywhere (even at the beach) is illegal and disrespectful to Thai culture. Thailand is a tropical country and as such it is relatively warm even in January. Light, airy, and comfortable clothing is recommended with fair colors during the day and darker hues for the night out.
    [​IMG]
    Western women who usually sport shorts to cope with Bangkok's heat must cover up to enter a Buddhist temple.​
    Grand Palace - January 2005​
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    Wat Pho - February 2007​
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    Foreign tourists at Wat Pho. Note that they are not wearing shoes but dark socks. October 2012​
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    Candid shot of common scene at a BTS station. Chitlom - December 2010​
    [​IMG]
    Even if you are wearing above-the-knee shorts, the temple will lend you, for a minimal fee (around 50 cents), traditional Thai pants to wear inside the temple. Yours truly wearing borrowed garb at Wat Doi Suthep,​
    Chiang Mai - September 2006​
     
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  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    hoser is much more polite than I would be. As always Kalboz, great photos!

    Bottom line for OP or other folks, don't be the dbag to wear shorts & an Ed Hardy t shirt to a temple. (shouldn't be wearing the latter anyways but that is topic for another thread:D)
     
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  6. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Thanks all. Kal - when you say no shorts do you mean short-shorts or even Bermuda length? Especially if the temples will lend longer slacks, seems Bermudas and polo shirts would be a great way to tour a very hot country! But also decided that I'll definitely be bringing a really lightweight day-pack to carry windbreaker (to cover shoulders) and maybe even really lightweight slacks, water, etc.

    Just hope my wife will still want to go, Kal, now that you've told us she can't go anywhere topless!
     
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  7. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Last October I went to Wat Pho in my below-the-knee length safari shorts (the khaki ones with multiple pockets) and it was no problem ... but you never know as consistency is not a Thai trait! ... as long as you are not in speedos, you will be fine! :D:D :D
    Very funny indeed ... hope the wife isn't reading the forum! :D:D:D
    More photos of Wat Pho can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625983337718/
    [​IMG]
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    Too many instructions, IMO!​
     
  8. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
    Tourists at a Rangoon Buddhist temple (no footwear, and covered shoulders & knees).
     

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