Your Simple Guide to Thailand Temple Etiquette

colourful detail on roof of Thai temple

Wat Phra Doi Suthep

 

Are you eagerly planning your visit to Thailand, and looking forward to seeing some amazing temples? I know I was. And I can’t wait to go back and see more! Thailand is simply astounding. The beautiful temples are not to be missed. And seriously good luck avoiding them, especially if you’re in Chiang Mai. They are everywhere!

 

To help you out, I’ve put together this list of 9 rules you should follow when your visiting temples in Thailand.

 

 

1. Don’t forget that these spaces are sacred.

 

2. Dress appropriately.

 

Wear a long skirt, pants, or shorts that cover your knees and cover over your shoulders. Ladies, you can pick up a beautiful pashmina at a market (try the amazing night market in Chiang Mai!) that you can keep in your bag as either a wrap skirt or shawl for these occasions.

 

 

3. Take off your shoes before entering the temple.

 

carved detail on a temple

 

4. Be respectful of the locals who are there for worship.

 

5. Keep quiet.

 

6. Always try and keep your head below Buddha statues and images.

 

 

7. Don’t touch the monks, especially if you are a woman.

 

And don’t take photos of them without permission.

 

8. Don’t take photos unless you know it’s okay.

 

If you know for sure its okay to take photos, be aware that your camera can still be distracting and obtrusive, especially if it’s a DSLR.

 

That shutter clicking noise going off a hundred times a minute as you snap away taking as many photos as you can of the sparkling gold shrines? Guess what, it echoes like crazy!

 

9. Leave a small donation.

 

 

These are just the very basic etiquette tips. I highly encourage you to read and research as much as possible before you go. It’s important to always do your best to follow as much of a culture’s etiquette and rules as possible. That said though, since you will stand out as tourist, locals will usually forgive a fair amount of ignorance on your behalf. I’ve found this especially true in Thailand, where the people are so friendly and kind.

 

 

 

 


 

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below with your questions and advice for visiting temples in Thailand.

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