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Bangkok Tourist Outfit: What to wear while going around visiting attractions


Can you wear shorts in Bangkok? Do you have to wear pants when visiting temples? Can you wear tank tops and sleeveless shirts? You must be asking  yourself these questions if you are packing for a trip to Thailand--and you should if you do not want to be offensive. While showing some skin in fashion-forward Bangkok is perfectly acceptable, there are some attractions that require modesty. You can wear shorts and sleeveless tops while shopping and eating on the streets, but you need to cover up when you visit temples and palaces. 

Layering is Key

The best way to stay cool in tropical Bangkok while remaining respectful of certain traditions is to layer your outfit. You need versatility to visit a temple, shop in the open-air market, and go on a boat ride all on the same day.  Make your base layer a tank top paired with airy, lightweight pants. Bring a light cardigan in your bag so you can cover your shoulders when in a religious place.

There are a number of attractions where wearing 'decent' clothes is mandatory (translation: clothes that cover the knees and the shoulders). Show some respect and follow the dress code; after all , you are the tourist. You wouldn't be able to enter Wat Phra Kaew without proper attire, for example. The Grand Palace is even stricter.  You need to wear bottoms that reach your ankles, a top that covers your shoulder and entire torso, and closed shoes (ditch the flip-flops, please).

We know what you're thinking. It's way too hot to wear pants! If you don't own lightweight cotton pants and would prefer to wear shorts for most of the day, then just bring your pants in your bag. There are plenty of changing rooms within temple grounds. 

Rent a Sarong

Don't want to bring pants? For a small price, you can rent skirts and sarongs from enterprising locals hanging around the temples, waiting for tourists like you.

Shorts and Tank Tops are Essential

If you plan on riding a boat to visit the Maritime Museum, you might want to wear cotton shorts or at least quick-dry pants that you can fold up. Don't wear denim, which takes way too long to dry up (you will probably get a little wet).

For women, the shorts-and-tank-top combo is great for shopping. It lets you try on clothes without having to take off what you are wearing. This is fantastic because there are no fitting rooms in the street markets. 

What to Wear at Night

If you want to experience high-society Bangkok nightlife, pack your party dresses and fancy shoes. You must dress up if you want to visit the upscale bars like Sky Bar or Park Society. Don't feel like dressing up? There are clubs and pubs that don't necessarily have a dress code. Around Khao San Road you'll find laid-back bars that allow you to 'come as you are.'

Special Note for Families with Kids

If you are travelling as a family with children, it's a good idea to dress in matching bright shirts. This will make it easier to find each other should your group be separated while shopping at Patpong Night Market, or any of the other crowded attractions of Bangkok.

Final Tip

Bangkok is one big fashion discount mall, so you don't even have to bring a lot of clothes. Just buy what you need! For a hundred dollars or less (depending on how good you are at haggling), you can get a week's worth of summer shirts and dresses.

Related hotels:

Grande Centre Point Ratchadamri Hotel Bangkok


Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok


Chateau De Bangkok Hotel


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Great attractions nearby:

Museum of Forensic Medicine


Wat Prayoon


Museum of Siam


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