Contrary to popular belief of Bangkok’s reputation for a wild nightlife, much of Thailand is actually quite conservative with its values. In Thai society, your status is measured by how you dress, and often how you are greeted is a direct reflection of your social status.
Although the Thais are an extremely tolerant and forgiving people who are blessed with a gentle religion and an easygoing approach to life, visitors would do well to observe proper social customs to avoid any embarrassments or misunderstandings. Be it at a wedding, a business dinner or any other formal event, by dressing well when meeting with Thais, you are demonstrating that you are taking them seriously and have a good understanding of their culture.
Keep in mind these simple etiquette tips to honour the Thai culture and traditions when you are at a formal function:
1) Thai people analyse you by your accessories; always make sure you wear well-polished shoes.
2) It is considered inappropriate for women to wear clothing that is shorter than knee length.
3) Thai traditions strictly advise that arms must be covered at all times.
4) When meeting with a monk or visiting a temple, it is considered rude to wear revealing clothes.
5) Conservative clothing is encouraged in offices and places of business.
6) Men are expected to wear dark coloured conservative business suits.
7) Among women, skirts (extending below the knee) and blouses (with sleeves) are common attire.
8) Thai people love to overdress, they believe in making a strong social statement with what they wear.
9) Though western clothes are not frowned upon, it is always better to wear clean and pressed clothes.
Now that you’re well-informed on the Thai dressing etiquette, you can ensure a wonderful experience in the country, without offending the locals.
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