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Things To Know Before You Visiting Temples in Thailand

If you visit Thailand and don't go to temple, you're surely miss the best bit! In Thailand, temple is literally everywhere. It is the best place to see best demonstration of Thai architecture, where you will find beautiful buildings lavishly decorated and cladded with gold. However, beside being a popular attraction, it is also the heart and soul of the community, and you should show respect to the place. Here is the quick cap on what you CAN do and CAN'T do when visit Temple. Hope this will help for your next trip to Thailand.

Keep Calm and Keep the Noise Down

Temple is also the place for religious rituals and activities, same to church for christians and mosque for muslims and visitors are expected to behave themself and keep the noise down to avoid disturbing other people or monk. It is not like you can't do anything though. It is fine to take photo, talk, walk, seeing the beauty of the place, or even have kids running around --- only if it is not too loud.

Things To Know Before You Visiting Temples in Thailand

Take Off Your Shoes before Entering Temples

You should always remove your shoes before entering the temple in Thailand, no matter it is at the famous Wat Phra Kaew or tiny rustic temple in rural area. Some temple need you to take off the shoe right after entering the gate, some may require only when you visiting the main ordinate hall or "Ubosot", but there usually are shoe racks just outside the area you need to take off your shoes. Stack them there and and take it back when you return.

Step Over The Threshold

Doors inside temple usually have threshold or "Toranee Pratoo" raised from the ground and you'll notice Thai people step over it. When you visit temple, step over it also, not on them. Thai people believe holy guardian spirits live inside the threshold of every doors at temple so they avoid step on it for fearing of disturbing or showing disrespect to them.

Things To Know Before You Visiting Temples in Thailand


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Never Point Your Feet to the Monk

When visit temple, Thai people usually sit on the floor with his legs to the side and pointing their feet behind. This because feet are deemed as being unclean in Thailand, and it will be very rude pointing them at anyone. Try not to point your feet to monk or buddha statue when you sit. You can try sitting like Thai people do though it is comfortable if you have not used to, or sitting cross-legged.

Don't Touch the Head of Buddha Statue

Buddha's image represents Lord Buddha and is deemed as holy object which is respected by buddhist all around Thailand. Head, likewise, is considered sacred and the cleanest part of the body. In Thailand, it's very rude to touch people's heads or hair without their permission. With all these reasons combined, it is forbid to touch the head of the statue. You may see Thai people stick gold leaf on the image, but normally they put on the body or hand but not on the face and head.

Things To Know Before You Visiting Temples in Thailand

Dress Properly

You probably have seen this topic many many times, but dress properly is the "most important" thing you need to consider. It would be sad not be able to enter a temple you plan to go just because you didn't have the appropriate clothing.

Normally they required you to wear appropriate clothing when visit as temples deemed as holy and well respected place. It is recommend to wear clothes that cover your elbows and ankles , no low necklines for women, long skirts or long trousers is a good choice. It's a good idea to bring along a scarf that can be used to cover your shoulder, chest or knees if needed.

Things To Know Before You Visiting Temples in Thailand

A Woman Never Touch or Hand Something to the Monks

Monk has very restricted disciplines and one of them is "not to touch any women" including his own mother. So women, please beware about touching the monk even by accident. If you need to offer something to monk, please tell him and he will sit and put an orange cloth before you. You need to put the thing you want to offer on that clothe and he can take it.

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