Let’s talk about temples! No matter where you go in Southeast Asia, you will come across some sort of temple. Often, they’re the star of the show (think Bagan, Myanmar & Siem Reap, Cambodia).
I often go into temples and see people dressed disrespectfully. Occasionally, temples will be strict about the dress code, but on the other hand, sometimes religions are non-confrontational, and people won’t say anything, despite feeling uncomfortable or offended.
And as travelers, we certainly don’t want to offend, right?!
As a general rule of thumb, wear things below the knee. This goes for both men and women! It’s also a good idea to stay away from anything too figure-hugging. I know that in Southeast Asia, you’re often trying to beat the heat. For women, a nice maxi skirt looks nice and will keep you cool, as will linen trousers. Men, I recommend wearing linen trousers.
Although a little more touristy, those elephant pants do wonders! They’re generally pretty respectful in shape, and they tend to keep you cool.
As for tops, a shirt that covers the shoulders is best. Again, I understand that it can be hot out. If you’re going to wear a tank top, at least bring some sort of scarf to cover up with when it’s time to head into the temples. Be mindful that some temples do not allow you to wear a scarf… you must have a SHIRT that covers the shoulders, or at least a sweater. If you’re in that situation, and MUST wear a tank top that day, I like wearing kimono-inspired sweaters, as they’re often cool.
It’s really important to be good tourists, guys. I know that sometimes we slip up, but it’s so so so crucial to try to be respectful to the countries we’re visiting. It’s easy to forget that we are the guests.
Thanks for reading & happy travels!
Chat soon x