Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tips for Thailand temple Tours

The spirituality seekers and soul searchers have a new address in Thailand that is dotted with temples and religious shrines. Known as “Wats,” these temples are the serene sacred spaces ideal for meditation and exploration of the history and culture. They possess an extraordinary aura that cannot be escaped. A trip to Thailand is incomplete if you do not pay a visit to these famous places of worship. However, one thing to be kept in mind is that you will get burnt out if you see all of them in one go. Take some time out to absorb what you have seen, before you go ahead and visit another Wat.

You don’t need to be a Buddhist to visit a Wat in Thailand. Do make sure that you do not end up disrespecting the religion, if you don’t practice it. When it comes to courtesy in a place that has deep roots in culture, it is easy for one to make mistakes. Buddhists take great pride in their religious places and their care is unparalleled. Even though Thailand is a laidback country, it can be a surprise for the tourists to have their guide give a lecture on the rules before taking a temple tour.

Below are a few tips to avoid embarrassments and make your temple tour a memorable one.

Research first

Many Wats in Thailand do not have much information available in English. It can be a bit confusing to visit a temple and not know about the significance of the temple or the importance of things that you are looking at. A little bit of research on the temple you are visiting, will help you a lot. A local guide can be a lot of help too.

Dressing etiquettes

The first rule of visiting a temple in Thailand is to dress modestly. Wearing tank tops or shorts might show some disrespect to the place of worship. Some Wats have relaxed their standards because of a large number of tourists visiting, but it may be a little inappropriate to walk into a temple in your shorts and sleeveless tops. You must wear pants or skirts that cover up your knees and shirts must be modest. Some temples even have cover-ups in case some tourists are not fulfilling their dressing requirements. Wear shoes that can be easily put on and taken off as you will have to take them off outside the temples.

Inside the temple

Every image is sacred. Be careful not to touch any image or a sacred object in the worship area. Be respectful and do not point your fingers or feet at a monk, or a Buddha statue or image, and keep your head lower than the monks. Do not turn your back to a Buddha image. The Bo trees are sacred. Avoid touching and pointing at the Bo tree. Watch your voice level and be at your best behaviour and your efforts will be appreciated.

The Monks

Monks are holy. Do not point at them or turn your back to them. Some Wats have scheduled Monk chat times when tourists can speak freely with them. You can ask questions and inquire about certain things but keep a watch on your volume. Do not sit higher than the level of the monk and let the monk finish speaking before you have your say.

Women should not touch a monk or his robe. They have to go through a tedious cleansing process in case of any contact with a woman. Even his mother has to follow the same.


All Wats have donation boxes. If you like what you see, or have enjoyed your visit and taken pictures, then dropping a few Bahts into the donation box would not take much. Donations are not required nor expected, but it can be a gentle gesture and a help to keep the temple running.

A guide will be helpful to interpret all that you see, and can offer insights about the historical details of the places, images or objects. So visit these amazing shrines in Thailand and feel more connected to the spiritual power. Don’t worry, enjoy your visit and don’t offend the religious sentiments.


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