Thai temples also known as “wats” are the beautiful representations of historical and cultural significance. Buddhism is a central element of Thailand culture. Monks have a certain identity and are surprisingly friendly and many speak English and have kept up with the times.
Thai temples are usually located in a courtyard with housing and small worship areas. The sheltered areas with Buddha statues are known as Bots. These areas are considered more sacred and as such rules of etiquette should be followed.
- Step over the threshold not on it when walking into a temple
- Dress modestly covering your knees and shoulders
- Remove your hats, sunglasses, shoes before entering
- Never turn your back away from the Buddha statue but rather back away facing the statue
- Don’t touch sacred objects in the worship area
- Do not raise yourself higher than the image of the Buddha
- Sit with your legs underneath you when worshiping in the Bots area. Avoid pointing your feet at the image of the Buddha
- If you are sitting, stand up when monks or nuns enter the Bot
- Use your right hand when giving or receiving something from a monk
- Women are not allowed to touch a monk or his robes or cross their legs in the presence of a monk
- Treat monks with the highest respect
- Don’t point at a monk or Buddha statue, either with your fingers or feet.
- Don’t touch a Buddha
- Smoking, spitting, chewing gum, or eating are not allowed
- Don’t photograph or disturb monks or others who are worshiping
- Learn a few basic phrases in Thai, like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’
- Turn off your mobile phone
- Keep your voice low at all times