When most people think about Thailand, they think about the Buddhist temples (or wats). The beautiful colors, the intricate designs and architecture, and the amazing artwork and statues are features that attract people from all over the world to visit. I have seen a few here so far in Thailand, and I’ve learned a few things that everyone should know before you take a trip to one:
- Respect: First and foremost, these temples are a place to worship. It should be obvious that you should always be respectful visiting a temple, and be mindful of Buddhist holidays. They will often be much more crowded on these days.
- Appropriate Attire: Some temples are stricter than others, but it is a good rule of thumb to always have your shoulders and your knees covered. In some cases, you have to have your ankles covered as well. Be prepared with the right clothing, or you might end up buying or renting something to adequately cover you!
- Shoes: You will have to take off your shoes before going into the temple. This will be pretty obvious when you see all the shoes scattered outside, or shelves set up to hold them.
- Photos: This one depends on the temple. In some places you are allowed to take pictures (respectfully, of course!), and in others, you are not. There should be signs posted letting you know before you enter.
- The heat: I’ve found from experience that it can get very, very hot when you are visiting temples. There is no air conditioning, usually no fans, and you are right under the hot sun. Prepare by drinking lots of water. Also, don’t try to see a million temples in one day! You will most likely get burned out (literally).
So, if you come to Thailand, definitely add some temples to visit to your list! They are everywhere in the country, each more beautiful than the next, and well worth your time.