Tour tips for Palaces and Temples

Generally, polite attires are required for any palace and temple to show your respect on those sacred places and to avoid offending thai people. It’s even more important to dress up properly before entering the area of the Grand Palace and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha including the Vimanmek Mansion or known as the Teakwood Mansion as these places are still in use by the King and Royal Family.

The dress code provided below will be strictly enforced for both ladies and gentlemen. Dressing appropriately makes the tour flow smoothly. Kindly keep in mind the following suggestions before embarking on your tour.

Dress Code

  • Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, as well as tights cannot be worn as outer garments. Long skirts lower than your knees are allowed.
  • Long Trousers, pants are required, not just only the knee-leveled ones. Quarter length trousers cannot be worn.
  • Tight fitting trousers like leggins cannot be worn.
  • No hole in any part of jeans, skirts, pants and trousers should be seen.
  • See-through shirts and blouses cannot be worn.
  • Sleeveless shirts or vests cannot be worn; it's necessary to wear only shirts or tops to cover your shoulders (Scarves or shawl cannot be worn to cover your shoulders). T-shirts are allowed.
  • All shirtsleeves, whether long or short, cannot be rolled up.
  • Sportwear cannot be worn.
  • Sweat shirts and sweat pants, windcheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers cannot be worn.
  • Sandals or flip-flops are allowed (polite design please). We suggest wearing shoes, which are comfortable for walking, and are easy to be worn and taken off. 
  • Keep in mind that if you are visiting during a festival; there will be a lot of people. The royal staffs try their best to keep an eye on your shoes; however, there have been instances where shoes were stolen. We therefore recommend you not wear expensive shoes.

If you dress inappropriately??

  • You will be made to borrow a shirt and/or long pants/ long traditional skirt for free by contacting the royal staff in the first building on the right side after entering the main gate. You have to leave a deposit, which will be returned to you when all the items are returned. There is sometimes a wait if there is a shortage of clothes. It is best to follow the guidelines outlined above to avoid wasting time waiting to borrow the clothes.
  • You can also rent clothes from some shops on the opposite side of the main gate for 20 baht per item.
  • If you come along with a licensed guide, your guide will be allowed to borrow for you by giving his/her ID card instead of your deposit money.
  • If you come with a big group, your licensed guide will be allowed to borrow only 5 items, the others will have to rent instead at the places mentioned previously or borrow it yourselves by leaving a deposit.
  • Do not believe anyone outside the Grand Palace trying to tell you that your dress inappropriate and you will not be allowed in. As mentioned above, you can borrow clothes inside the site if that truly is the case.


To Cope With The Heat..

  • Wear Light fabric attires or Arm socks to protect from sunburn.
  • Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen lotion, fan, umbrella are recommended.
  • Make sure to carry a few bottles of cold drinking water with you. Remember that, the Grand Palace and The Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha is really big.
  • Cold refreshing towels are available at the convenient stores like 7-11. Buy some with you especially if you have any babies or kids with you.
Keep it Safe..
  • Be careful of pickpockets. We suggest you make a copy of your passport and use a neck pouch to keep it.
  • Keep your money in any secret pocket or money belt to store your valuables.
  • There are some ATM Machines available in the Grand Palace. When you withdraw the money from any ATM, hide it with your hands while encoding. Take the money first and then take off your ATM or Credit card right away, don’t count your money until you got your card back.
  • If the ATM machine swallowed your cards, the bank wouldn’t return it back for any internation cards, you will have to contact the bank in your home country (considering the time differences too) and wait for the new card sent to you which usually takes many days or weeks.

Do’s and Don’ts..

  • You need to take your shoes off before entering into some buildings,but you don't need to take your socks off. If you consider yourself “hygienic”, wear socks with you to avoid walking bare foot, but it can be slippery.
  • Take your hat off and fold your umbrella before entering the building, chapel etc.
  • If there are signs saying “No photo and Video” or similar in some buildings. Do not try to take it as you will be in trouble. The royal staff takes this case seriously.
  • Do not touch anything protected especially when there are signs saying "Do not touch" or similar.
  • Do not smoke in the places where "No smoking" signs are shown.
  • Do not shout or talk loud, it is considered impolite.
  • Do not show too much affection in the temples (kissing etc.)
  • Women are not allowed to touch the monks, but you can take pictures with the monks. To give or to receive anything from the monks should be done indirectly.
  • Do not sit or climb or stand on any stupas. This is considered disrespectful as there are ashes of people inside.
  • Do not make any rude gestures to our Buddha or try to make fun with our Buddha. It's considered insulting.
  • Do not use your foot to point out anything.
  • Do not litter. Drop your rubbish in the trash bin only.

Watch out the scammers!!!

In case you go to the Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha on your own by river taxi. When you walk out from Tha Chang (pier). The palace is on the right side. Just walk pass the first gate and get into the second gate instead. Notice that the main entrance is where a lot of people going in. Not where a few guys standing and asking you where you are going or telling that you dress inappropriately.
Keep in mind that they are very convincing. Most of them are tuk-tuk and taxi drivers. Some guys in suites or in polite attires hanging the fake licenses around their necks. Some guys are even wearing “Police” Jacket (which can be bought in the market). These guys work as a teamwork with the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

What will they tell you???

● “Show me your map??” :
If you seemed getting lost, they would pretend to be helpful. We suggest you to ask people in any shop or restaurant or tourist police who intends to speak English for a direction, not any driver parking the car and waiting for tourists on the sidestreet.
● “ can’t get in with the dress like this!!!” :
If you dressed improperly, they would suddenly pretend to be a royal staff telling you that they work for the palace. Remember what we say previously, there’s a place in the Grand palace where you can borrow the clothes for free if required and there’s no official staff who comes out to tell people in front of the palace like that. Just ignore them and keep walking.
● “’s closed for the Buddha’s day ..etc” :
Remember that..The Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha are located in the same compound. If the palace is closed, the temple is still open (and mainly the great pictures seen were taken from the temple). It’s very rare occasion that both places will be closed at the same time considering it’s the 1st main attraction in Bangkok. Moreover, if the Grand Palace is closed, you can even get in the temple for free. No reason to stop and listen to them. Just keep walking to the main entrance which is not far away at all.
● “Temple is open at 2 pm (or for free ticket), you can come back later..go to see the Lucky Buddha etc. first” :
Then, they will tell you to go with tuk-tuk or taxi drivers to kill you time by visiting the lucky Buddha or wherever. On your ride, they will ask you to stop at any (overpriced) jewelry factories, tailors, carpet or optical shops. You will waste your time and sometimes, you can’t get back to the palace in time because the traffic is heavy or you enjoy shopping too much. You will miss the most important attraction then.
● “Promotion from TAT, 10 baht around the city!!! :
This is very ear-opening for innocent tourists convinced by Tuk-Tuk driver! Remember that.. there’s no any cheap tour offered without hidden purposes. Again, they will convince you to go to any fake “Promotion Fair” from TAT, go to any shops where they agreed to give them a commission. You can give it a try, just ask them to go to Wat Pho from the Grand palace, they will charge you much more than 10-20 baht in such a short distance. How come they would offer you a cheap ride around the city for nothing?
● “You don’t need to buy, only 10 minutes, I can get a gasoline coupon” :
Yes, it’s true.. they will simply get a gasoline coupon from every stop, but there’s a chance that you will buy, so they can receive a huge commission from those overpriced stores (who agreed to charge their clients more than the others). Some people fall into this trap just because they want to help locals or to support these “seem-to-be-poor” drivers. You don’t realize that you’re destroying tourism unintentionally. Our land used to be the land of smile where Thais loved to help tourists sincerely with no hidden purposes. Now these drivers don’t want to give you just a ride from place to place anymore. They forgot their duties as they are spoiled by this way.
● “My family is poor, I have 3 children and an old mom to feed..” :
Make themselves look very poor and make you feel your help will be greatly appreciated. We can’t tell that they are really poor or they are “seem-to-be-poor”. You have to ask yourself if you wanted to support these people rather than the poor or orphaned students or handicapped people in some foundations or in any poor, remote areas? Is it worth to help them and if sometimes ended up to have problems with the products you’ve bought? Will you be upset with that tarnished experiences later on? We can’t answer these questions on your behalf.

We can go on and on to explain about this. Our main goal is not to make you nervous or to frighten you with these warnings at all. Thailand is a lovely country..but there are some small groups of people can ruin our reputations. We just want you to be aware (Not Scared!!).. and enjoy your trips…


Happy Travels!