What to Wear in Bangkok- The Ultimate Tourist Guide

Packing for a vacation can be quite a cumbersome task. The mantra is simple: pack cool and comfy clothes! This tip is useful, especially when you’re travelling to a city like Bangkok. Although what to wear in Bangkok can sometimes be a confusing question, but stop fretting about it already! Because we are here to guide you all about it. Read on to know about everything you need to pack for your trip to Bangkok!

Things to know before you start packing for your trip to Bangkok

1. Best Fabrics to Wear in Bangkok

The temperature in Bangkok hovers somewhere around 30 degree Celsius, which is quite high and you can end up in nasty sweat puddles unless you wear the right of fabric. Read on to know what to wear in Bangkok for a comfortable vacation:-
  • Linen- There’s nothing better and more comfortable than linen. You should pack at least one linen dress, and there is a high chance you might spend your entire trip in that one dress, because of the high level of comfort.
  • Rayon and light cotton- Though not as comfortable as linens, but rayon clothes so provide some respite from the heat.
  • Wicking fabrics- Bangkok being the kind of country it is, being drowned in sweat puddles isn’t something uncommon. So, wicking fabrics, the kind that draws moisture away from the body, is quite the go-to for a comfortable stay in Bangkok.
  • Skin protecting fabric- The searing Bangkok sun can be harmful to the skin sometimes. It is always better to wear fully covered clothes, or else go for UPF or Ultraviolet Protection Factor clothing.
  • Polyester or Nylon- These are your saviours for the rainy seasons. These fabrics dry quickly and hence, can save a lot of time! 

2. Preferred Shoes to Wear in Bangkok

What to wear in Bangok
  • Flip flops- Flip flops are an ideal solution for tourists in Bangkok. Thailand follows a ‘shoes-off’ culture in many tourist spots, so flip flops are the most convenient type of shoes in Bangkok, but it is essential that you choose a dependable brand to ensure that you do not have any foot problem during your vacation.
  • Slip-on shoes- For those with an uncertain itinerary, slip-on's should be your go-to footwear! You never know when you might end up in a ‘shoes-off’ place like a temple or go out for a casual stroll around the city. In such a situation, slip-on's are just perfect!
  • Sports shoes- If you’re into adventures and are hoping to explore the stunning exteriors of Bangkok, a pair of comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes is an absolute must.
  • Fancy shoes- If you are a party animal, Bangkok is the ultimate place to be, and in that case, you do need to carry a pair of fancy shoes. For women, a nice pair of heels and for men, a classy pair of boat shoes will do the job!
  • Shoes for the Monsoons- If you are visiting Bangkok during the rainy season, make sure you get a pair of anti-skid rubber shoes. Crocs shoes are mostly made of rubber and have a good grip. They are incredibly comfortable and are perfect for the rainy season in Bangkok.

3. Things to Carry 

What to wear in Bangkok
  • Hats- The sun is crazy in Bangkok! If you’re planning to explore the city on foot, a huge hat that covers your face from the sun is an absolute must. A hat also makes for an excellent accessory for all the beautiful pictures you need for your Instagram, you know! If not a hat, you can also go for a good cap.
  • Crossbody bags- When you’re visiting nearby spots, you don’t feel the need to carry a backpack sometimes. A cross-body zipper sling bag comes in handy in such situations. But make sure it has a zipper because Bangkok is prone to pickpocketing, especially in crowded tourist areas.
  • Backpacks- If you plan on going for a day-long trip or an excursion around the city, you need to pack a lot of stuff. In such a situation, cross body bags will not be of much use so you should get a good sturdy backpack with a lot of compartments to make your day easier.
  • Sunscreen- With Bangkok’s sun, soaring right above you, you will feel the need to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, which is when an excellent high defence SPF sunscreen comes in handy.
  • Sunglasses-While sunglasses act as a great fashion accessory; they also protect your delicate eyes from harmful UV rays of the sun. Choose a nice pair of sunglasses which will save your eyes as well as make you look stylish at the same time.
  • Jewellery- A little junk jewellery like bracelets, anklets, necklaces, rings and body chains can spice up your look completely! Even if you forget to pack them, you can quickly get them in the local markets.
  • Raincoats- Even during the non-rainy seasons, there is always a chance of sudden rainfall in Bangkok. So make sure to carry a quality zipper raincoat to keep yourself dry.

What to Wear in Bangkok at Religious Places

If you plan on visiting the numerous temples in Bangkok, be very particular about what you choose to wear. Off-shoulders, crop tops, mini-skirts, shorts are an absolute no-no. Choose an attire that covers you up entirely.

What to wear: Women
  •  A fully covered top or a top which covers your shoulders at least
  •  Long skirts or sarong skirts
  •  Maxi dress with shoulders covered
  •  Harem pants or fully covered loose pants
What to wear: Men
  •  Buttoned t-shirts
  •  Trousers
  •  Capris 
Accessories to wear:
  • Temples in Bangkok are mostly a ‘shoes-off’ area. Flip flops or slip-on sandals are best for this purpose, both for men and women.
  • You are allowed to wear your hat and sunglasses to temples. You can also use a scarf to cover up your head.
What not to wear:
  • Girls should never opt for revealing clothes when visiting temples. You should avoid off-shoulder tops, sleeveless tops and tank tops.
  • You might be denied entry if you go to a temple wearing a short dress or a mini skirt.
  • For men, if you plan on wearing shorts, then go for the long ones like capris. If your pants are above knee-length, then you will be denied entry.
  • Avoid wearing sports shoes with laces to the temples. Tying and untying laces frequently can be a cumbersome task.

What to Wear in Bangkok to the Beach

Beaches are a place to relax and enjoy the cool breeze. Bangkok is not very strict with beach attires. You can go for any swimwear or swimsuit; it is totally up to you whether you want to wear a fully covered one to protect your skin from the heat or you want to go for a two-piece to get a good suntan; however, it is advisable that you opt for a reasonably modest one.

What to wear: Women
  • Bikinis
  • Shorts and crop top
  • Cover up shrugs
  • Sarongs
  • Kimonos
What to wear: Men
  • Shorts
  • Tank tops, t-shirts or singlets
  • Swimming trunks
Accessories to wear:
  • Flip flops are the best for beaches! You can open it anywhere and hit the waters; it is completely hassled free. Or if you want to go for sandals, go for sequined sandals for maximum comfort.
  • You can also put on a few beach accessories like anklets, foot chains, thigh chains or a light junk necklace to match with your attire, only if you plan to spend the day sunbathing and not get into the waters.
  • Always wear sunscreen and do not forget to carry your hat and sunglasses.
What not to wear:
  • Never go naked on the beach. Always wear your bikini top because, in Bangkok, roaming around topless is no less than a taboo. It is not illegal, but you won’t be welcomed politely by the locals.
  • Avoid wearing bikinis on the roads. It is meant only for the beach. If you have no other option, then cover up with a shrug.
  • Don’t wear fabrics like nylon and acrylic to the beach. It will only make you feel uncomfortable in the hot sunny weather.
  • Avoid dark colours like black, when you decide to spend the entire day relaxing on the beach. Dark colours absorb a lot of heat, which can make you feel quite uncomfortable.

What to Wear in Bangkok for a Casual Stroll Around the City

For a casual stroll, there is no fixed attire, but all you need to keep in mind is that your dress should be ‘appropriate’. What ‘appropriate’ means in Bangkok is that your dress should not be too revealing. Other than that, you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.

What to wear: Women
  • Tank tops, crop tops, t-shirts
  • Shorts, skirts, harem pants, jeans
  • Sundress
What to wear: Men
  • T-shirts, liner shirts (best!)
  • Trousers, track pants or jeans
  • Capris, Bermuda shorts or cargo pants.
Accessories to wear:
  • You can opt for whichever type of shoes you feel comfortable in. It can be flip-flops, sandals, or even sneakers for that matter.
  • Hats and sunglasses are a must when the heat is scorching.
  • Carry your crossbody bag and put all your essentials in it while travelling.

What to Wear in Bangkok for a Night Out

Nightlife in Bangkok can take quite a fancy turn. Your casual attire of the day would most likely not work for your fun time at night. While the choice of venue is yours, Bangkok has some world-class pubs, rooftop bars, pool parties and so much more to offer. It’s time to take out that pretty little dress or perfectly ironed shirt from your closet and put it on because the nightlife of Bangkok demands you to go a little extra. Ladies, flaunt those stilettos and men, wear those closed-toe shoes.

Dress Code of Bars:

1. Smart casual
Bangkok provides you with some first-class experience when it comes to partying. Most of the rooftop bars would be on the expensive or high average side. So a smart casual dress code would be in place for most of them. Bars like Sky Bar Bangkok and Octave Bangkok Rooftop Bar follow this code.

2. Formal
Places that host private parties usually have a formal dress code. If you have an invitation to any event and the dress code mentioned, be sure to follow it. You should also check out the website of the place you are going to.

3. Backpacker style
It is not impossible to find places that will allow a more relaxed and casual attitude towards the clothes in Bangkok. There are many spots in the city that do not require you to have the dressy Red Carpet look. Your everyday clothes will work just fine in these places. The 77th floor and Baiyoke sky are examples of places that have a relaxed dress code.

What Not to Wear in Bangkok

Tourists at the Bangkok grand palace

When people say dress “appropriately” when asked what to wear in Bangkok, it usually conveys different meanings to different people and also to places. For example, a kimono to a temple will look normal, whereas if you wear one to the nightclubs, it'll look crazy. So to narrow it down and help you get a clear idea about what constitutes as “dressing appropriately” for Bangkok, we have made this list.
  • Avoid clothes that are considered too revealing.
  • Keep short skirts at bay.
  • When heading to malls, supermarkets, movie theatres or an office in Bangkok, remember that there will be blasting air conditioning on. So wear something warmer while going to these locations.
  • You wouldn’t find many men wearing shorts in unexpected public places. So it’s better to stick to pants or jeans while heading out for your big city plans.

Things to Remember While Packing for Your Bangkok Trip

  • Pack lots of light coloured clothes in shades of white, peach, light blue etc. Light colours are good heat reflectors whereas dark colours like black are absorbers of heat.
  • Choose a bright flip flop so that it is easily identifiable in public places like temples, where you need to take off your shoes outside the temples.
  • Remember to carry a cross-body bag big enough to at least fit in your documents because no matter where you travel in Bangkok, as a tourist, you will always need to carry your identification documents.
  • One important thing to keep in mind is that get a zipper bag still! Bags without zips have a higher chance of getting pickpocketed in Bangkok.
  • Shoes are supposed to be an integral part of your travel plans, so make sure you pack more than one pair of comfy shoes. 
Yes, deciding on the type of clothes and accessories to pack for your trip to Bangkok can be quite exhausting, but with this guide, you are good to go! Just make sure you keep every point in mind while packing, and then all you have to do is take your flight to Bangkok and enjoy!

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