Things should and should not do at Temples in SA

Southeast Asia is the region where Buddhist and many other religions significantly develop that many sacred religious sites, temples, pagodas, and monasteries are built and reserved. Not only religious sites, cultural and spiritual sites included in tours to Southeast Asia have many unwritten rules that locals have followed from a long time ago. Normally, local people are tolerant and friendly when interacting with foreigners. But they will change their attitude if you behave, say, or act taboos. That is the reason why 365travel.asia provides this information below about should and should not things to do at religious and cultural sites in Southeast Asia.


1. Cover up Buddha tattoos if you have

In Western countries where the open-mindedness is common, tattoos of Buddha can be caught in public a lot. But in Southeast Asia where the traditional values are the most important reserved things, the images of Buddha tattoos are considered to be an impolite sign that you do not respect their religion, especially in Thailand tour, you can receive bad attitude. It might be acceptable in the seaside where you are in half-naked, but in temples, it is prohibited.

2. Remove your footwear when entering a temple

Barefoot not only keeps the dirt outside the sacred sites, but also shows the respect to Buddhism, because legend said that Buddha walked on his foot without any footwear, and follower should practice the same. Moreover, when entering a local’s house, putting out your shoes is also highly recommended.

3. Avoid affectionate actions

As we said above, Southeast Asia is the land of traditional values. So that affectionate actions such as kissing and holding hands are usually frowned upon in religious and cultural sites.

Should not

1. Take selfies with statues

Selfie photos are cute, but it is not accepted if you do it with statues even small or big ones in temples. If you want a memorial photo, take the picture of statues only, or facing towards the statue and call for help. Make peace signs or silly faces definitely show the disrespect.

2. Wear revealing clothes

Take note of this rule into your head, and never forget it! If you want to enter temples or pagodas, no matter what gender you are, your pants or dress have to longer than knees, and your shirt can cover your shoulders. As a rule of thumb, always cover your knees and shoulders. However, in some temples, they have the service of hiring a long coat to cover all your body that is really convenient.

3. Touch and harass the monks

Monks are considered as the descendants of Buddha that they are the symbols of scared meanings. Having physical interaction with them is completely prohibited, especially with visitors of the opposite sex. If you keen on touching them, they will have penance. However, taking a picture commonly happens, but only when you have the acceptation from monks.

4. Make noise and impolite

The quiet atmosphere in these places should not be stirred up for any reason. So, keep your voice down, don’t laugh, scream, or turn on music, and make sure that your children are the same. Polite behaviors are also highly recommended.


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