Thai in Thailand

Buddhist Temples

A person praying at a temple

The first temple video shows a woman entering a small local temple. Notice that the woman has taken off her shoes before entering, and she does not step on the wood frame of the door as she goes in. The tradition is that an angel in the wood protects the temple, so to step on the wood would not be showing respect to the angel. Attire in all temples should be conservative. Females should not wear shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops. Males should wear long pants and shirts--no hats or caps.

The second video shows a woman paying respect using sticks of incense and a flower garland. The number of sticks of incense depends upon the figure to whom one is paying respect. One uses three sticks when paying respect to the Buddha; nine sticks when paying respect to King Rama V. The place to set the incense is filled with sand to hold up the sticks. Paying respect can be done anytime of day. People either bring the incense sticks with them from home or else obtain the sticks from people providing them at the site. The people providing the incense sticks do not really "sell" the sticks, but rather the person obtaining the stick provides a donation to the person as a thank you for providing the incense. The amount of the gift depends upon the will of the giver. When paying respect, people will also sometimes offer special regional food items. The third video shows Wat Pra Kaew or "The Emerald Temple." Many Thai people and many tourists make visits to this temple.

Visitors should be aware that monks hold a special place in Thai culture. Monks can be identified by their orange robes. It is polite for a woman to always keep a respectful distance away from a monk. People regularly give food, money, and necessities to the monks. However, women who wish to give something to a monk should hand it first to a male who then hands the item to the monk. It is not polite for women to hand something directly to a monk.


  • "Visit to a Local Temple"
    No transcript
  • "Paying Respect with Incense"
    No transcript
  • "Wat Pra Kaew--The Emerald Temple"
    No transcript