17 October 2012


Not clear enough?
I know this post will be controversial, but the subject is controversial and I really feel that I have to write something about it. 

In Europe we have a sign at shops, which show a cute little doggy and the message "I have to stay outside!"...meaning the dog can not be brought into the butcher, bakery or restaurant. 

After my third visit to Angkor Wat I seriously feel that we do need a sign like that for people who are "seriously underdressed". With my friends we use the term "slutty"...but since I can speak more openly with my friends than with the general public, I will use "seriously underdressed" here. 

Beach or temple?
What in the world do people think when they go to a temple, Angkor Wat or the Borobudur temple in cloths, which are barely enough to cover their genitals? Even going to the beach like that would be "slutty"...oops...seriously underdressed! 

Have these people never read a book about Angkor Wat? Or maybe they cannot read? But then, why do they also not understand the signs posted? Maybe they think "my shorts are not that short"...or they are plainly ignorant! 

I thought for the longest time it is just Europeans (along with all other western looking guys like Americans, Australians etc etc) who behave like that because they simply don't know. But my last visit to Angkor Wat was very eye opening to me when I saw bus loads of Chinese people who where dressed as if they were going to the beach after the temple visit. ... Oh wait...there is no beach in Angkor!  So they intentionally underdress! 

Underdressed AND respectless!
My tour guide keeps getting as upset as I do. So this is not the conservative part of my brain acting up here. It is actually common sense that you do dress with long pants and maybe even long sleeves when you visit a temple, a mosque, a cathedral!

Beach cloths at Ayutthaya
I really wish the APSARA Authority, which is the governing body of Angkor Wat would control the dress code more AND turn back visitors who are underdressed. But even the tour guides could help here and tell their clients that there might be a slight problem with those tank tops and bikini slips! Obviously money rules even here at the temples and they do not speak up. 

Gym outfit!

That a dress code actually works, can be seen at the Borobudur on Java, a Buddhist temple in a Muslim Nation! There EVERY visitor has to wear a sarong, no matter how long or short the pants and skirts are. And they have to cover their shoulders, both men and women. 

So, show some common sense and respect people and get dressed! The other lesson about how to behave in a temple, we will cover in another post!  And don't get me wrong...I am a man of shorts...I had my Malaysian friends laugh at me because they had only seen me in shorts before, but I do know when it is time to put long pants on!

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