Dress Code at a Temple in Luang Prabang: What to Wear

What is the dress code at a temple in Luang Prabang? (or really at any Buddhist temple)

The Buddhist temples are the main attractions in Luang Prabang. After all, the city boasts a disproportionate 30-plus UNESCO-recognized historic temples.

No tourist visits Luang Prabang without visiting at least a few of these unique, beautiful, and historically-significant temples and monasteries.

Tourists are always welcome to visit a Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang, provided that they follow a few rules. Certain behaviors are expected, and a conservative and appropriate dress code is required to enter sacred temple grounds. Here is my brief guide to the dress code at a Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang. Both men and women should dress conservatively, but comfortably (Luang Prabang is very hot!). Here is what you should wear when visiting a Buddhist temple:

what to wear to a Buddhist temple in Laos
Wat Xieng Thong, one of the many Buddhist temples to visit in Luang Prabang, Laos

How to dress at a Buddhist Temple

  • Remove shoes, hats, and sunglasses whenever you enter any temple building.
  • Keep visible tattoos covered if possible.
  • Dress conservatively and modestly.
dress code Buddhist temple Luang Prabang
dress code

For Women

  • No shorts or short skirts; long pants or long, conservative skirts and dresses are required (some temples may be able to rent you a sarong or pair of "elephant pants", though these are used and rarely washed. Not every temple will be able to do so, and some may refuse entry entirely if the visitor is not dressed appropriately.
  • No sleveless shirts or low-cut shirts. Chest and shoulders must be covered at all times. If you don't have a shirt with sleeves, you can cover your shoulders with a large scarf.

For Men

  • The dress code for men at a Buddhist temple may be slightly more relaxed, but no less important.
  • Men may wear shorts (unless otherwise posted), but should dress modestly.
  • No sleveless shirts, vests, or tank tops
  • No shirts with inappropriate slogans or images.
  • Chest and shoulders must be covered; men may not walk around without a shirt on.

Learn more: Respectful Tourism in Luang Prabang (what to do when visiting a Buddhist temple)